5 Non-Super Powers I Wish I Had
Posted on 28. Aug, 2008 by The Gimcracker in Theory & Philosophy, Top Fivers
I’m always thinking about the super powers I wish I had. Would it be better to fly or be invisible? Duh, fly. If you said invisible you’re one of three things: a) a thief, b) a cheater, or c) a depressed recluse. Think about it, if you could fly you would never have to pay for gas, a car, or insurance again. Plus you’d save tons of time. You would just need a helmet for the bugs. And probably a blanket for the cold air higher in the atmosphere. And you wouldn’t be able to listen to music like you would in a car because it would be so loud all the time with the wind blowing in your ears. And how tiring would it be? It’s hard enough to run for a sustained period of time. OK, so there are a few small holes in my logic.
So you have your super powers that we all know are just a fantasy and no one really has. What I’m concerned with are the less-than-super powers. These are powers that a lot of people do have. Powers that would make everyday life so much easier if only I was blessed with them.
I’m not complaining about my lot in life by any means. I know with every helpful power comes an annoying trait, it’s just how life balances out. All I’m doing here is pointing out the powers that I wish I had, and if you, one of my myriad of readers, possess one of these powers, consider yourself lucky. And disliked by me.
Here are 5 everyday powers I wish I had.
5. The power to remember someone’s name
No matter how intensely I invoke every last fiber of power my memory has, I simply can’t remember someone’s name after I meet them. I channel all of my energy and let everything else in the world slip away except the 5 to 10 letters that make up the name of the person I am introducing myself to. But as soon as I make eye contact with this new person I immediately become an awkward bumbling mess of pleasantries and fake smiles, and it is at that point that I realize they have already said their name and I have lost my chance.
It almost seems like sometimes the person slips their name in there at the least likely place so cunningly that I don’t even have a chance to begin with. The worst part about the whole thing is the person always remembers my name.
This is specifically annoying when you start a new job and you have to remember 100 brand new names but everyone else only has to remember your name. Well I am so terrible at name remembering that I am the only guy in the office that doesn’t remember the new employee’s name. That’s a shame.
To supplement myself enough to still function in the world I have compiled an arsenal of socially acceptable alternate names that I am free to use on anyone I desire. Hey bro, what’s up? Dude, look who it is! Let’s bounce, playa. Yo bromide mcdizzle, what’s crackalackin? Ay bay bay!
Then they become distracted by my weirdness and forget I never said their name. Works like a charm!
4. The power to stop eating before I’m full
This is an important power to have for a number of reasons. First of all, it helps you to not get real fat. Actually that might be the only reason. But that’s enough to make me want it.
Drink Diet Coke instead of regular, and stop putting cream and sugar in your coffee. I’m serious, sometimes that’s all it takes. I lost 40 pounds doing precisely that. Oh yeah and I started running 12 miles a week. Is it worth all that effort to have the pleasure of eating until I can no longer move? Umm, absolutely.
3. The power to not get excited by celebrity gossip
Yeah, you heard me. I get excited by celebrity gossip. It’s not a conscious thing, it’s more of an involuntary reaction like when the doctor hits your knee with a mallet. So you see, it’s not my fault because I have no control over it, and therefore it is not a power that I can willingly learn. It has to be given to you at birth.
Celebrities are just people but dumber and with more money. And yet I get upset when Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer break up. How could this be? Who broke up with who? Why did it happen? Did someone cheat? Gosling and McAdams are back together!?! Shut up I knew it!
This is unacceptable both as a man and, heck, a decent human. I don’t want to say that I support this industry, because I absolutely despise it. I’d rather be dragged through black plague sewage with my mouth and eyes open than be thought of as someone who supports Hollywood gossip. But I will admit that I have been known to linger just a bit longer on E! News while I’m flipping channels than is to be expected.
I seriously can’t think of a workaround for this. In exchange for not offering a workaround I’ll let you make fun of me to my face. But then you have to pass my manliness test or else I get to kick you in the privates.
2. The power to want to read a book
I know a lot of people with this power. I know people that can put away a book in a day. A thick book. With no pictures. I just can’t fathom what it must be like to possess such an extraordinary power. If I read for more than 30 minutes at a time I start to get all antsy and distracted by anything shiny.
Maybe it’s because I’m afraid to get into a book that’s no good and realize I wasted two months of my life getting halfway through it. Do I waste another two months finishing it just so I can tell people I read it, or do I get out while I still can?
