Hero: Add Super When Needed

January 21, 2011


Quick, what’d you think of?

No doubt the immediate image that materialized in your mind was of a handsome young man with a lengthy circumference for his flexing biceps. I’m sure he was also fashioning a lovely outfit. Colorful tights? Underwear over said colorful tights? What about that flashy emblem on the chest? Sure, wouldn’t dare be caught without one.

Now this superhero that you’re picturing, whether male or female, has most likely been an idolizing role model for you at some point in your life. Their everyday heroic acts of good in order to counteract and vanquish the evil villain and his deeds of evil villainy. Superhuman, supernatural, and over all super-duper. You just can’t get enough of it.

Oh, what do I think? I believe superheroes to be...ridiculous. Practically everything about them I find to be utterly ludicrous. From their underwear over their pants (what are you, Dyslexic Man?), to their impossible and impractical powers.
Yes. Impractical. Let us take a moment to examine the reasoning behind my word choice, shall we?

We’ll start with the classic power: flight. Sure, it sounds fun…until the U.S military sends their Air Force to eliminate the bogey threat.

Invisibility: fun, right? Sneak into movie theaters and get sat upon, easily blowing your cover by making any miniscule sound, and good luck crossing the street. And have you noticed that every invisibility power is accompanied by a force field? What about how those two powers always belong to a girl? Let’s move on.

Super strength: the most boring of all powers. What are you going to say when you have this power? “Woo hoo! I can tap a wall and make the entire 20 story building collapse and cause mass destruction! Gee, I hope no one finds that suspicious and discovers my true identity…”

See what I mean? It’s even worse if you have the combined powers of super strength and speed, then everyone would think you’re a vampire…but that’s another story.

And what of the classic superhero naming system? You must match your gender with either your power or a fitting adjective. How original. Superman…Spiderman…Wonder Woman…Elastic Girl and Mr. Incredible. Only Batman didn’t quite get the memo since he neither plays baseball nor has the power of echo-location. Are you seeing my point about the classic superheroes here?

Okay, now I know what you’re all thinking…actually, I don’t, because mind reading is a superpower that I have not acquired. But I can make a guess: “Why are you ruining the glorious image of superheroes with your cynical comments?” Allow me to explain.

Superheroes are thieves.

No, they don’t take precious diamonds or rob overflowing banks; they steal attention. And what I mean by that is they get all the glory. They get the credit for so many over the top heroic acts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they save lives and free their city from impending doom and all that, but honestly, I have to say: What about us?

“Us” being the “little people.” The so called “helpless citizens.” Well, I, average girl Alexandra Drivel, have my own underappreciated power to reveal. I can’t fly, run at amazing speeds, or shoot fire from my eyes, but I do have a power which some might call super.

That, my dear readers, is the power of wisdom. I’m not talking about the square root of pi kind of wisdom either. Anyone can simply memorize that. I’m talking about true wisdom that can only be found in one place and is achieved only by—

The final bell sprang to life, its loud clatter causing me to flinch. I sighed and put down my pencil. Listening to the sudden rising shuffle of my fellow classmates, I precisely folded my unfinished paper in half to work on it at home.

I pulled out a well-worn book from my backpack and opened it, letting the thin pages fall to where the bookmark was placed. I glimpsed the name Solomon in the dark text before tucking my paper inside for safekeeping.

I heard the teacher clear his throat and I glanced around the room as the last few stragglers exited cheerfully. Hastily, I shut the leather cover with a thud and packed it in my book bag, throwing the strap over my shoulder as I gave a small wave of farewell to the teacher.

I floated with the crowd down the hall of the High School until the blessed entryway was in view. The surrounding herd of teenagers flowed faster at the sight of true sunlight and soon the doors were breached.

Weaving my way past the clumps of students that broke away from the mainstream, I walked my usual path homeward. Slipping my hands into the pockets of my jacket, I began humming a beat that matched my stride, a faint smile reaching my lips as the fond lyrics played steadily through my mind.

“Alex!” A friendly call interrupted my mental music. Slowing my pace, I glanced over in the direction of the voice. I soon sighted a group of my close friends waving me over. I took the detour.

“Hey, guys.” I greeted the trio.

“What’s the rush?” Lucy commented on my earlier focus.

“I have a test I have to study for,” I answered, shifting my weight as I readjusted my bag. “I wanted to finish before dinner so I could have some free time tonight.”

“The math test?” Kate asked with a sympathetic wince. “Have fun with that.”

“I already looked over the problems; it shouldn’t be that bad,” Ariel offered, twirling a piece of her long auburn hair around her finger.

“Yeah, not that bad for a brainiac like you,” I teased and then reached into my pocket for my cellphone, checking the time. “I better get going. I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”

“Oh, wait! I almost forgot,” Kate said quickly, causing me to pause as she took a glance around before reaching into her pocket. “Here, check this out.” she withdrew a small, flat box and opened the top, revealing a loose line of white sticks.

I watched as she pulled four of them out, keeping one between her fingers before handing one to Lucy and Ariel. She offered the last one to me with a grin. “Another thing to cross off your list of experiences. Come on, just one won’t hurt you.” She said, knowing my unsure expression.

Glancing down, I shifted the backpack on my shoulder and felt a nudge from the heavy book inside.
With a slight smile, I looked up, familiar words running through my mind and charging my superpowers to maximum. “No, thanks.”

“Maybe later?” Kate offered again. I could just smell the smoke that now floated through the air.

I shook my head, taking a step back. “I’ll see you all tomorrow.”

“Good luck with studying!” Lucy called, removing the stick from between her lips.

“Thanks, I’m in dire need of it.” I grinned, waving goodbye as I turned and walked away. Smiling to myself, I strode down the sidewalk, enjoying the scent of freshly cut grass from the lawns I passed.

SmartAlex has done it again.

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