A Quick Word on Superpowers

A few weeks ago, myself and a group of friends collapsed on Matt’s living room furniture after Bible study and held a powwow. It was determined among us that we needed to start a superhero team.

This is how things go when Nicole is around. What started as, “If you could have one superpower, what would it be?” developed into a group effort of designing costumes and developing (with limited success) alter-egos.

I was quick with my choice of superpower: telekinesis. (And half of the people present couldn’t distinguish between telekinesis and telepathy, so my answer raised protests because apparently no one wants me in their head.)

I’ve had this power picked out for years now. On an average day, I’d scowl at something across the room and will myself to be Matilda so I could pick it up without having to move when I just got comfortable. I could adjust the trajectory of newspapers so they don’t hit lights or land in puddles. I could stop my dog from running into the road. I could poke people standing across the room.

And then a part of my brain points out, “If you had telekinesis, why on earth would you be delivering newspapers or working an office job?” Because I wouldn’t want my powers exploited, of course. Duh, brain.

Choosing my name was decidedly less simple. A couple of weeks later Matt’s youngest son, who is our mascot, informed me very seriously that we still needed to choose names. Real names, I can do. Nicknames and alter egos, no so much. So at present I’m lovingly referred to as “U-Haul” and my theme song is “I Like to Move It”. If that doesn’t inspire confidence in our adulting abilities, I don’t know what will.

However, I’ve changed my choice for superpower. While I know telekinesis would be decidedly more showy (and possibly more useful to my team), I would rather have the ability to know everyone’s name without having to ask. This would extend to aliases and nicknames, of course.

Imagine stepping into an elevator and having a complete stranger address you by your childhood nickname and thank you for joining her. I’d be so tempted to go anti-hero or all-out villain with something like that.

Even better, I wouldn’t have to keep asking the same person at work, “What’s your name again?” These people have a collective patience I could only dream of obtaining. It’s borderline saintly.

To take this hypothetical power a step further, how wild would it be to understand any language or accent just by speaking to someone? This probably wouldn’t work over the phone, which is where it would be the most useful, but still….

Even better: identifying someone by hearing their voice over the phone. No more, “Hi, it’s me. Can you please print-?” “I’m sorry, who is this?”


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