Crawl Across the Ocean

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Saturday Fun

Timmy says: "All these quote and book and movie memes going around are too high-falutin' and serious. I'm going to see if I can start a intellectually worthless but fun meme like this. Choose your super hero name and what your powers would be. When you're tagged, tag five others."

As my girlfriend will attest, I love random, hypothetical questions -

The scene: A restaurant, me and my girlfriend are having dinner.

There is a lull in the conversation

Me: How high a pile do you think you could make out of scrambled eggs?

Girlfriend: (silence)

Me: I mean, if you had an infinite supply of course. If you piled it high enough would the eggs at the bottom get crushed into a solid surface you could build on or would you just have to keep expanding the base ever wider to keep the eggs from rolling down the sides of the pile. I mean, you could probably go pretty high either way, but I bet you could go a fair bit higher if it gets all solid so you can build straight up like a scrambled egg sky-scraper.

(a pause)

Me: Don't you think?

Girlfriend (coming to): I'm sorry, I drifted off there, were you talking about your blog again?

- so I'm happy to take Timmy up on his tag.

My first thought was that it would be fun to be a new addition to the Barbapapa family. Partly because being able to turn your body into any known (or unknown) object would be pretty useful, partly because you'd be a big hit with kids, but primarily because it would be great to be able to say, "Clickety-Click, Barba Trick1" and really mean it.

The drawbacks are, it's not very original, the sibling rivalry in the barbapapa family can be pretty intense and I'm not sure I'd want to be known as Barba-Dec.

My second thought was that, since Timmy chose 'The Flying Buttress' as his superhero name, perhaps we should make it an architectural theme, with possibilities including 'The Arch' (able to carry immense loads while making dry cutting remarks in a British accent, always battling with his 'arch'- nemesis, the feared 'Arch-villain') or 'The Crenellation' (able to squeeze through any opening, no matter how small, +2 versus ranged attacks), but I wasn't really satisfied with those either.

I think if I was going to have a superpower, it would be the power to turn spoken metaphors into reality. So when somebody says to their friend, 'You look like a million bucks', I could actually turn the person into a million bucks and walk off with the loot. My catch phrase would be 'Literally'.

Unsuspecting stranger: "It feels like a sauna in here"
Me (turning room into a sauna): "Literally!"

I would also have the power to turn people who use the word literally inappropriately into pumpkins.

Unsuspecting angry stranger: "What's the holdup? I'm about to literally blow a gasket here!"
Me: "Another day, another pumpkin"

I wouldn't have a superpower name. In fact it would be impossible to refer to me directly at all, with people only able to reference me using a metaphor.

Bad Guy Foiled by Me #1 "That guy is more annoying than 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife"
Bad Guy Foiled by Me #2 "He's like Batman, Superman, and the Cookie Monster all rolled into one"
Bad Guy Foiled by Me #1 "Yeah, literally!"
Bad Guy Foiled by Me #2 "Don't say that!, ah crap, too late."


Of course this is a pretty passive superpower, relying on the linguistic flights of fancy of other people for effect. A more active version would be the superhero known as "The Analogizer" who could make up his own analogies and bring them into being. Of course, the Analogizer would be pretty powerful, so he needs a Kryptonite like weakness. In this case the weakness would be that the Analogizer can be thwarted by the nitpick (and his enemy, 'The Nitpicker'). The nitpick is when somebody takes issue with one of the Analogizers analogies, pointing out the flaws in the comparison, suggesting that that grilled cheese sandwich wasn't *really* like a submachine gun or an escape tunnel. Successful nitpicking reverses the analogy and forces the analogizer to retreat into literalness for a brief period of time.

So those are my thoughts. Here are some optional tags for those bloggers who have been secretly wishing to announce their desired superpowers to the world and were just waiting for an excuse (no matter how flimsy):

Simon at By and Large, since I know he has lots of free time at the moment.
Mr. Mea Triarchy, since he needs to talk about something other than the Leafs for a while because I'm getting depressed.
Greg at Sinister Thoughts, since it might distract him momentarily from the impending ruin of our national health care system (plus, he has tagged me twice, so I owe him one).
Moebius Stripper at Tall, Dark and Mysterious, since I think a Mathematical Superhero could be interesting and finally,
James Bow, since if anyone should be up for a leap of imagination, it should be a soon to be published children's author.

1 Clickety-Click, Barba-trick was what family members would say before turning themselves into some other object. I mention that because the link I provided doesn't really explain the phrase, but the site you get to if you follow it is just so wacky that I had to provide a link.


  • Wow. You hit that out of the ball park, Declan. Thanks for the great laugh.

    And Barbapapa!? Is there no reference too obscure for you? Loved it.

    By Blogger Janie For Mayor, at 6:07 PM  

  • i agree with g, these are high-falutin memes. mt 14-year-old brother sends me ones from

    this one is nice, too

    By Blogger ainge lotusland, at 4:36 AM  

  • Thanks Timmy, it was fun to write, anyway, thanks for the tag too.

    Ainge - that poor bird, file under things which shouldn't be funny but are.

    By Blogger Declan, at 3:24 PM  

  • I can't believe it. I had dreamed up a whole storyline for my alter-ego, "The Procrastinator" and was simply putting off writing about it, but just noticed that pretty shaved ape already called dibs on the name over at VITW (comments section).

    That's what I get for procrastinating!

    Being thwarted in such a way may have inadvertently turned me into a villian rather than a super hero. The arch-enemy of The Procrastinator, perhaps. Could this be the birth of the evil "Doer"?

    (not to be confused with George Bush's "Evil Doers")

    By Blogger Simon, at 8:43 AM  

  • I can't really see you becoming the evil Doer, Simon. For one thing, you're not an engineer so you're disqualified right off the bat.

    By Blogger Declan, at 8:47 AM  

  • "Girlfriend (coming to): I'm sorry, I drifted off there, were you talking about your blog again?"

    hahaha!! best line ever!

    By Blogger ainge lotusland, at 2:16 PM  

  • Hi Declan - was that last comment a shot or were you just checking that we still read your blog?!

    By Blogger the Mom, at 12:50 PM  

  • It wasn't a shot, just a recognition that the evil-doer would have to be a hard working person, and that, since the hardest working people I know are (almost) all engineers, it seems logical that the evil-doer would be an engineer!

    By Blogger Declan, at 6:43 PM  

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