To the Shopmobile!

Batman has his ride, Shop Boy’s got his.

Both are black.

Just a coincidence? I don’t think so.

And Mary’s often spoken of buying Shop Boy a utilikilt, which I assume is just like Batman’s utility belt, right? Except it’s got, like, built-in bagpipes or something. Hey, if it’s good enough for Batman, it’s good enough for …

(Cue the bagpipers.)

Da-na-na-na-na-na-na-na, SHOP BOY!

Pow! Wham! Bop! Oof!

Sorry, just tripped over a stack of job trays. Curses! What villain stuck those there? Me? Really? Oh, um, whew. Almost tore my apron.

Excuse me? Like you don’t wear an apron? Shop Boy’ll let you in on a little secret, tough guy: If you wear it backwards, an apron becomes a cape.

I’m just saying …

So, there we were one night after a sweaty press run, just Mary and Shop Boy, chilling and checking e-mail, when Mary saw a coupon. If you ordered stuff personalized with labels, logos and such for Typecast Press, you got a second set of whatever you ordered for free. It seemed to me a great deal, being that we are called Typecast Press and all. (What are the odds?)

We started by, ahem, putting Shop Boy’s name on a pen. And we put Shop Boy’s name on a pad. And we put Shop Boy’s name on …


Then we saw the magnetic logo shields designed to stick to car doors.

Da-na-na-na-na-na-na-na! The Shopmobile was born. Quite a fine rig, I gotta tell you. 2000 Ford Ranger. Five-speed stick. Small, sporty thing with a body that curves like feminine hips around the back tires. And the best part? It and all of its extra features — the beer cap remover, mini purple flashlight, Geico gecko tire gauge, aquamarine bungee cord, reflective rain poncho … superhero-type gear — are paid for. It’s got some miles on it: 18,000. Oh, I know. But that IS a lot of miles if you’re walking. And Shop Boy was walking until he talked Mary into letting him buy the pickup. Besides, I do take it for occasional road trips to blow some carbon deposits out of the engine. To crime-fighting conventions in, um, Cooperstown, N.Y., for instance. (Studying the fiendish impact of steroids on baseball, natch. Don’t do ’em, kids.)

The dirt? Hmmph! It’s not like Shop Boy has Alfred or Robin standing by for a wash and wax like you-know-who does.

Anyway, next time there’s an emergency printing mission — like I get a frantic call on the train home from Washington that I need to get to the printshop pronto (about once a week) — don’t be surprised if you see Shop Boy streaking across Charm City, fuzzy dice tumbling, following a Typecast Press logo in the sky.

Oh, we don’t have the sky signal beam like Batman yet.

But I bet we can get a sweet deal on the second one if we buy two.

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