I had visions, when I was eight years old, of becoming a super-hero, once I had conquered the ability to tell time. First things first. It is essential that superheroes be able to tell time. I struggled with time telling, I confess. My mother was disappointed, but she shouldn’t have been. I can now decipher the time with relative ease and can be relied on to report the correct time, if asked.
My plan was to do a superhero apprenticeship under Mighty Mouse, if he would have me, and I was prepared to plead my case. I did have a Mighty Mouse lunchbox and if that’s not warranty enough then something is seriously wrong. I wanted to be able to fly with a cape and not need wings or other contraptions. I wanted to be very strong so I wouldn’t have to ask for help when lifting things and reaching things from the highest cupboards. My course was set. I’m not sure what went wrong, but I can neither fly nor lift cars off babies and as of late, opening jars is giving me grief and I need a chair for all reaching activities. Sadly, I have remained a mere mortal. But … it got me thinking.
My list of superpowers has changed over the years. I no longer need to be able to run faster than a speeding locomotive or leap tall buildings in a single bound. Those activities require too much enthusiasm but if I was making a list of essential superpowers today it reads much different than it used to.
The ability to fold a fitted sheet. It seems I require too much space and more patience, than I have on any given day, to get it right. Superpowers required. Falling asleep immediately upon crawling into bed would be a superpower of the highest order. Some nights I can feel panic climbing up my spine as sleep evades me and my brain is doing mental burpees, jumping up and down, without much ease I might add, darting left and right and visiting the history that has long washed away under the bridge. I have at times resorted to begging for sleep, but nothing helps.
I would like to have a firm enough grasp of memory so I don’t buy a bottle of ketchup every second time I visit the grocery store. If it’s on sale, I stand in front of the bottles and have an internal debate. Do I have enough ketchup? I do. It is fair to say that once I have decided to venture out into the world my memory is wiped perfectly clean. I’m not sure I could be counted on to remember the day or my name in those precise moments and more often than not the grocery list remains behind, all alone on the kitchen table. Superpowers required.
Superheroes definitely use the telephone. Clark Kent used a phone booth for his transformation into the man of steel, probably making a few calls while he was in there, to book an appointment for a teeth cleaning or a haircut, so it goes without saying I should be able to pick up the phone when necessary. Superpowers required.
I haven’t heard from Mighty Mouse since he went off the air when I was twelve and I’m not sure what he’s been up to but suffice to say he hasn’t dropped by for a visit in 53 long years despite my repeated invitations. He may be retired and busy writing his memoir. Mighty Mouse, created by Paul Terry, appeared on television ten years before Superman. Superman found his birth in the creative minds of writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian artist Joe Shuster, and in his first stories, Superman was a villain. Just saying. I think Mighty Mouse is the better choice and I’d be very glad if he dropped by to help me build an underground house, like the one I imagined when I had a bad dream when I was a kid, and one where I wouldn’t have to hear the wind roaring by my window at night. Did I mention I don’t like the wind? Most superheroes don’t.