And now an update on the world of superpowers. Certain subjects seem to be eternally fascinating, and my son Ed and his friends spend an appreciable amount of time talking about which superpowers they would like to possess. (Different strokes for different folks. As a kid I used to have lengthy discussions with my friends about the perfect chocolate bar. And I remember a long evening at my ex-in-laws many years back, talking about which would be the best way to die.) Anyway, if you are interested in the mindset of smalltown youth in Southern Ontario, allow me to present ....TIMESTOPPER.
You got to admit, Dad, that's the best one, Ed told me. The ability to wave your hands and stop time is about as cool as it gets.
I agreed that time stopping was a useful skill -- provided of course that time had not stopped for you. So what would the hero's name be? I asked. How about TIMETOPPER? Or MR TIME -- except that sounds like a villain. And what he or she wear?
Ed rolled his eyes. He and his friends were not interested in the accessories of superpowerdom. (Kids today have no follow-through. My friends and I had the wrapper, the pricing, and the advertising slogan for our perfect chocolate bar.)
I asked for some more examples of cool powers. Well, we all thought teleporting would be pretty decent, he said.
I agreed again. So, your perfect superheroes would have dominion over space and time, I said. Two pretty enormous concepts. Good choices both. I was about to ask about summoning the superheroes in time of need -- whether a searchlight beaming an image of an hourglass onto the night sky would be too cheesey -- when Ed started to laugh. I asked him what was so funny.
It's Frederico, he said. (It often is. The boy marches to his own drum machine, which is permanently set on Random.) Frederico thought it would be brilliant to be able to .... Ed laughed again ....to have objects appear in your hand.
I didn't get it right away. Ed explained. Frederico wants to be able to open his hand and have, like, a bird appear. Or a million dollars. Or a sports car. Whatever he wants.
My first thought was to laugh along with Ed. It's easy to laugh at Frederico. Only he would choose a sports car, or a roast chicken, over the ability to control whole dimensions. But now I wonder. The boy may have reached a deeper understanding of power than we knew. What he wants is ultimate creativity. To make something out of nothing. His idea of a superhero? God.
I can hardly wait for the comic book.