Oh actually I just realized what the problem is. I am a slow reader.
This is one of those powers that you can easily work around. “Have you read The Da Vinci Code?” “Sure, I read it.” And by “read” I mean watched the movie. “Have you read Moby Dick?” “Of course, twice.” And by “twice” I mean listened to an abridged version on my iPod and watched a cartoon version when I was a kid.
I just want to say a personal thank you to all the people who spend their time reading books and translating them into screenplays so I don’t have to waste my time. And for the record, I just want to say that I actually read Jurassic Park and can honestly say the movie was way better than the book.
Have you completely lost faith in the future of mankind yet? I hope not, because we’re moving on to number one.
1. The power to drive the speed limit
I am aware that driving over the speed limit will get me to my destination a negligible amount of time sooner. I realize that cops can detect my speed even if they are in front of me going the same direction. I understand that slowing down just a bit is probably better for my car, the cars around me, and my overall stress levels in life. So, what’s your point?
You know what else I realize? How fattening fast food is. Did that stop me from getting a McGriddle this morning? No.
I don’t care about the reasons I should slow down that all you old folks keep spouting off. If there is a car doing 65 in the fast lane and I’m right behind him, he better by God get over. If there is a car doing 95 in the fast lane and I’m right behind him, he still better gtf over.
I don’t know why I have this problem. I don’t know why I must always be going as fast as possible. I can’t explain why seeing the back of another car right in front of me sets me into a fiery angerful rage. Wouldn’t it be nice to, just once, go the speed limit? I can only imagine, because I have never, ever, willingly done so.
One time I tried but I swear my car took over and made itself go 10 mph over the limit. I’m half serious about that, but I swear it was truly a task that took all of my willpower to do. I was sweating and paranoid by the end of it. I kept having hallucinations of an angry driver right on my tail cursing me and invoking the gods to strike my car with a huge boulder and wipe me off the face of the Earth.
If you possess the power to drive the speed limit without it ruining your life, I am truly humbled by you and I hope you don’t take your powers for granted. Use them for good, not evil. By that I mean gtf over if I’m behind you.
The only person who is allowed to tell me how fast to travel is Mr. Highway Patrolman. It’s between me and him, and we’ve had our share of reckonings. 14 to be precise.
I get a ticket once every year or two. The highway cops and I have come to an agreement that this is the way it’s going to be. When I get a ticket it’s not so much a “penalty” as it is a “renewal of my membership for the speedy drivers club”. I pay a hundred and fifty bones every year or so and I can drive 15 over the speed limit whenever and wherever I want. The cops get their money and I get my freedom – it’s a win/win situation. Besides if you break it down it’s less than 10 bucks a month.
If you want something awesome, go to iTunes and search for: “The Secret World Chronicle”
It is the most amazing super hero peice of media experience I have ever known.
Wow, that #1 is so true!! You and I definitely got dad’s blood. Brian . . . you are the one who woke me up to this crazy way of life, I was riding with you in Indy one time, and you swerved in and around everybody, and that day, that fateful day, i realized that sitting in one lane dutifully going along with everyone else was not the only way, thanks to you, I never get passed on the interstate, and by golly, I get to work 15 minutes sooner than the person I just zipped by, (well, it feels like it’s that much faster, when in reality it’s probably like 2).
When I come up behind somebody in the fast lane, I feel this crazy anger – how could they be sooo crazy and rude as to make me push on my brake and turn off my glorious cruise control.
And I sure can’t let anybody pass me, boy I hate that feeling. Being on the intersate is like a race to me, and I hate to let anyone else come in 1st.
Anyways, I loved this post, thanks for the good laugh on yet another boring day.
I had horrible problems with #5 until I started working at an 80+ person company. Now, as long as I can say the persons name while I shake their hand, I’m usually ok.
#4… The only workaround I know is weight watchers. If you know exactly how much you need to eat, and just stop when you eat that much, you’re good. Otherwise, how do you know you’re done???
#3 It helps if you just don’t know who any of those people are…
#2 :/ I wondered why you never read any of those books I give you…
#1 Sometimes I drive 5 to 10 mph BELOW the speed limit and don’t even care. I chalk it up to contentment. Usually I do it when Julie is in the car. Why drive faster when I’m already where I want to be? However, to and from work is a different matter entirely…
My list would go:
5. The ability to do a round-off followed by 3 back hand-springs and topped off with a triple back flip with a twist so I land facing the way I started running.
