So, "The Dark Knight Rises" hits theaters Friday, with lots of cool scenes of Pittsburgh and of Hines Ward running with the football like he never will again.
Everyone is curious what takes place in this epic Batman film. The Morning File guessed at it in a column 15 months ago, but that was before we saw the Pittsburgh scenes in trailers for the film. So now our theories are much more advanced, as follows:
• • •
(With the help of his butler, Alfred, Bruce Wayne prepares for a fancy charitable event.)
Alfred: I'm sorry, sir, you can't wear that.
Wayne: Why, what's wrong?
Alfred: For a $5,000-a-plate dinner, sir, a Steelers jersey is not acceptable attire.
Wayne: Not even in Pittsburgh?
Alfred: No sir. Let's go with the tuxedo one more time, shall we?
Wayne: OK, but get the Batman suit pressed by morning. I'm coming out of retirement.
Alfred: I thought we discussed that, sir. Your insurance coverage has been dropped, and gas prices being what they are, the cost of getting the Batmobile back on the road will be just astronomical. Might you reconsider?
Wayne: I'm sorry, Alfred, but Pittsburgh must be saved.
• • •
(A villainous terrorist, Bane, rains all kinds of agony upon Pittsburgh with the help of his henchmen.)
Bane: All right, get out there and curtail bus service. I want those routes scaled way, way back.
Henchman No. 1: You got it, boss. Whaddya want the highways to be then?
Bane: Congested. Really congested.
Henchman No. 2: Oh, you're bad, boss. You are one devious schemer when it comes to quality-of-life indicators.
Bane: Thanks. Now go close a bunch of neighborhood schools.
Henchman No. 3: But Bane, the kids -- let's not go too far.
(Bane kills him instantly.)
Bane: Anyone else got a problem? Look, these are tough budgetary times. We've got difficult choices, and I don't want any namby-pamby complaining about it. Now emit a bunch of greenhouse gases -- I want these people to suffer through some really uncomfortable heat this summer.
Henchmen 1 and 2: You got it, boss.
• • •
(At Heinz Field, Hines Ward meets with officials about how to rescue the city's morale.)
Team official: Only the sight of you racing with a football as everything explodes around you in the stadium can rally the people to rise up against Bane, Hines.
Ward: Explosions? Wait a second -- didn't you just release me a month ago and tell me it was time I retire?
City official: Well, we're unretiring you. Shut up and suit up, and get out on the field and outrace those bombs with a smile on your face.
Ward: I don't know, I think I've lost a step or two lately. Couldn't you get Andrew McCutchen to do it instead? He looks pretty fast to me.
Fans: Here we go, Hines Ward, here we go!
Team official: See there, Hines -- the fans want you. We were wrong about your playing days being over. So get out there and don't worry about those bombs causing concussions -- if anything, your head'll be blown clear off and you won't feel a thing.
Ward (reaching for helmet): Aw, man, I can't believe this.
• • •
(Batman meets with Catwoman to collaborate to destroy Bane, end the Batman saga and save the city from disruptions caused by any future filming here.)
Batman (checking watch): Can we get going finally? Every second lost could cost the city its survival.
Catwoman: I don't know. I don't think I look as good in this suit as I used to. I'm going to change.
Batman: What? No, don't! You look fine. Really. Let's go.
Catwoman (checking herself in mirror): If Saks hadn't closed, I'd have found something perfect. This just isn't the same city it once was.
Batman: I know -- that's why we're trying to save it! Bane destroyed most of Downtown's retail sector, and this is our last chance to get rid of him and bring it back. Please, I beg you, let's go.
Catwoman: You don't understand women at all, which is why you're still unmarried, despite being the richest and handsomest man in town. You're going to die all alone, just you with your stupid butler.
Alfred: I'm standing right here, m'am. Right here.
Batman: Fine, Alfred and I will just take care of this ourselves then. Let's go, Alfie.
Catwoman (shouting after them): Hey, call me sometime!
Gary Rotstein: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1255.