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College Students Start ‘Batmanning’ With Far Less Vengeance Than You Might Expect

Since you’re reading this on the Internet, the odds are pretty good that you’re already familiar with planking, the 21st century heir to college trends like flagpole sitting, swallowing goldfish and listening to Nickelback. For some students, though, the act of just laying on something as rigidly as possible and then putting pictures of it on the internet is far too boring a way to spend their time. That’s why a group of students at Purdue University have quite literally turned things upside down by kicking off a new trend of hanging vertically from things by their feet. And they are calling it… Batmanning.

I have to applaud the students — who have taken to going by the name “The Batman Boilers,” which sounds like the newest branch of Batman Incorporated, a mixed drink, or both — for taking things to a more impressive level. As something of an expert on Batman himself, however, I’m not quite sold on this act quite living up to the name.

I mean, it’s certainly true that Batman does hang upside-down from things on a pretty regular basis, especially if you’re going by the Arkham Asylum video game’s interpretation of the character:

But even going by this interpretation, the Boilers fall short. I mean, I watched that entire video twice, and while dangling from a wrought iron gate might impress the folks up in Indiana, I didn’t see a single gargoyle in that entire thing. Not one! Maybe it’s unfair to ask people to live up to the exploits of a fictional character, but come on. None of these dudes are even wearing a cape that they somehow manage to keep pointing at their feet in defiance of the laws of gravity!

But even more than that, I’d suggest that even if they mastered those techniques, I would suggest that even that isn’t Batmanning. Rather, that’s Pre-Batmanning. The actual act “to Batman” would certainly refer to brutally thrashing crooks, crashing dramatically through windows or, in its advanced techniques, busting through a wall to choke out a dude with a machine gun.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you happen to live there), Purdue University doesn’t seem to be crawling with the sort of crossword-themed bank robbers, immortal eco-terrorists or murderclowns that would make actual Batmanning necessary. But still, if you’re going to say you’re Batmanning, you can’t just stop at the whole “hanging upside down” thing.

I mean really, if you do that, you’re just Michael Keatoning.

Of course, that would explain why it seems to be mandatory to do this stuff shirtless.

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