Personally, I would argue that in the United States just about every day is Superhero Day. Life is an endless stream of movies, TV shows, TV, graphic novels and, of course, “licensed” merchandise from T-shirts to figurines to underpants.
About that last: Recently my daughter weighed in on Twitter and Facebook about the apparent existence of, I swear to God, men’s undergarments bearing the logo of The Flash. “Superhero undies are cool and all, but hey, guys… maybe ‘The Flash’ underwear sends the wrong message?”
My response: “You’d think most guys would go for The Incredible Hulk. (‘You’ll really like me when I’m angry.’)”
But back to today’s celebration: I noticed a funny Facebook item from humorist and standup comedian Michele Wojciechowski. In honor of Superhero Day she decided her own alter ego would be “Wojo Woman.”
“My hair could catch bad guys and tangle them up. I could also send death rays through my eyes … And I could use my humor to make them laugh so hard that they would be totally incapacitated.”
She invited others to chime in, so of course I did.
Here’s my inner phone-booth* moment:
I’m…Midlife Woman! I’ve got the experience, the BS detector and the burning desire not to waste time on minutiae. (The downside? I can’t stay up as late as I used to, and I make funny noises when I get up out of a deep chair.)
Wojciechowski knows some pretty funny folks, as you’ll see below.
Credit expert and consumer Beverly Blair Harzog would be The Debt Destroyer, someone who could “conjure up the cash to pay off your debt in a single bound.”
A hairstylist named Brandon Culpepper says he’d call himself Scissor Sir, a guy who saves “pretty people from ugly hair.” Except that, “Oh, wait, I do – every day.”
Writer-editor Chelsea Lowe calls herself an “editrix” in real life, a gig that already strikes terror into the hearts of the writing-impaired. “Confuse ‘lie’ with ‘lay’ and pay the consequences!” wrote The Editrix, adding that she’d actually “prefer to be known for intricate rhymes.”
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s… Multitasking Writer Mom, aka Linda Childers. “I have the ability to coolly navigate carpool lanes at schools, write killer copy while the dog is barking at leaf-blowers outside, and save the world from poorly written prose, while also trying to ensure my other superhero friends get paid in $$ rather than exposure.”
Then the non-multitasking (but still super-competent!) Lynn Yeager Comegna, aka The Mom. “I will find your lost items, fix your ripped clothes (except socks and underwear), offer advice when needed, go shopping with or for you, and comfort you when you are sick or injured or just having a bad day. Oh, and I control the ‘magic pantry,’ where you just think about what you want and you will find it.”
(Although I actually do sew my underwear, I approve of this message. I’d also like to have a magic pantry.)
Kevin P. Sheridan would approve, because he’s Dadman. “I have an incredible ability to make up answers to questions I can’t answer, to make it seem like I’m totally incompetent so my wife takes over and does it for me, and a supersonic voice that stops all kids in a five-mile radius dead in their tracks.”
(Thanks for using most of your powers for good, dude, but that “pretending to be incompetent” thing is so last century.)
Justin Landers is a kinder, gentler superhero: Tai Chi Dude. “I beat up bad guys – but in slow motion!”
Landers is kinder and gentler in other ways, too: “Something also something most guys of my generation can’t even fathom, I can cook amazing five-star meals and do the dishes afterwards.”
By contrast, Christopher Vares would be Bipolar Man. “Kinda like the Incredible Hulk in regard to the ability to switch from calm to irrationally violent, but Bipolar Man is less predictable.”
(Wonder if he’d come up with a line of logo underpants?)
Vares copped to loving animals so much that he feeds neighborhood stray cats, and as such considered “Pussyman” for his super-moniker, but “realized people might take that the wrong way.”
Those kittehs better steer clear of Christopher Scott, aka Neurotic Cat Man. His specialty: “Making the world safe from kitty claws by covering furniture with my aluminum foil of justice.”
Sarah Maher weighed in as “Anxieta,” saying she’d be darling at “predicting the worst-case scenario in any situation and then internalizing the pain that it causes so others don’t have to deal with it.”
(I replied to Maher with another of my superpowers: “The ability to make any situation more complicated than it needs to be.”)
Here’s my favorite, though: Michael Hoffmaster, who’s Amp-Man – a superhero who can remove his own limbs and use them as weapons.
“I actually did use my prosthesis as a weapon once,” Hoffman writes. “Was sucker-punched in a bar. Took Mr. Leg off, and went all Louisville Slugger on (the assailant’s) redneck ass.”
(Although I’m mostly a pacifist, even I have to admit that would have been super-awesome to watch.)
How about it, readers: What’s your superpower?
*Surely some of you are old enough to remember Clark Kent ducking into an always-available telephone booth and saying, “This is a job (mild-mannered voice)…for SUPERMAN!” (manly mutant voice) And surely some of you wondered what would happen as booths were gradually phased out and public phones started being housed under little glass shelters – and, ultimately, began to disappear. Haven’t read the comics lately so I have no idea how he changes clothes in the smartphone era.
Note: I tinkered the spelling, punctuation and italicization of some of the Facebook comments, on the theory that this is what these folks really meant. The Editrix would be proud of me.