Saturday, December 17, 2005

Secret Powers

No, this is not an ode to deoderant.
While watching Spider-Man the other night, also obsessed with Charmed and Harry Potter, I was confronted once again with an age-old question: If I could have a superpower of some sort, what would I want?
Let's ponder some possibilities, as I eat some pizza:
  • Empath--You know, I actually always felt sorry for Deanna Troi (Star Trek: The Next Generation--nerds unite!). She sure had a pretty fantastic gift, but considering the agony the crew often encountered, I think that could be tough to deal with. At the same time, I feel a kinship with her given some weird connections I have had to people, or made out of miniscule evidence, like in some ways I am already empathic. This is a power to sort of put in my pocket and think about.
  • Telepath--Closely related, but perhaps more alarming. This is a good one only if you have the skill to control it, or turn it off. Seriously, you don't want to hear what people are thinking all the time, but it sure would be neat on some occasions, like when you're being greased at the car sales lot, or when you want to gauge reaction to the new dress you're wearing on a date. Catching guys looking at my chest can be annoying. I'd rather hear what they have to say about it.
  • Telekinesis--Zooming to me the face scrub I forgot for the shower, where I am soaking wet? Not having to bend over every time I forget my keys? On a larger scale, being able to pick bullies off their victims and pants them? Priceless.
  • Flying--To be honest, I don't have much interest in flying. Sure, it may sound cool in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, but on the whole I think it would be cold. I hate being cold. Levitating might be all right.
  • Exotic climbing skills--Not really a superpower I'd choose. They make gadgets and ropes for stuff like that.
  • X-Ray Vision--People like my friend Pat often describe their underwear to me. Unless I worked at an airport, I guess this would be much good to me.
  • Shooting fire--A lot of characters have some sort of affinity with fire. I guess in the context of battle that could have its uses, but unless you like to eat s'mores or grilled hot dogs every day, I don't know how useful this would be in the world at large. You really need a power that has solid applications in both.
  • Super strength or flexibility--I've pretty much come to grips with the fact that I'm not strong. I have pretty strong legs, and that's sufficient...if I had telekinesis, I wouldn't need super strength anyway. It is worth noting, however, that if I were *super flexible* I could become a professional ballerina as my alias.
  • Wizardry--Now isn't this the granddaddy of them all? Really, I think that's why Harry Potter is so darn popular. With being a superhero, you get a power or two, maybe a cluster, but with wizardry, you can pretty much learn to do anything! Clean your closet, find cheaters, improve your memory...the list goes on. But is this a legitimate superpower?
  • Shapeshifting--Wikipedia tells me there are many varieties of this power. Think, changing color to blend in with surroundings. Think, taking on the form of another person or thing to hide or infiltrate. Think, growing or shrinking at will. I think this power would be too tempting, and altogether not very useful unless I became a spy. Since I already hear too much as it is, I'll throw this one down, too.

Telepathy, Telekinesis, or Wizardry. That's where the money's at for me. If I get stung by a mutant scorpion or something, and suddenly start hearing everything you're thinking, I'll let you know.

Or not.

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