That’s One Super Question

What’s your super-power?

With Hollywood enthralled with bringing comic book heroes to life, I’m reminded of how often that question has arisen in our house. To be accurate, my boys have asked that a little differently: What super-power would you want? That’s actually better. It’s a What If question – the best way I know to kick-start the imagination.

Now, being the wise guy that I am, I strive for unusual answers to imagination questions. Call me Captain Oddball. Or, depending on your perspective: Annoying Dad! Out of all my musings, I’ve boiled down my super-power choices to three:

1. Toaster Vision. Starting with the idea that even evil masterminds need a good breakfast to start their day right, I’d want the ability to burn my nemesis’ toast while still in the toaster. (Hmmm. I wonder what I’d do against Pancake Man. Never thought of that.)

2. Bad Song Telepathy. Now that I’ve gotten my adversary off-stride, I wait until just before he’s read to blast me with his neutron ray, then I throw into his mind a really annoying tune. "Louie, Louie" is perfect. So is "Who Let the Dogs Out." (Ha! I see my power is already working on you, hoo, hoo.) He’d scream in rage, “NOOOO! Not that song!” Maybe even blasting himself as he reaches up to clutch his ears.

3. Then I’d snag him with the long grasp of my Expand-o-beard.

Yeah, that’s what I call Incredible.

Ironically, it’s my wife who comes the closest in our family to having an actual super-power. Her sense of smell is so keen, so extraordinary, she can sense a strange fridge odor in another zip code. Problem is, there’s no cool name for her. Smelling Girl? Odorella? What good is a super-power without a zingy name?

So, what super-power would you choose?

Ask your kids. It’s a great way to open up a creative discussion. And who knows, maybe you, too, can get yourself an alter-super-ego. With a great name. (Cape not included.)

Bruce Van Patter

all material ©2005 Bruce Van Patter