Thursday, August 12, 2010

Watch out Boy Wonder!

Have you ever been asked, "If you were a superhero what would your power be?"  Of course you have. Heck, you might even have asked that question yourself. What did you answer? Invulnerability? Flight? Invisibility? Maybe even, gasp, all three?

There is something truly amazing about the concept of a superhero. It's something... well... super. They are the dreams and prayers of our inner child. They can represent what it is we feel we missed from others in our lives, or give us aspirations of who we should strive to become as we grow. To do these amazing things with powers far beyond that of the mortal man is something that we can only fantasize about. And despite the truly impossible odds of ever becoming one we still do it.

But what would the cost of actually being a superhero be?

Well, first there is the requisite secret identity. Who would you be? Would you remain who you are today, or would you start out new? What would you do for a job? I mean, it's not exactly as if superheroes have a steady paycheck coming in. (Unless you are more of a hero-for-hire, which really isn't very super.) And then, now that you have your secret identities job, how do you keep it? I would assume that it is fairly difficult to maintain the image of "street-wise sandwich maker" at your local sub shop if you keep running off in the middle of slicing the pastrami to save a family from falling off a cliff when the accelerator of their Prius gets stuck under the floor mats causing them to careen off the road in the only section that doesn't have a barrier and then just narrowly miss the only tree that might have saved their lives before plummeting to their deaths. I mean, that meat is not going to slice itself. Plus think of all the overtime you are going to have to put in to afford all the cool gadgets and toys that you will need in order to properly stock your super-lair.

Now, let's say your super alter-ego has chosen the ability of flight as his power. Do you have to register your flight paths, or are you just allowed to flap around all willy-nilly causing havoc with the rest of the planes that have gone through all the proper channels to get their clearance. And then what about all the registration numbers? I mean, how are you going to look in your snazzy spandex suit with LDG238248475AB on each side of the legs in black block letters to make you easily identifiable to all other aircraft in the region? Truly, it would be a fashion faux pas of extreme measures.

And what about your super-villain arch nemesis? I mean, how many of those do we have laying around? Granted there is a short list of certain individuals whom most people would have no issue if they were suddenly captured and brought to justice, or perhaps even just never heard of again, but really what sort of enemy will you really find? There will be no Lex Luthor for you, no Joker, no uber-meanie here>. Simply run of the mill people with no ability to withstand your amazing powers. Boring.

No, there will be no super heroism in my future. I have opted instead to aspire to sidekick. Really they have it made. They get to see a fair amount of action, yet their fantasmariffic buddy is always there to do most of the heavy work. They frequently have some form of power of their own, though it pales in comparison to the true hero. But honestly, compared to the rest of the world, they are still far from normal. And think of every sidekick that you can. Okay, done that? Good. Now go through them and ask yourself, "How many of them were fat and old?" None? Well, I can think of one, but Arthur started out late in life and you truly can't blame him for being a bit dumpy after all those years as an accountant. But I digress.... fat and old? Bah! Sidekicks seem to be eternally young and in prime physical shape. It is as if they gain the additional super power of eternal youth and the ability to look good in lycra and a short cape. (Never a full one. Too messy.)

So, that's it, there's no debate. When I grow up I've got it all planned out. There will be no capital S emblazoned on my chest. No giant red lightning bolt. No indecipherable symbol that is as cryptic as one drawn a silly little man who once went by some royal name. No no. It's the life of "goodof'  pal" or "mighty chum" for me. Now, could someone please direct me to the nearest superhero please? (Oh, and I'll need a reference. Anyone?)

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