The Narn Bat Squad FAQ (v.2)

by Steven Orso

  1. "What is the Narn Bat Squad?"

    In the beginning, there was Zima--a vile, mass-market, alcoholic concoction that only the depraved mind of an MBA could conceive. During a discussion of the Zima sign that appeared in "TKO" (at a time when Zima advertising featured an obnoxious abuse of the letter Z), JMS posted the following to (27 July 1994):

    Actually, the idea of Zima lasting even into 1995 is hysterical. I keep fighting the urge to have some guy show up on B5, "Zo then I zays to him, nize ztation"...and five Narns just jump on him and beat the shit out of him, WHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAM!

    Newsgroup readers associated this remark with earlier JMS posts in which he just happened to be holding a baseball bat while inviting persons he had been disagreeing with to step closer. Such references read something like this:

    Don't run, X...come back...stand's just a baseball bat, X...we're gonna play a little game...X...X...COME BACK HERE!

    From the merger of retaliatory Narns and baseball bats was born the Narn Bat Squad--a hardy, overworked team that appears to smite those whose posts contain outrageous passages offending the sensibilities of their readers. Puns and bad jokes that provoke anguished groaning have been known to draw the squad's attention with uncommon speed.

  2. "How does the Narn Bat Squad appear in electronic posts?"

    Although there is no Uniform ASCII Standard for depicting the arrival of the Narn Bat Squad, one of the most common formats preserves the canonical five Narns from JMS's original Zima post:

    *WHAM!* *WHAM!* *WHAM!* *WHAM!* *WHAM!*

    However, this can be altered and elaborated as the perceived need requires. During a discussion of the possibility that the actor Bill Mumy was lurking on using an alias, one poster remarked:

    If Mumy is doing that, would that make him lost in cyberspace? :)

    The defensive ASCII emoticon made no difference. Retaliation was swift and thorough:




    In gestures of atonement, parties deserving visits from the squad have been known to inflict the necessary retribution upon themselves by inserting the required whammings into their own posts. Indeed, the whams have been known to begin before punch lines have been completed. Here is an example from a Season Two discussion of some JMS hints about Season Three that appeared on

    I believe it was let slip in a post or convention somewhere that in Season Three we'll get to see a new character, a Ranger, with whom Ivanova becomes involved.

    Of course, the prospect of there being such a new character raises an interesting possibility. Suppose the family name of the new character is "White."

    That means JMS's new Ranger would be th*WHAM!* *WHAM!* *WHAM!* *WHAM!* *WHAM!*

  3. "Has the Narn Bat Squad ever appeared in a Babylon 5 episode?"

    Technically, no, although we see the squad's close cousins in "Point of No Return," "Severed Dreams," and "And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place." The Narns in those episodes are not armed with bats; they have to make do with swords, knives, heavy firearms, or fists. We have yet to see the Narn Bat Squad brandishing their Louisville Sluggers in all their glory.

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