These days it’s very difficult to be alone with your thoughts. Every waking moment is filled with all forms of media, hijacking our thought processes and cluttering our minds. A billboard sighting during your peaceful walk might cause you to imagine nothing but horrible yet somehow delicious McDonald’s burgers for the whole excursion. Then there’s TV and your smart phone… I’d ask you to think about it, but you’re still thinking about McDonalds, aren’t you?
I have a tendency to over think. Not in a good way mind you. Not about problems I need to resolve, or projects I should be working on. I will invariably think in the realm of “what if”. Ridiculous scenarios that will almost never happen. Some of them good (winning the Lottery), some of them bad (escape plan for when terrorists attack my apartment building).
But, this tendency to over think usually ruins the enjoyment of the reverie. It’s a sort of fantasy realism; the real world mechanics under which this imagined scenario collapses.
Because every movie Hollywood releases revolves around super heroes, and due to my love of a good graphic novel, a constant in the “what if” cannon is choosing a super power. On the surface any power would be an obvious boon to my quality of life. But without being able to help myself, I over think, and imagine the logistics of my real world self living with some of these God like powers. Suffice to say it ruins the fantasy.
Here are the realities of four of the most commonly wished for super powers.
Ok so the first problem here is turning it on and off. If it’s an on all the time scenario, I’m not interested. Is it on a timer? Do I just have a certain amount of invisibility for a day? A week? Also if it’s some sort of cream I smear onto myself like sun tan lotion, I’m out. I really don’t see myself ever doing that. Also parts of my back would constantly be visible. Can I turn it on and off at will? Will it hurt, because once again, I’m not interested in any of that business.
If we can forget all of that and say “it just works”, what about clothes? It doesn’t make sense (I’m well aware none of this does, just try hang on and go with it) that if I, a living being, could go invisible, surely it would just be me, my physical body. Then it stands to reason that I wouldn’t be able to wear clothes to get the full invisible effect. Why would my clothes go invisible? They’re just fabrics. So now I’m a naked invisible guy. Where do I put my keys or my phone? How do I walk around with no shoes on?
Taking into account that I would have to be naked, what exactly is it that I think I could do with this power? I see the primary use as simply sneaking about. Not the most intimidating of superpowers. I mean there is the obvious creepy stalker thing, but with the whole naked business that just got even creepier.
I figure for the first while I would try it out by knocking off people’s hats in the street, or pulling on Hipster’s beards and running away.
Pros – Sneaking about.
Cons – Being naked outdoors.
Money Prospects – Some sort of Vegas magician.
Now this is more like it. But there is the question of how strong? Let’s say Superman strong. But how strong is he really? I’ve seen him lift a car like it was no problem, but stopping a speeding train causes him to make that awful grimace face I’ve seen people who use gym equipment make. I want to steer clear of that action.
So let’s say strong enough to lift a truck no problem. Now how much control do I have over this? I need dimmer switch control or there will be problems. If it’s an on/off situation a lot of things are going to get broken. For example, if my arm accidentally pulls an earphone from my ear I could lose half my face. My life so far has taught me that I am going to pull an earphone out of my ear. That’s a given. If I brush my teeth very hard will they break, or are my teeth equally as strong?
I don’t want to kill anyone, but I would want to get in fights with dolts and bullies. Could I play sports without breaking all of the various sport balls, and players? Would I still be able to high five?
Pros – Winning fights always.
Cons – Lennie Syndrome.*
(*High probability of murdering someone by accident)
Money Prospects – Some sort of sports, or muscle for a crime syndicate.
This seems like the most obvious one. I’m constantly underwhelmed by superheroes that have to fly planes into battle, and the less said about Wonder Woman’s invisible plane the better. So it’s a regular easy on switch, I think about it and it happens, Superman style. First thing first, what to do with my hands? Both hands thrust out front seems to be the standard. Is that just to break the air rushing at your face so that you can see? I’ve been on a motorbike with no face protector. Your eyes get ruined, and that’s at 40mph. One would think that I would be able to fly a lot faster than that. So some sort of goggles or helmet would be in order. How’d Superman’s quiff stay perfect after he flew? He must use some sort of Kryptonian hair gel. If so, how much did Jor-El put in the escape pod?
Then we have to take into account altitude. It get’s pretty cold up there. So now I’m flying at crazy speeds, my eyes being planted into the back of my skull, AND I’m getting hypothermia. It doesn’t seem like the most comfortable way to travel. What about bugs and birds? Definitely some sort of visor would be of paramount importance. Also a good belt. Any high speed flight with a tracksuit on would render me pantless just after take off.
I’m also going to get caught. With all the camera phones around these days someone is going to get video footage. Then the Government is going to get me and chop me up to see where my magic lives. They like to start looking in the brain, and I need that bit of me for lots of stuff.
Pros – No traffic.
Cons – Dry eyes, wind chill.
Money Prospects – Crime. Specifically robbing banks, as the getaways would be amazing.
I’ve always had problems with this one. It makes sense to me that that this power is some sort of muscle enhancement. Your body becomes equipped to deliver way above its usual capacity for speed. I’m still a human, so some sort of other worldly calorific intake would be required to help me burn so much energy. So first off that’s a serious food bill hike.
Now we’re talking The Flash level speed here. Nothing but Manga speed lines as I scream by. If this is a physiological change in my musculature, who says that my brain also gets an upgrade to be able to react to directional changes and so forth? Surely that’s super intelligence, and that’s a whole other power. I couldn’t see myself type really fast for example, as it would simply turn out as gibberish. So with this flaw in mind, unless I’m running in a straight line, with zero obstacles, I see a lot of high speed crashes in my future. As with the flight, some sort of visor would be needed to deal with the bugs. Then there is the chafing issue, and certainly no running in jeans, as they’d probably catch fire. You’d probably have a ludicrous sneakers budget too. All in all, unless this is paired with super intelligence or indestructibility, I figure I’d kill myself in some speed related mishap within 24 hours. Jesus, imagine cracking your knee on the coffee table while moving 800mph…
Pros – Ability to get to the shops and back very quickly. Never late.
Cons – Chafing, ridiculous sweating, way too much food.
Money Prospects – Olympic 100m champion for life.
BONUS – Some less cool Super Powers no one really cares about
Control Of The Weather (Storm)
The perfect power, except I doubt I’d do anything super with it. I’d essentially probably just ensure I could wear shorts and flip flops every day, and still keep my old job. Although if I did somehow convince everyone that I was responsible for the sun shining all the time, I might demand to become President of Ireland for life.
Control Over Animals/Communication with Animals (Animal Man)
Given I live in the city I’d basically just be talking to Pigeons, cats and dogs. And what am I going to do with an army of pigeons? Annoy someone to death? Also you think just because you’re able to speak cat they’re going to do what you say? My hole they are.
Web Slinging (Spiderman)
Totally gross. I’d be covered in webs constantly. Also there aren’t enough tall buildings here make the Tarzan web swing a viable form of transportation. The Bus would be faster. I’d probably get sued for all the webs left around the city and be branded a menace. No thanks.
Elasticity (Mr. Fantastic)
The single worst super power of all time. No one thinks it’s cool. Ask anyone to choose between this and the ability to instantly be able to find your keys, and everyone is going with the keys thing. This power wasn’t even cool when Dhalsim was doing his chicken shit bullshit in Street Fighter 2.
X-Ray Vision (Superman)
If the power has no sliding x-ray power scale, this one is useless. I wouldn’t be able to watch TV and everyone around me would be a spooky living skeleton.
So kids, if the situation ever arises where you get to pick a super power, think long and hard before you decide.