On the first day of Rocky Grimes Week, we find Grimes serving out his last day in prison just as he has served the last twenty years: on the rock pile.
Hey, Rocky’s on the rock pile! Ha, surely just a small pun/coincidence. Certainly nothing you’d build a character around. Surely.
Rock piles, by the way, weren’t just a cartoon thing; they were a real thing. Prisoners for serious crimes would be put to work smashing rocks into gravel, which could then be used on state construction projects (frequently road-building). It also served as a physical outlet for aggression and saved a ton of money on gym equipment.
Rocky had had one other hobby in addition to rockpiling for the last 20 years; protesting ignorance of his own guilt.
“Rocky, we have your fingerprints, eyewitnesses, photographs, a charcoal sketch done by art student, plus you shouted your own name out while you shot someone. But your wacky ‘I didn’t do it’ routine has been so amusing these last 20 years! I’m sure you’re just pretending to be innocent. Because if you actually had amnesia then we might have to get you some medical treatment, ha ha. By the way, nice job on the rock pile, and here’s your old suit back.”
Frankly, I’m impressed that after twenty years, Rocky can still wear the same suit. I may need to add rock piling into my workout routine.
Finally free, Rocky leaves the stone walls of prison for the stone streets of Gotham, where street lights must about three inches high, because everyone is always lit dramatically from below, such that huge dark shadows can loom behind them ominously, following them everywhere, like an unremembered shady criminal past.
But then fate, which favors white-wall tires, drives by, and hit Grimes in the head… with a stone!
Prisoners labor for twenty years making gravel and still Gotham has cobblestone streets? WTF, Gotham DoT?! Knowing Gotham, some corrupt official sold the gravel to Central City and pocketed the money, leaving Gothamites to wheel about on dilapidated cobblestone streets.
As fate’s white wheels would have it, the stone that hits Rocky’s temple restores his memory!
It's like a Gotham gameshow. "Okay, you chose what was behind the Black Curtain of Unconsciousness. And it's... a life wasted in prison and sudden old age! And a goat!"
And Rocky finally remembers that he really was a crook!
But not just any crook: he was the Stupidest Crook in Gotham.
“How’s my robbing? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
"Sorry, I have to shoot and run," Rocky says. "But I need to post this on my Facebook wall and update my bankrobbery blog." I'll say this for Rocky; he's certainly got the vanity and foolhardy bravado that a first-class villain needs. Maybe he's primed for bigger things.
In addition to the robbery, he also finally remembers what happened to him later, at Gotham’s lowest-ceilinged hideout…
Why don't they just shoot him? These guys are clearly not cut out to be Gotham gangsters. The Penguin totally would have just shot this guy, probably while making a condescending remark.
Really, it’s remarkable how unerringly stones go right to Rocky’s temple, almost as if guided by some sort of, I dunno, stone temple pilots.
Rocky, the vain and murderous one, took the fall for the rest of the gang and thanks to his amnesia couldn’t rat them out if he wanted to.
But now that Rocky has regained his memory, what do you think his reaction is?
(a) “What a fool and a jackass I was! I’m lucky I didn’t get the chair. Time to go straight!”
(b) “Ha! Now all I have to do is testify against my fellow gangmembers! They’ll all go to prison for the next twenty years while I’m free, ha ha!”
(c) “Flying cobblestones? WTF, Gotham DoT?! I’m going to sue the pants off the city and be set for life!”
(d) “Wait, I can still wear the same suit I wore twenty years ago? I can make millions as a fitness guru with my Rockpile System! God bless you, Warden Crichton, and your advanced theories of penology!”
We’ll find out tomorrow, won’t we?