4. The ability to drink more than one beer an hour without feeling completely drunk, and talking too much (why beer + men’s group doesn’t mix well for me).
3. The ability to see random pieces of clothing and construct a cool outfit and be confident it looked good.
2. The ability to know when shows are on and what channel. I swear, I can’t for the life of me keep track of this. I’m always like, “Hey hon, what channel is Lost on? Is that tonight? Well, what channel is that, I don’t know what ABC is? Oh, it’s not on for another two hours? No, I don’t know why I’m not watching CBS right now, is there a good show on or something? Well, what channel is CBS?” There’s only like 4 channels, why can’t I figure this out? Probably a major reason we don’t have cable…
1. The ability to eat dinner later than 6pm (at the absolute latest). It makes it really hard to have dinner with people when, by 6pm you are ravenously hungry to the point where you will get a headache and be grumpy if you don’t eat. Heck, I’m already starving right now and it’s only 2:51 PM…
Nicole, I’m glad I could corrupt you. That’s what big brothers are for.
Chris, you and I are exact opposites. For instance, your number 4 power is not even desirable to me. In fact I recall many times I’ve said I wish my tolerance wasn’t so high. That way I could get “warm” for cheaper. Warm meaning feeling good. Feeling good meaning losing some inhibitions. We’ll leave it at that.
Number 3 I have because I worked The Gap and Nordstrom for so many years.
Number 2 – easy workaround: digital cable. You’ll never have to ask those questions again. Bonus: DVR.
Number 1 is no problem. Just eat two dinners. Ever heard of fourthmeal?
Wow…I didn’t know the online E! existed until you mentioned it. Thanks for the idea. (Dangit)
I have about 5 books that I’ve never finished. I don’t know why I can’t. Josh gets mad because when we’re looking to rent a movie, I only look at the pictures on the back and never actually read what it says.
It also sucks because Josh and I have gotten in the habit of reading a tiny bit before bed together, and then I go to sleep. So now any time I try to read a book during the day, I get super sleepy after 2 minutes.
About the eating less thing and cutting back on cream in coffee…I’m soo dumb. I just bought 1/2 and 1/2 from the store to put in my coffee, but then bought skim milk for my cereal and stuff. That makes a lot of sense. I’m glad I can run, too, because I’ll seriously run faster one day if I know I’ll have a huge meal that night.
Nice list, however my number one might just cover all of your top five: The power (or discipline) to change something in my life, just because I want to. As in, I really want to exercise, but won’t do it unless I’m forced to. There are about a million little things I’d like to change, that should be easy, but I’m just lazy or something. There’s my number 1.
Most of those are on my list too. I also have:
#6 The ability to think of a witty retort straight away instead of later that evening in the bath.
Workaround – Think of half a dozen responses that cover most situations. My favorite is borrowed from Churchill: I may be fat/bald/stupid but I can diet/buy a wig/study while you will always be an asshole.
#7 The ability to laugh unexpectedly without ejecting a small blob of snot from my nose. The probability of this happening is directly proportional to the attractiveness of the lady I’m speaking to at the time.
Workaround – I carry a handkerchief and blow my nose every thirty seconds. This removes the problem with the snot and the odds of being in close proximity to an attractive lady.
#8 The ability to not apologize profusely when bumping into a smaller male. This really annoys me because I’m a big fella and can walk over most people. I was just raised in a time when manners where seen as important. I try to remain cold and impassive but a “sorry” always escapes my lips.
Workaround – Can’t think of one at the moment, sorry … dang!
#6 – reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where George drives all the way to Ohio to give the “jerk store” retort.
#7 – it ONLY happens when talking to an attractive woman. this one deserves a graph of “likelihood of snot versus attractiveness of woman”
#8 – wouldn’t know. i guess i just took my regular size for granted.
good additions – thanks.
Your #4 actually caused a #7 when I first read it.
there must’ve been an attractive woman nearby. maybe in the next room.
You’re right – there is! Although I imagine the probability drops sharply if she can’t see the snot.
Clearly this subject needs lengthy study, preferably with government funding. I look forward to interviewing a large sample of attractive ladies (for the sake of science, you understand).