I am strangely fond of my stint as Robin during the recent residents’ Team Building. Usually I would be embarrassed of embarrassing things, but my green, transparent sequined briefs only validated my long held belief that for my age I could still be the next Robin. How many were there anyway? Let’s review: first there was Dick Grayson, whose trapeze acrobat parents died when they moronically flew the trapeze without any safety net on. Then he graduated to become Nightwing, and Batman took in Jason Todd, whom Batman caught trying to steal the Batmobile’s wheels. Todd eventually died in A Death in the Family, a decision made from phone-in votes. I was happy to see him get resurrected, no matter how stupid the execution was. In Todd’s absence the third Robin was Tim Drake, who was quite competent and noble. For a while Stephanie Brown took the mantle as the fourth and first female Robin, but before I could read any of her adventures she died, although it was later revealed that she just hid in Africa or something and is in fact, right now, Batgirl. When Bruce Wayne died and Tim Drake decided to call himself Red Robin, Dick Grayson, the new Batman, took Bruce Wayne’s son, the evil Damian, as the fifth Robin. I would be the sixth, in case Damian discovers the 666 on his scalp and decides to be a full-blown devil instead. This entry, however, is not about the Robins, or me.
Whenever someone wanted to see my photo in the Robin costume I would show them the only photo I have in my PDA, the one with Helen of Troy beside me. I would expect ooohs and aaaahs and utter amazement and words of encouragement that yes, I look the part and I could be the 6th Robin, but instead they would comment on… Helen of Troy! “Ay, sino yan?” they would ask with glee. “That’s Helen of Troy. Do you think I would make a good Robin? Do you think Bruce would be proud of me?” I would reply with a fake pout.
Helen of Troy. Just to answer all your queries, that’s Cheapo. Cheapo is Helen of Troy. In the spirit of self-centeredness and histrionics and the desire to always make things be about me, it was I who coerced Cheapo to take on the mantle of Helen of Troy. Obviously, I’ve created a monster. Back during our first ever Miss Universe-themed team building our batch was assigned European costumes. A few minutes before the fellowship night Cheapo was yet to have a karir costume. So she pulled down a huge white curtain, covered her body in it, tied the ends over her left shoulder and voila—Ms. Greece. Or so I thought.
“Cheapo, you have to be Helen of Troy with crowns and stuff. That way you would come full circle from being a peasant Ms. Greece to being a royalty,” I demanded.
“Hindi ako Ms. Greece nun. I was Ms. Italy, harrumph,” she harrumphed.
I was tasked to create the invitational posters for the team building. I printed a huge, full body shot of her as Ms. Greece/Italy, with everyone else in the batch but mere thumbnails around her and put up the poster in the audiovisual room for everyone to see. She never forgave me.