And which action finger would YOU be?

I love super heroes.  There is something about the clarity of the issues in their worlds.  Batman’s never-ending, depression-inducing fight against evil.  Spiderman torn between love and the “great responsibility” that comes with great power.  The ostracism of the X-Men.  Watching them or reading their stories makes me feel a little thrill inside.  Maybe even the difficult area between right and wrong, good and evil, is not so unnavigable after all.  And boy, it sure would be nice to have some amazing power to harbor as my secret, my ace in the hole against fearing that I am not a useful human being.  Sacrificing my own happiness for the greater good?  Check.  Preventing crime?  Check.  Saving lives?  Check.

But when confronted recently by this list of super powers on a Facebook quiz, I was left thinking maybe it’s all a bad idea.

These were the choices: flying, mind-reading, x-ray vision, invisibility, shapeshifting, invulnerability, super speed, telekenesis, time travel, and super strength.  Let’s take a look at these, shall we?

Flying:  Okay, that doesn’t sound so bad, right?  Sounds kind of helpful, actually.  Except for the whole homeland security thing, and the possibility of being mistaken for an RPG or something.

Mind-reading:  Seriously?  I wouldn’t want people to know what I’m thinking about them.  I doubt I want to know what they actually think of me.  At least this way, I can hold onto the hope that someone likes me.

X-ray vision:  Can you say, “Cancer”??

Invisibility:  This one has intriguing possibilities.  But again, the compelling desire to find out what people are actually saying about me when I’m not around might outweigh my good reason.  Ha!  Kidding.  I don’t have good reason.

Shapeshifting:  Is this like the Wonder Twins?  Form of an ice cube, shape of a marmoset?  Would I be limited?  I could totally see being a rock.  Or maybe a cownosed ray, my favorite animal.  But I’m not sure how that would help me save the world.  I can only see it contributing to my avoidance of it.

Invulnerability:  Good grief, no.  Someday, I’m going to die.  I am glad.

Super speed:  Then I would feel even more guilty for not getting done the things I need to do every day.  I couldn’t use my lame excuse of “not enough time” if I could zip around doing my thing.  Forget it.

Telekinesis:  Okay, for some things, this would be great.  House cleaning without lifting a finger!  But many moms already fall back on the whole it’s-easier-to-do-it-myself-than-to-get-a-kid-to-do-it philosophy.  This would definitely not help.  Children everywhere would suddenly find themselves with no chores.  Anarchy would surely follow.  Hmmm.  Wait a minute…maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.  Oh, I mean – I am a LAW ABIDING, well-behaved CITIZEN who does not believe anarchy is an appropriate response to the deterioration of society!  No, siree!  Absolutely not.  Moving on…

Time travel:  This brings up the whole problem with science fiction stories that include time travel.  If you go back in time, you necessarily change that time, so the future would be different and you would not have gone back under the same circumstances, which means you would not have changed the past in the same way, etc.  It’s too much for us to wrap our poorly developed brains around.  Besides, which thing would I change?  I’m sure the idea is not to just go back and witness the past, but to alter it in some way.  Where would I even begin?  How do I know I wouldn’t be making my present and future even worse?

Super strength:  Isn’t it enough that moms don’t get to be all that vulnerable?  That we are sort of the go-to gal for day to day life?  Would we ever be able to ask for help opening a jar or carrying luggage again?  I think not.  Keep your super strength.

So where does that leave us?  Well, my son loves playing with his “action fingers.”  I’m thinking maybe that will just have to do for now.  Until, of course, I’m bitten by a radioactive spider.  Then we’ll just have to see.

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4 Responses to “And which action finger would YOU be?”

  1. I want to be able to pause time, not travel through it, plus be endowed with a super- hero memory. Just don’t tell me why I don;t want them! A girl can dream.

  2. Did you ever hear the This American Life episode about super powers? One part of the episode talked about the difference between people who choose flying and people who choose invisibility. It’s really good.

    • I would love to hear that one. I keep forgetting to download them to my mp3 player when they are free. I might have to cave in and buy some – I think they are on cd or something. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Typing this… from the floor… fell… over… laughing…

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