The Drunken Nerd Looks at the Reality of Having Superpowers

Remember when we were kids, fantasizing about our favorite superheroes and imagining ourselves with their powers? Well, now that I’m older I may daydream less, but once in awhile when I’m stuck in traffic I’ll sink back into my old childhood fantasies and picture myself with supernatural abilities. Only problem is now that I’m older the reality of such powers isn’t as cool as it was when I was six years old.

Let’s think about everyone’s favorite power, the ability to fly. When we were kids everyone wanted to be like Superman, flying through town saving the day. With the ability to fly you’d never need to invest in a car ever again. You’d never need to ride the subway or share a taxi to work. Heck, if you could fly then you could say good-bye to that pesky airport security.  Yet, when you really think about the ability to fly in today’s day and age it becomes suffocated in the reality of today’s lifestyles. As soon as you’d get airborne you’d lose cell phone service, you’d have to alert the air traffic control towers within the area before you went airborne; unless of course you’d like to end up like some poor pigeon through a turbine.  And there’s always that sticky part about landing. Superman made it look so easy, but I have a sneaky suspension it isn’t as easy as it looks.

Super strength like The Juggernaut, now surely that’s a power that would be as cool as I remember, right? Impressing the ladies with my ability to pick up random, extremely heavy objects without even breaking a sweat, where’s the downside in that? Except, if I did have super strength then the ordinary, everyday task like, say opening a door, wouldn’t be very simple anymore. I’d more than likely end up ripping my front door of its hinges or even worse, crush my coffee mug when I’d go to pick it up. Plus, if the news that I had super strength carried over to my parents’ house, let’s just say my lovely mother would never run out of meaningless chores she needed help with. So, super-strength may help with the ladies, but may be more trouble than I realized.


Although, what if I possessed super-speed like The Flash? Now, that’s even better than flying and a heck of a lot more convenient. I could still bypass traffic, I’d be fast enough to out run any sort of speeding ticket, plus I could be so much more productive on my days-off, no more of those ‘never enough hours in a day’ feelings. However, I’m on an hourly payroll. If I had super-speed than I’d likely finish all my scheduled work in a fraction of the time; not the most intriguing prospect for my bank account. On the other hand, I am habitually late for dates. With super-speed I’d never miss another date, but then again super-speed may also put a whole new meaning on ‘premature’ at the end of such a date. You know what, forget about super-speed it may be more hassle than it is worth.

Surely, my favorite X-Men character, Nightcrawler’s ability to teleport would be as awesome as I imagined as a child. After all, it is a hybrid between super-speed and flying. I could teleport out of those awkward situations I always find myself in. Plus I’d never have to sit in that pesky traffic to work. I would even be able take a vacation anywhere in the world at anytime I wished. Sounds to me like teleportation may actually be a winner, what negatives could having Nightcrawler’s teleportation ability have? I would be able to teleport anywhere I’ve even been to…oh wait there’s the catch. Half the places I’d want to take a vacation to I’ve never been to, making my teleportation technique obsolete. So, in the end I’d end up using such a fantastic power just to get to work on time every day.


Well, my childhood fantasies of flying, super strength, super speed, and teleportation have all been disapproved, maybe if I had a practical superpower like Wolverine’s ability to heal. With such ability I’d never need to worry about health coverage ever again. I’d be my own version of Obamacare. Yet, the reality of such a situation is the fact I’d be flirting with a mild case of immortality. I’d live longer than everyone else around me. Such a lifespan may prove to bring more grief into my life than happiness and if there’s one thing Greek mythology taught me, it’s that mortality is a beautiful thing; immortality, on the other hand, is a curse. Forget the fountain of youth, I think I’ll stick with my troublesome HMO for now.

You know, the more I think about it the more I realize my childish fantasies were very un-realistic. Having super-powers in this day and age wouldn’t be as glamorous as I remember as a kid. Forget the hassle of being a superhero, I think I’ll stick with being me. A 5’5 guy with an average job, some writing chops, and an uncanny ability to drink more than his fair share.  After all, I may not be the superhero I fantasized about as a kid, but being normal isn’t so bad is it?

About the author

Neil Strebig

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