We were discussing superheroes with our guests one day, and their ten year old said that he liked the idea of a superhero called Saucepan Man. I can’t remember what Saucepan Man’s superpower would be, but the costume would be fantastic, I’m sure.
Recently, when invited to a fancy dress party, my son went as Minimal Effort Man. It was a stroke of genius, and required only a few sticky labels. Bulging biceps, six pack, and chiselled jaw stuck in place, he trundled off, without even a cape, and was a huge success.
My beloved is a superhero. At night, he is a mild mannered rock god, but by day he is WaterWorks Man. We thought long and hard about the name, and worried that at our age it might seem to be prostate related. Once we had decided that we would live with possible mockery on that score, we got my daughter, who colours for DC comics, to come up with a picture of him. The rippling abdomen and purposeful look is an accurate reflection of the superhero within, and she even got the beard and slightly wonky nose right. We have not, as yet, sourced a decent lycra all-in-one suit, and I haven’t finished the cape. As he roams the campo, installing water filters and crusading against impurity, I simper in an admiring fashion, hoping he will not get his head stuck under anybody’s sink, or knock himself out on the underside of a deposito.
Superheroes are strange, aren’t they? I watched Superman II several times when it first came out. Would Superman give up his superpowers in order to be with Lois Lane? When he did, the world went to pot, and disasters went unaverted. With great power came huge ethical dilemmas.
Ever since King Midas found the obvious flaw in turning everything he touched to gold, there have been stories of people being granted a wish, only to find out that every silver lining has a cloud. “Be careful what you wish for” always crops up at after dinner discussion about what superpower everyone would like to have.
“I’d like to be able to see into the future.” Nope! Some things are better not known about in advance.
“I’d like to be able to predict lottery numbers” Yes, and we all know how much happiness money can buy.
“I’d like to be invisible.” Let’s not even go into the nightmare scenario of not being able to warn a loved one about impending danger, or the perils of hearing your best friend say what they really think of you!
“What about being young for ever?” A great opportunity to see all your friends and family grow old and die. No point in making new friends, because the same will just happen again. And again. And again, for a lonely eternity.
I was quite happy not to have a superpower, for all the aforementioned sorts of reasons, and a few more besides. However, like greatness, some of us have superpowers thrust upon us. I am not the sort to trumpet about my talents and abilities, even if I am not averse to sharing a few tips and recipes, but I feel the time has come that I must let the world know the gift wot has been bestowed upon me. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you …..
Ankle Hurts When It’s About To Get Windy Woman!
At first, I thought one of my bits of metalwork had come loose or something equally disastrous. I limped about, worrying that I would have to have more surgery. I delved into the internet world of weakened bones and horror stories of arthritis. I compared my ankles obsessively for signs of swelling or mismatching. Then I remembered what the physiotherapist at the hospital had said: Eh! Eeenglish! Goot?
Actually, I don’t remember what he said, as my Spanish was very rudimentary at the time, and his English was limited to the above. I do remember getting the impression that he was saying that my foot was hurting because it was windy. I decided at the time that I must have misunderstood, because it seemed unlikely he would be saying such a thing. However, as time has passed, it has been noticeable that I do indeed seem to be able to predict wind. I am talking meteorology here.
Apparently, it’s something to do with barometric pressure and having surgical metal implants. Nowhere near as exciting as having been stung by a spider on the planet Krypton, admittedly, but it seems my pins and plates have conferred upon me an uncanny ability to predict wind. This may seem a fairly useless superpower (are you sure you aren’t even a tiny bit jealous?) until you live where we live.
When the clouds appear over the top of Maroma, and she lies there with her belly under a white, fluffy blanket, it is likely we shall have some blowy weather very soon. But how would you know of an impending hurricane if you couldn’t see Maroma?
It is a very bad idea to hang washing out when the sudden howling winds of the Axarquia blow up. I have found underpants halfway down the street, ripped from the line and deposited where they can cause most embarrassment. Heavy plant pots take to the air, and plants get flattened and blasted. A couple of weeks ago, I lost two troughs of lavender and found my washing in the compost bin. If only I had been at home when my Superpower kicked in, neither need have happened.
I have not yet worked out how I can use my Superpower for the benefit of mankind (other than to protect them from the possibility of being assailed by my smalls as they go about their lawful business.) A snappier Superhero name eludes me and I am finding the idea of a suitable costume problematic. Wearing a cape in a force ten seems a bit daft, and dressing up as a barometer has limited appeal. I am not even sure whether Superhero etiquette actually permits me to blow my cover – no pun intended – and tell anyone what greatness has been vested in me. For now I think I shall put on an extra jumper, limp upstairs, take the washing in, and try to tie down any heavy objects up on the roof terrace.