Slightly Off Center

Slightly Off Center: Superpowers

By Dennis Hinkamp

I never read comic books as a kid because, like many “only” children, I was an adult child. I spent most of my reading time browsing science books at the library. I could recite every planet in order from the Sun and each of those planets’ moons by age nine. I think I watched some of the early Batman and Superman TV shows, but only because there were only five channels back then.

This sentimental journey and cautionary tale is just a preamble to my discussion of Summer blockbuster movies about superheroes and superpowers. I mainly only read the reviews and watch some of the trailers, but it seems there is a super explosion of movies about super-human things, walking/talking trees and space traveling raccoons with an attitude. Then there is this whole race of mutants who use their powers sometimes for good, sometimes not.

I’m not sure I can identify my superpower but I will try. When you are gifted, it is difficult to see your gift. I can be un-invisible any time I want and for long periods of time. I’m doing it right now and everyone around me can’t not see me. I can predict head/tails on a coin flip 50% of the time. I can make money disappear and sometimes I don’t even remember why I made it disappear. Likewise I can make food disappear and not remember what it looked like in the first place. I can drive from Logan to Salt Lake City and not remember seeing anything along the way.

I guess being invisible or being able to fly would be useful too. I can read people’s minds but only in a dyslexic illiterate way so that what I thought they were thinking actually is the reverse of what I thought they thought. I can also make people ignore me just by speaking about climate change.

I can make automatic doors open automatically just by passing by them; sometimes I don’t even go in. I can make great parking spaces become available just by driving further away from the store. I can find lost things in the last place I look for them and I can lose my sunglasses on top of my head. On a good day I can find my glasses without my glasses and make coffee without drinking coffee first. I can travel faster than the speed of light but only in a dark room. I can find fault in anything and see silver linings for what they really are, duct tape. I can see every typo, but only those written by other people.

As for more practical superpowers, I wish I had the power to make everyone see things my way. I wish I could predict the stock market, the weather and the moods of a few certain people. I’d like to see into the future but only about 10 seconds so that I could avoid tripping over things and running into the people whose moods I wish I could predict. I wish I had the power to control my temper when I don’t avoid running into those certain people whose moods I wasn’t able to predict.

I wish I had the power to fall asleep immediately and wake up as happy as those people in mattress commercials. I wish I had the power to forget first so that I wouldn’t have to worry about forgiving.

Dennis Hinkamp has the super power of writing this column for at least 26 years; or maybe longer, he forgets.

This article was originally published on August 1, 2018.