Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Beam me up, Scotty

Writing prompt for today in the Health Activist Writer's Challenge (aka HAWC) - If you had a superpower - what would it be?

Well, I had to think about this quite a bit before the obvious choice for me, if I had the choice, would be teleportation. Think of it! Every workday I'd have at least an extra hour of time, not wasted on a commute.  Meeting in Basel this week? Nutley, NJ?  No problem. I'd just beam myself to the coordinates and be there in a flash.  No travel fatigue. No germ ridden airplane air. I guess I'd still get jet lag due to the time difference, but it would have to be called something else. Like time difference lag.  Okay, I suppose that "time difference lag" does not have the same cache, but I would surely come up with something catchy if I could have mad teleportation skills. On the other hand, maybe I would have to keep this superpower more or less to myself - in which case, I won't have to come up with any catch-phrase. As far as my colleagues would be concerned, it would remain regular, garden variety jet lag.

What about the whole concept that I wouldn't need to worry about the location of my next dream job? It wouldn't matter a whit, since I could teleport there for the interview, and for every work day after I landed said dream job.  I could meet a friend for lunch in another city, on another continent even. I'd realize my short bucket list of visiting every continent before I die - just need to check the weather conditions in Antarctica before zapping down there, hey.

The only limit I can think of at the moment would be the fact that I would be unlikely to beam my whole family with me for vacations.  But if I only had to use the quaint modes of transportation available to non-teleporters once or twice a year, it may be that the experience would still feel as it did when I was younger and didn't need to frequently be two places at once, or at least within 10 minutes between places. The actual experience of travel would still seem fun - even driving along in a car from place to place might still feel entertaining. Every new hotel (no matter how dive-y)  is an adventure when you have someone to share it with. Plus I'd be with my family - the people I'm usually thinking about when lamenting time ill-spent with the process of getting my body from one place to another.

Anyway, just as I started to write this post, it occurred to me that the prompt might have a different meaning altogether. You could read it as what superpower you would be most likely to have, if you had a superpower.

Probably something esoteric and largely useless is what I imagine.  Because superpowers are endowed to even fictional characters in a mostly random and unintended manner. Then they become the basis to form either a super-hero or a super-villain based on either the character's moral compass or because of some human drive like guilt or vengeance or justice.  And as a person who values justice a great deal, I have to think and admit to myself that justice isn't always based on "morality" exactly. Neither is guilt quite often, although this is one of the most confusing aspects of humanity that I can think of. But that's sort of a tangent and it is pretty late in the evening to draw out a long tangent and then wind my way back to the point. {Although, as a latecomer to the world of comic book characters, I realize this is probably already quite evident to any fans of these clever stories and characters.) So to the point - what is my best guess at my likely superpower?

The ability to find a parking spot within a 30 second walk from my destination.  Because I already have pretty good parking karma since the last dozen years or so, so it isn't that much of a stretch really. But a superpower leaves nothing to karma or chance, so this would solidify an already existing tendency, or "fortune" if you want to call it that.

And it is the one superpower that would be totally useless if I could have my hearts desire - the ability to beam myself to anywhere at all that I want (or need) to go.  Bummer, dude.

1 comment:

  1. I love the way your really tore this topic apart!! I say go with the super-power you would pick for yourself, not the super-power that would be given to you. And teleportation is a great one. I wouldn't worry about trying to carry so much diabetes stuff with me, since if a pump site failed or I ran out of test strips or whatever, I could just zip home, grab what I needed, and zip back!! :)


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