Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Practical Problems for Superheroes

Dear Diary,

Those of us alive in the '70s probably know the hit single by Jim Croce, "You Don't Mess Around with Jim."  Here's the chorus. Feel free to sing along:

You don't tug on superman's cape.
You don't spit into the wind.
You don't pull the mask off that old lone ranger.
And you don't mess around with Jim.

Good advice, right? 
By the way, Croce also composed "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," which is probably why I always end up combining the two songs inadvertently into a bad boy mashup:

"You don't pull the mask off that old lone ranger,
and you don't mess around with Jim....
Well its bad, bad, Leroy Brown,
baddest man in the whole darn town ......"

You can thank me later for putting those songs into your head.
I digress.

Here is a classic image of Superman.
Muscles bulging, solid stance, cape billowing majestically behind him....
Our comic and movie screen heroes are so put together: rugged, handsome, and certainly intimidating. Sure, their bumbling alter ego human lives can be a mess.  But once they pull on those leotards, don their belts, boots and capes, they become S-U-P-E-R.  Heroic even. And I certainly wouldn't want to waltz up and tug on their cape.

Yesterday I wore a cape for superhero day at school.  The kids loved it of course, which is the response I was hoping for.  (I love entertaining those impressionable minds.)

But recess was a problem.  It was windy. 
The cape flapped and flipped over my head so I couldn't see. 
It was then I realized that superheroes may be super, but they face some practical problems I had never considered until that moment, such as this little fact:

Windy days and superhero capes don't mix. 

You will never see Batman or Superman in any comic book, graphic novel or movie with his back to the wind; only his front, like a bird who doesn't want to ruffle his feathers.
There is no glamour for our heroes in the wind.  
Here's proof:

Windy day reenactment.
Then my practical mind gave way to some impractical thoughts.
Are there other unseen foes, besides a windy day, with which our heros must contend? I came up with a couple more.

Dirty costumes.  I imagine their outfits/suits/costumes can get pretty dirty scaling buildings, flying around big cities, beating off foes or running from the police. 

Is there a secret superhero dry cleaning lair?  A Super Suds-O-Mat for lycra, latex, and the occassional iron panel? They can't just drop it in the dirty clothes hamper, or better yet, on the floor of their room for mom to find.  Most of them are orphans anyway. How do they get the grime and dried blood off those clothes?  Such a conundrum.

Another problem I see for our good guys is a lack of pockets.  No place to put loose change, Chapstick or stick of gum.  Where do they keep their tissues?  Or most importantly, how can they whip out their cell phone for a selfie with the Joker in a headlock? #lookwhoinabbed #yourenextriddler

Feel free to share other practical snafus our super friends might run into while on the job.

Oh. I do have a suggestion on where they could keep their tissues.
Up their sleeve.
Just don't forget to take it out before washing.
Wet Kleenex and spandex don't mix.

Saving the day the practical way,