All right: you only get one superpower. Which one would it be?
Most guys – and I know this even without asking them – will tell you that, of course, it would have to be the old standard, x-ray vision. But I don’t know. Is this really such a great superpower? I mean, it isn’t like in those old movies: where you are miraculously able to see through the outermost layer of clothing of whichever person you are looking at, but somehow your powers do not allow you to penetrate even the thinnest of undergarment fabrics. If Hollywood is to be believed, you are then invariably presented with (hopefully) a woman in her (unfortunately) not so sexy underwear. No, true x-ray vision would not be in the slightest bit exciting. I don’t know any people who get overly aroused by a particularly long femur, or a lovely curvature to the clavicle.
Now, the power of invisibility is a marginally better choice. I can – initially, at least – get on board with that. But, apart from the (admittedly childish) thrill of being in the women’s changing rooms when you shouldn’t be, what else can you really do with it? Sure, you could hang about after you leave a room to find out what your friends really think of you (or your boss, if you’re at work), but trust me – that will never work out well for you. You’re probably an asshole, and even if you’re not, you’re never as well liked as you think you are. Andrew from Sales thinks you talk too much; Wendy from Accounting doesn’t like the clothes you wear; and Sandra the canteen lady only laughs at your sexist jokes because she’s too nice not to.
I think the power of flight has to be the one to go for. Although it has the added value of serving to impress the ladies (even with the underwear on the outside), the crucial point is that it has actual potential beyond those schoolyard fantasies that x-ray vision and invisibility offers. You wouldn’t have to battle the morning rush hour, so you would never be late for work. You’d have no more worries about where to park your car, and as a result of that, there would be no more paying for parking your car. Awesome, eh? If that isn’t good enough, you’re up with the fresh air, above all that inner-city pollution, getting the exercise you’re probably otherwise avoiding.
I appreciate that every silver lining has a cloud, and it’s probably no good for those of you who don’t deal with heights very well… but just fly a little closer to the ground. Simple. You’ll still get to where you’re going. You’ll maybe annoy a few people, because you’ll be knocking off hats and distracting the drivers (who don’t have the power of flight), but they’d never catch you, right?
It would be fantastic for holidays as well. Just think how good it would be not to have to spend two hours before you even board a plane; wrestling with your luggage because you think you’re over the allowance; buying magazines you don’t really want to read, and chocolate bars you really shouldn’t be eating; watching the departure screens to see exactly how long you’re going to have to wait before you eventually take off; and joking with the check-in girl that yes, you packed everything yourself – how else could you be confident the bomb was secured in the false bottom?
Just put on your cape, grab your suitcase, and away you go.
Of course, if your bags really are that heavy, perhaps you’ll want a touch of super-strength too.