The Licorice SceneMay 13, 2012
There have been quite a few pivotal Batman/Catwoman moments in Cat-Tales, quite a few Bruce/Selina moments, and even more where the line that separates the masked persona from the inner person blurs to the point it’s hard to say who is talking to whom. Favorites differ from reader to reader, but one thing we all share–yes, I include myself even though I write the things–is that after 10 years and 60+ stories, it’s not always easy to remember when a particular scene occurred.
Consider… Batman and Catwoman’s relationship began to change after the stage show in CT#1: A Girl’s Gotta Protect Her Reputation. By CT#2: Normal, he sent her a note inviting her to a rooftop meeting, in costume but off duty, so to speak. There was speculation about what exactly happened in between, but it wasn’t until some time later that we got to see it in a flashback. It’s a great scene–but when was it? It’s easy to remember where it falls in the Cat-Tales timeline, but in which actual story was it told?
“Want some licorice?”
I pulled a small packet of candy out from the pouch where I stash my lock picks.
“What do you expect me to say when you had been standing back there watching my ass and now you tell me it’s not fun or exciting?” I looked up at him and offered the package of licorice. “I figure they’re going to be at this all night, so I brought a snack.”
He grunted—which meant no. I knew that from the 500 other offers he’d grunted no to over the years. So I took a piece, put the packet away, and returned my attention to the alley.
“That big crate’s got to be a Monet,” I pointed out. “Water lilies.”
He grunted again—which either meant he didn’t think it was a Monet or else that particular grunt was subjective.
“You sure you don’t want any licorice?” I repeated, just to nail it down about the grunt.
“Do you like Monet?” he asked.
This may sound strange, but I could feel a pulse in my lower lip.
He asked if I liked Monet? Batman asked. Batman did. Batman “That’s far enough, Catwoman/The easy way or the hard way/There are laws against breaking and entering” asked if I like Monet. It was on the tip of my tongue to say “No, I like what I could do with the $3 million the Monet will fetch in Amsterdam.” I opened my mouth to say that, but… I felt this pulse in my lower lip.
That’s not supposed to happen. It’s a very odd sensation.
Okay, that’s enough. If you want to know what happens next, you’ll have to go read it. Point is, I always thought of it in terms of the MoMA roof where it takes place or the Van Gogh that’s discussed. I recently found out fans looking for it call it “The Licorice Scene.” See, if you site-search Cat-Tales, there are far too many mentions of the MoMA and Van Gogh to search through. But it’s the only mention of licorice.
(Psst. I’ll save you the trip to Google. CT 40: Perennials)