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All I Want For Xmas is This Super Power (Or Twenty Thousand Leagues Around The Black Hole)

One of the kiddos kept asking me, if I could have any super power, which one would I choose?

Not the invisibility vs. flying question that you’ve all probably heard of and/or been asked, but any superpower.

That is super open-ended, and given the infinite possibilities, it took me a while to think of an answer.

“Invulnerability to any injury,” I finally say.

The kiddo was disappointed. Maybe you are too. But hear me out.

Can’t get hurt.

Let me say that again, in bold: Can’t get hurt.

That’s a huge plus right there.

And not just physical injury. I’m thinking immunity to the countless slights, disappointments, forgotten birthdays, betrayals, unrequited loves, and failed dreams I am currently and fully expect to continue experiencing until I die.

Having this enhanced ability would entirely eliminate my need for the Soul Crusher.

But it’s also super strength, when you think about it.

Bully threatening to beat the crap out of you if you don’t hand over your lunch money? Ha! Let him flail away at you to his heart’s content while you giggle, “That tickles!”

Watch how that breaks him. If that isn’t super strength, subtly deployed, my middle name isn’t Maynard.

Also, I really need to find a healthier place to work.

Want a less subtle form of super strength with this power? OK.

Car falls on your kid/spouse/other loved one/beloved sports mascot (and you didn’t deliberately cause the fall)? Lift that puppy up. Don’t worry about muscle strains or torn ligaments or a wrenched back! You’re invulnerable to injury!

And don’t forget your newly acquired ability to breath under water, because cell death due to lack of oxygen is a form of injury, and guess what? You’re immune!

Also, since ‘crush depth’ has no meaning for you now, you can swim down to the bottom of the Marianas Trench and see the sights no one else can.

You even get flight out of this one, assuming you can come up with a suitable launch system. Being immune to physical harm, you can not only survive the roughest of landings but deal with the crudest forms of lift conveyance as well.

Can you say ‘sit on a box of TNT and set it off’? Because with this super power, you sure as heck can!

Time travel is theoretically possible as well, if you can locate a black hole nearby to slingshot around so you can exceed the speed of light and set the ol’ Hands of Time spinning backwards.

Actually, the black hole doesn’t need to be that close by, does it?

You can survive the most brutal of launch systems, the vacuum of space means nothing, NOTHING! to you, and cellular breakdown due to the passage of time is now merely the subject of parlor room conversation as far as you’re concerned. So what if it takes you ten thousand years to get to that black hole? You just add an extra ten thousand years to the amount of time you want travel back.

Or should that be twenty thousand to cover the return trip as well?

The point is, my unimpressed kiddo can go suck it. Invulnerability is awesome and should totally be on the top of everyone’s Xmas list. It’s certainly on the top of my list.

(And hey, now this is an Xmas-themed post suitable for posting during the holidays. Except maybe for that whole “my kiddo can suck it” part…)

“Ah!” you exclaim smugly. “All that may be true, but you can’t be invisible! And invisibility is the chosen super power of the intellectual elites. So YOU can go suck it!”

(Hmm, less and less holiday-appropriate by the word.)

Sure, technically you’re right. But who cares! You can openly eavesdrop on people and, being immune to all forms of social hurt, not care what people think of that act or of you. Taken to the extreme, you don’t even need to know what horrible things they’re saying about you behind your back, because whether they’re plotting your death or just saying mean things, it can’t and won’t upset you.

You can have bad breath, flash crooked/stained/missing teeth with every smile/grimace, mispronounce tomato ‘to-mah-toe’, and wear bell bottoms with sandals and socks without consequence. No shame, no sense of not belonging, nothing. Even if, to keep you away from them, people shove you into a frigid, muddy pen on a distant northern farm that’s in perpetual twilight. Because

A) you could stop that shoving with your de facto super strength right at the start and

B) even if you didn’t, would you feel sad and crushed by the rejection, cold, and muck?

No.

So effectively, that makes you invisible. Or invisible enough to keep smiling unphased in a world that really does hate you.

Mostly due to jealously because of your super power.

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Posted by on 24 December 2018 in Other Blogs

 

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So You Want (Your Kid) To Be A Superhero

I want the best for my children. What parent doesn’t?

So, as a parent, I am forced to ask myself, what is the best I can provide for my kids that also has a commercial upside for me?

The answer is surprisingly simple and obvious:

Make them superheroes.

They fight crime, stop evildoers, and I make a fortunate on the interview and lecture circuit.

Not to mention the tell-all biographies.

So, easy question to answer.

Not-so-easy answer to implement.

Sure, there’s the Batman model, where you let your young child witness your murder, thus driving him or her to a life of crime-fighting.

I can think of at least one drawback to this approach.

OK, two. In addition to the expensive therapy, this technique requires me to die.

I am way too selfish and self-absorbed to die.

In fact, I plan to avoid shuffling off altogether once I find the Fountain of Youth. Only I’m not so youthful anymore – anyone got any tips on a location for that? I need to find it in a hurry.

But back to the best for my kids.

Dying off and condemning them to years of painful psychiatric treatment just doesn’t strike me as the best approach. Plus this method doesn’t give them any superpowers either.

I tried to get a source of gamma radiation, but that led to an awkward conversation with a bunch of touchy FBI agents.

They show up at your door at like 5am with an armed team and an attitude and start demanding to know why you want something that gives off gamma rays.

Ridiculous!

And then I remembered what my high school gym teacher always used to tell me.

OK, yell at me. Repeatedly. As I tried in vain to climb that damn rope.

“Ya see that? It’s the Ruskies! There they are, just on the horizon! Boy are we in trouble with you lot!”

And, more helpfully, “Build that muscle memory! Then you won’t have to think about it and you’ll just do it!”

Muscle memory.

If I get my kids started early enough, I can train their muscles to make them superheroes.

Which is why I started early with the training program.

One of my kids loves Spiderman, so I’ve got him on the wall crawling regimen.

It’s great. He loves it, never complains. Actually asks for the sessions.

The other one is a Batman freak, but since Batman doesn’t have any superpowers, I put that kid on the flying program.

This is not so great. As he’s ‘flying’ around, all he does is whine about wanting a utility belt and a cable gun.
I don’t have high hopes for that one.

Here is some early test footage:

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's some guy's kids, trying to fly and climb walls.

My method is simple. Get them comfortable with the idea of superpowers
before forcing them to evolve into those superpowers.
That way, no awkward clumsy phases.
With superpowers, you don’t want awkward clumsy phases.

You can bet your top, middle, and bottom dollars that I don’t torment my kids with threats of Ruskies looming on the horizon. That’s so 1980s. I use Al Qaeda – much more topical.

If things continue to go well, I’ll be moving to Stage 2 soon, which involves a catapult for the flying and a visit to the roof of the Empire State Building for the wall climbing.

I firmly believe in the “Sink or Swim” school of, well, schooling.

No, no, please, don’t say anything. Step back. Sit down. You don’t have to thank me. Knowing my kids will grow up to save the world is reward enough.

Well, that and all the money I’ll make cashing in on their fame.

By the way, anyone got a source for good but inexpensive catapults?

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