I still remember the day I became a window washer—the city was darker then. Same climate, I suppose, but there was a dingy tint to the glass on the skyscrapers, a shade created by water streaks and pigeon shit.
I took the job and worked at it and, bit by bit, the city lightened up. The reflections grew more vibrant, and the glassy corner offices became all the more valuable. Then he came along.
He’s not bad for the city by any means, this Spider-Man fellow, but we ought to think twice before singing his praises. Sure, crime isn’t good, but you know what else isn’t good? Grime. And if you look up at the skyscrapers when that web-slinger works his magic, you’ll notice the gobs of goo he leaves behind. While you’re celebrating good’s triumph over evil, guess who gets called in to clean up his mess.
All I mean to say is that there are other heroes, those guys patrolling Gotham and Metropolis, who seem to get the job done without smearing slime all over the city. You better believe the window-washers in those places never get called into work after their shifts. What Spider-Man shows us is that a hero can be a vandal, and vice versa.
Maybe a little sidekick credit would shut me up. After all, if not for folks like me, we’d have a town free of crime but covered in filth. We could be a team, me and Spidey, and I’d gladly think of us as such as soon as he starts acting like a team player.
The kids seem to love that Spider-Man swings from great heights. He’s so brave, they say. He could fall. He dangles by a string on the side of skyscrapers just to do his job. Surely, no one else does that.
Last week, he swung all the way across the city to rescue an 85-year old woman from a burning building. A valiant act, to be sure, but we ought to consider the consequences. His ten minutes of heroics left us with hours of work, countless buildings all along the island needing scrubbing and Goo-Gone. He’s worth the trouble, I suppose, but we shouldn’t pretend that he’s no trouble at all. And I mean, for God’s sake, she was 85.