San Francisco crowds were the first to start the “Batkid! Batkid!” chants on Friday. But it didn’t take long for an entire nation to join them in cheering on 5-year-old Miles Scott, a cancer patient from Tulelake, Calif., whose dream to cruise through the streets of Gotham as a superhero came to life in a big way.
The news stories chronicling Miles’ adventures were nearly irresistible to anyone trying to work (you know, like an editorial writer). Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and 7,000 volunteers, the costumed Miles raced through the streets of San Francisco in a sleek Batmobile, foiled a robbery, vanquished villains, and rescued not just a damsel in distress but San Francisco Giants’ mascot Lou Seal as well.
Thousands lined the streets as Miles, accompanied by his Batman-costumed dad and his little brother as Robin, moved from one action-packed scene to another, with a lunch stop at the Burger Bar. Everyone wanted in on the fun.
The San Francisco Chronicle became the Gotham City Chronicle with a special front page featuring Miles’ exploits. The local U.S. Department of Justice office issued an official-looking indictment of classic Batman villains the Penguin and the Riddler. A City Hall ceremony in which the San Francisco mayor gave Miles a key to the city capped the day. Even President Obama joined in from the White House, thanking him in a brief video for his good work. On social media, there was a collective “Go, Batkid, go!”
Even in an age of viral videos, Miles’ story was a sensation. Maybe it was a lingering attachment to Batman, a superhero we loved as kids and discovered Friday we still do. Maybe it was the heartwarming feeling of watching a huge city turn out for a little kid. Whatever the reason, all of us enjoyed the day almost as much as Miles.