SO I have two little kids, two boys who are filled with wit and wonder and all of that good, innocent stuff that grown-ups tend to lose touch with over time.

On Monday, they wanted to know why I had to go to work.

There was a lot of snow on the ground outside, after all. Doing anything other than building snowmen was, in their eyes, utter insanity.

I told them I had to go interview the police commissioner, a guy named Charles Ramsey.

"Oh, is he like Commissioner Gordon?" asked Jack, my 6-year-old, who immediately connected Ramsey to the police chief in Gotham City, Batman's hometown.

"Ask him if he knows Batman," said Nicholas, 4.

"Ask him if he knows who Batman really is," Jack said.

I gave the boys my word.

Fast forward a few hours. Ramsey and I had spent more than 30 minutes reviewing the year in crime, one serious, heavy-handed question after another.

I then tossed the Batman question his way, figuring he might at best smile politely and ask me to hand over my press badge.

Instead, our city's top cop gamely responded with a series of straight-faced quips that would have done Jerry Seinfeld proud.

"I met Robin once," Ramsey said. "Batman, I've only seen in passing. Superman, however, he and I are very close.

"Robin's all right. He's a lot better than I thought he would be, actually.

"You get that complex being the No. 2 guy, especially wearing that red top all the time, and the mask," Ramsey said. "People could get the wrong impression, [but] he really proved he's all right, 100 percent a real crime-fighter."

I showed a video of Ramsey's answer to the kids. They smiled. "He's a little bit older than I thought he'd be," Jack said.

Tough crowd, commissioner, tough crowd.