It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Tom Angleberger’s The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. In fact, in keeping with the Japanese tradition of folding a thousand paper cranes, I’ve challenged myself to fold a thousand Yodas. I hope to finish folding them all by the time George Lucas unleashes Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones 3D on the entire galaxy.
In the course of folding the last batch of Yodas that I recently gave away, and just after hearing about Fully Booked’s The Dark Knight Reborn Bloggers’ Challenge to celebrate David Finch’s visit, I thought it would be fun to try folding an Origami Batman. I tweaked the Angleberger Yoda pattern I’ve been using, and eventually came up with something that sort of resembles the Dark Knight.
Okay, maybe you have to squint just a bit to see the resemblance, but I digress. 😛
Once I had that Batman finger puppet, of course, it had to have a story, right? And so further inspired by the structure and premise of Origami Yoda, I give you:
THE CURIOUS CASE OF ORIGAMI BATMAN
As told by Jim Gordon (Headmaster, *redacted* Academy, Philippines)
I’ve always believed that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Unlike some of the other educators I know, I haven’t succumbed to cynicism enough to believe the worst in my students.
But even if you dope me with a tank of nitrous oxide to make me gayer than a pack of laughing hyenas, I will never be convinced that dorky Bruce Wenceslao is capable of doing all the things people are saying that he did.
You see, for weeks now, I’ve been hearing talk of Bruce doing awesome stuff… nay, superhero stuff. Apparently, it’s all due to some hocus-pocus with that origami Batman puppet he’s been carrying around.
I would’ve let it all fade by itself into obscurity or school legend, but I never could resist a challenge. Besides, one of my teachers actually believes this nonsense! So I have decided to launch a quiet, personal investigation into this curious case of Origami Batman.
It all started with Binoy Garcia, one of the stars of our school’s gymnastics team. He was walking home from our video lending library one afternoon when Jay Arias, who’s in the same English class as he is, stopped him. Binoy just checked out a copy of A Knight’s Tale, but Jay apparently wanted to borrow that DVD, too. They were required to write about a movie featuring their favorite actor, and Jay is batshit crazy over Heath Ledger. Binoy refused to give him the DVD. Before Jay could throw a punch, Binoy ran for his life. Jay ran after him, but lost steam after a few blocks. This is one of those times you have to wonder why bullies don’t keep in shape.
Binoy kept running until he reached his favorite bookstore and ran inside. He loves comic books, and the store’s basement level is his sanctuary. Apparently, the basement was also Bruce’s personal batcave; he loves comic books, too, and he devours them as if they were M&Ms.
As Binoy collapsed to the floor in exhaustion, Bruce approached him and asked him what was wrong. Binoy got the surprise of his life when Bruce spoke to him later in a voice that was distinctly not his own: “Ako na ang bahala kay Jay.”
Binoy told me he had to blink several times to be sure, but all he saw was dorky old Bruce, still a little dumbstruck and staring at him with concern, an origami finger puppet of Batman stuck to his finger. He helped Binoy to his feet, and walked with him to the nearest bus stop.
The next day, Binoy almost had another intimate encounter with the floor when he opened his locker to find a photo of Jay, asleep in his own bed, a copy of A Knight’s Tale on his bedside table, with a big, Joker-like smile on his face. And I do mean someone actually painted Jay’s face to look like The Joker. The same picture was tacked to the various bulletin boards around campus. Jay spent the entire day walking around with his head bowed. Binoy told me that when Jay apologized to him before dismissal, he seemed a little shaken.
Since then, Binoy stopped hanging out with his gymnast friends after practice, and followed Bruce around like a groupie. Word of Bruce’s alleged takedown of a bully spread like wildfire. People started drawing the Batman symbol on paper, sticking them on their lockers as a “bat signal” when they needed help. Binoy also started a fad when he wore a homemade shirt with the words “Bahala na si Origami Batman” on it.
When I asked Binoy if Bruce helps everyone who puts up a signal, he just shrugged and said, “He helps who he can.”
After enduring days and days of Batmania on campus, I decided it was time to talk to my colleague. My 6th grade history teacher, Harvey Dos Santos, swears Origami Batman helped him with his romantic problem.
I’ve put off talking to Harvey about his Batman encounter because, to tell you the truth, I’ve always thought he was a little…schizophrenic. But he has never shown any psychotic behavior in the classroom, I’ve never received any complaints, and students do well in his classes. I have a feeling he’s really just wary of me; everyone else seems to like him well enough.
I will not disclose Harvey’s love problem here, but suffice it to say it was effectively resolved two days after he secretly met with Bruce and Origami Batman. Like Binoy, Harvey swore he heard Bruce’s voice change when he said “Ako na ang bahala diyan” after hearing him out. Harvey went so far as to say Bruce actually sounded like Christian Bale.
I asked Harvey why he was so sure that it was Bruce who solved his problem. He said, “Why does it matter, Headmaster? What matters is Selena and I are together now. Oh, and I think it was Origami Batman, not Bruce. Ummm, I mean, it was Bruce, but he was channeling Origami Batman’s power and… ummm… well, like I said, it doesn’t really matter.”
Did he just say it was the finger puppet who was responsible for all of those heroic deeds?!
I insisted that he answer my question. “To be honest, I am not certain it was him,” he said. “But I’m happy enough believing that Bruce and Origami Batman helped me. They gave me hope, and whether or not they did help or it was all a matter of circumstance, I couldn’t care less. There’s a certain lightness of being that comes with believing that there may be someone out there who is looking out for me.”
Harvey is probably more disturbed than I thought.
Okay, fine, I have to admit—grudgingly—that he does have a good point.
I am no closer to solving this case than I was before, but maybe I’ll wait it out. Hell, maybe I should draw a bat symbol on a Post-it and stick it on my office door. Maybe if Bruce, Origami Batman, and I come face-to-face, I will finally get my answers.
Should I do it?
This looks like a job for my lucky coin.
So…heads or tails?
Disclaimers: The names used in this blog post were not based on actual persons. This story is intended only as a blog post, and was not edited by an actual editor. 😛
Thank you: Gary, Brix, and Origami Batman