Sure, there are times when I wish I were a superhero. I’m guessing a lot of people feel that way sometimes. But unlike most, I have no delusions that it could ever work out.
Not because superheroes don’t exist. Instead, because I’m an idiot.
“But you’ve never seen my commute. Frankly, I’m surprised with every day that goes by that it doesn’t erupt into a bout of granny flinging. Maybe I’m driving too close to the retirement homes.”
I’ve read the comic books, watched the shows and cartoons, and even seen the movies which were adapted from cartoons which were adapted from shows which were adapted from comic books. I’ve seen every super power ever dreamed up, and I’ve witnessed the awesome and formidable power those powers have conferred to various do-gooding dandies.
And I know just exactly how I’d accidentally hork each one up. Observe, fair citizens:
Super Strength: Stopping speeding tall buildings sounds great on paper. And I might think I’d like to have the strength of ten men — or nineteen badgers, thirty-one schnauzers, or one hundred and six chinchillas, if you’re doing the conversions at home.
But if I were suddenly endowed with sinews of steel, it would likely lead to some rather nasty shortcuts. Stuck in traffic again? I’d probably throw a few cars out of the way. Out of quarters for the meter? Toss old ladies around until one of them ponies up some change. Cops hassling me for assaulting the elderly? I might smack them with the parking meter. It’s not only useful — it’s wryly ironic, given the circumstances.
You might think the reaction a bit out of kilter with such a common, everyday circumstance. Perhaps. But you’ve never seen my commute. Frankly, I’m surprised with every day that goes by that it doesn’t erupt into a bout of granny flinging. Maybe I’m driving too close to the retirement homes.
X-Ray Vision: Would it be useful to see through walls and floors and lacy undergarments? No doubt. But those X-rays are dangerous waves, medically speaking.
And it’d be mighty inconvenient to get hit with a class action lawsuit by hundreds of women with nipples singed from radiation exposure. I don’t need that kind of hassle.
Unless there’s boo-boo kissing. Can you be sentenced to boo-boo kissing? I’m guessing no.
Conjuring Fire: Clearly, this would never work for me. I can barely see without my contacts; the first time I tried lighting the fireplace and accidentally set the dog on fire, I’d have to swear off using my power forever.
At least, that’s the way it’s worked with matches. And lighter fluid. And propane. And Roman candles. At this point, the dog runs frantically away at the sight of the fireplace logs.
Super Speed: See, here’s the thing about super speed — nothing else around you is super speedy, just you. So waiting for coffee to percolate, or sitting in that commuter traffic, or zipping through a bunch of TiVoed commercials is just going to seem to take that much longer.
I’ve always thought super speed was the undersized runt of the super power litter, for just that reason. In a pinch, you can whisk some jerk out of a burning building, or dash halfway across the world to deliver a message. But all that scurrying still takes effort, and how many shoes would you go through careening around all willy-nilly like that?
That shit costs money. And Nike and Reebok don’t do sneaker deals with superheroes. Not unless they can hit a jump shot or throw a sixty-yard spiral. You’d have a better shot with Buster Brown.
Invisibility: No chance. My record for being completely naked and staying entirely quiet is roughly seven seconds. There’s no way in hell I could tiptoe around au naturel without arousing suspicion, bumping into someone, or making a ruckus.
Where ‘ruckus’ may include running circles around the ladies’ changing rooms at the local GAP shouting, ‘Giggity giggity goo!‘ Just as a for instance.
Telekinesis: I’m lazy enough as it is. If I could actually control the forces of nature such that objects would come to me, it would only get worse. Forget never leaving the house; I’d never get my ass out of bed again.
Within a week, I’d be stuck in the sack, four hundred pounds and growing, with the television hovering over the foot of the bed and bags of Chee-tos slowly emptying themselves into my mouth. The only exercise I’d get is lifting my head to watch the neighbor who dumps his leaves in our yard get his daily telekinetic wedgie as he leaves the house.
Oh, sorry. I guess I said each of these would have a downside. My bad.
Communicating with Animals: My dog knows seventeen commands, from ‘sit’ and ‘down’ to ‘if you don’t come here right now, I’m selling you to the circus, you miserable bitch’.
And when I give those commands, she ignores every. Single. One of them.
So what use could I possibly have for the ability to let all of the critters and fauna in the area give me the cold furry shoulder? I can just see that now. Maybe I drop my wallet on the street, and ask friendly Mr. Squirrel to bring it over to me.
‘Hug a nut, biped. I got trees to climb.‘
Or maybe I politely request that the bird who sings outside my window at five freaking thirty every damned morning maybe shut it down for a day?
‘Up yours, wingless. You just bought yourself three turds on the windshield.‘
Yeah, no thanks. The less animals that actually listen to me, the better.
Yep, that tears it. Best that I remain my average, mild-mannered by-day self, lest my dog and local grannies and nipples and neighbors be put in peril. I guess being a superhero in my world isn’t as easy as it looks.Permalink | 2 Comments