Aaaannnndd... drumroll please... the big man is back on campus!

No, please, hold your applause. Thank you very much, oh you're too kind, just hold- HARLEY, THAT'S ENOUGH! A-ha-hem. As I was saying, I'mmmm back! Not even the big black Batsy could prevent my triumphant return to my kingdom- err, asylum- to complete my masterpiece. I see Harley's been keeping up the ol' diary... good girl...

Ah, so Eddie scribbled in here too? Couldn't resist putting his dirty little riddling fingerprints all over my beloved book? First words, indeed! I don't know... it's a bit serious for an official record...

Oh, what the hey! I'm in a good mood today (or someone might be getting their tail handed to them on a platter). The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the strait-laced fellow on guard duty is about to get skewered by Croccers. It's a great day to be me!

F.Y.I., do not ever tell the Walking Handbag how you think he was conceived. Talk about a sharp surprise... No, scratch that- go ahead and tell him, just make sure I'm in the room. This is comedy gold!

bUt on To bUsInEss...

Today, I shall provide you with your own handy-dandy, up-to-date, completely official Handbook of Acceptable Behavior. (And if you're buyin' that, I've got a few lead balloons I can sell ya, too!)

Now, one thing little Miss Harley might have forgotten to tell you is... well, you see those nice young men in their clean white coats? No, not the doctors- don't make me laugh! Yeeesssss, those fellows. The ones who look a whole lot like Scaredy Cat's helpers, just in white.

Well, just between you and me, these big lummoxes aren't exactly above handing out a, uh, beating or two every now 'n' again. Whack! Pow! Bang! You can almost see the corny cartoon captions!

These, uh, fine gentlemen seem to think that the Asylum inmates should follow a consistent code of some sort. And they call ME crazy! (What? Why are you looking at me like that?)

Now, I'm a reasonable man, most of the time. So during my brief stint as Emperor of Arkham, I sat down and a had a little heart-to-heart with one of my friends in white. Well, technically it was a knife-to-heart, but *shrugs* it's the principle of the thing. The, uh, point is that I finally drew up a (completely legitimate and totally trustworthy) Code of Conduct which I, Joker, do solemnly swear to abide by at all times*, et cetera, ad hoc, ad hominem, 'til death do we part and all that... garbage.

1. Patients will remain in their rooms at all times*. Fairly straightforward- oh, except when they're bringing us out for a round of shock-a-clown or taking us to the rec room. (Get it? Wreck room?)

2. Food must be eaten, no matter how bad it looks, feels, tastes, or smells. And by "eaten" I mean "shoved someplace safe and dark or otherwise used to torment the orderlies."

3. Yellow-skinned Wacky Man cannot share a room with Harley Quinn. Don't. Even. Ask.

4. Use everything ONLY for its intended purpose. Beds are for sleeping, clothes are for wearing, food is for eating, knives are for... stabbing...

5. The doctors are there to help you. Don't resist them. Don't fight them. Don't enact an elaborate scheme to trap them in a room with a sack full of angry weasels. (pause) AHAHAHAHAHAHA! Who am I kiddin'? That would be HILARIOUS!

6. Everyone is allowed to keep the thing they love most. I have my smile. Pammy has her weeds. Two-Face has his coin. Hatty has his... hat. Too bad they won't make an exception for Zsasz.

7. Patients are not permitted to rage against the machine. I know. I've tried.

8. New arrivals are to be treated with the utmost respect and courtesy. What, you don't trust me?

9. Do not poke the inmates. They may, uh, poke back.

10. If and when Batman hauls you back to the looney bin, be kind enough to say thank-you. Maybe even tell him to drive safely. Then kiss him goodnight. AHAHAHAHAHA! TOTALLY WORTH IT!

11. Don't be a loser. Croc eat losers for breakfast. Literally.

12. CAUSE AS MUCH TROUBLE AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN! Oh, wait, that's a rule for life in general. Well, if you want to have any fun, that is.

13. Don't forget to s m i l e ! ! ! !

And there you have it, ladies and gentleclowns, everything you need to know about life in the one, the only... ARKHAM ASYLUM! Follow these rules, and, trust me, you can't go wrong! Just look how it's turned out for me!

Well, maybe I am a bit batty. (Personally, I blame the Bat.)But I don't let it get me down! And neither should you. I mean, what's the point of life if you're going to sit around and mope all day? Nope nope nope! You've got to loosen up, stop and smell the garbage, learn to laugh at yourself a little more! After all, what is life, if not a joke?

Some people want to clog everything up with rules and books and Codes of Honor. But don't you see? THEY'RE the ones who are crazy! People get so uptight over this whole "meaning of life" thing... when all they really need is something that will put a smile on their faces! Oh, they might pretend to like it. But sooner or later, everyone needs a

g o o d

j o k e

So why worry? Learn to laugh a little! And, Batsy... we've got your cell all ready for you. Just in case.

A-bi, a-bi, a-bi... that's all folks!

*i.e. Whenever I happen to feel like it.