Sunday, March 13, 2011

SUPERZERO--The Adventures of Cap'n Thundersomething

This morning, while relishing an activity Patty deems inappropriate fodder for stories (I was pooping), I happened upon an article in People Magazine called “Superheroes Among Us.” Across the nation, homegrown do-gooders like the Dark Guardian and Phantom Zero don pajamas and bug goggles and hit the mean streets of NY, SF, DC and other acronyms and/or cities. Some fight crime. Others promote patriotism (more difficult than chasing junkies from dark alleys). Still others help the homeless.

At first, I chuckled and thought, “Dorks”. I even reflected upon how super-awesome I was by comparison. And then I realized these 24/7 Halloween people were actually helping those less fortunate. My position softened. From this point forward, they’re Dorks...with Purpose.

Let’s face it: we’ve all yearned for a special gift. As a man, my first dozen items are, of course, carnal. Most involve the moniker "Cap’n ThunderPenis" (sounds best, I think, when pronounced Cap'n Th-th-thuuuuuuuuuuuuuunderPenis)—which, to this day, my wife Patty refuses to call me, even during yay-you’re-drunk-you-can-talk-dirty sex. Patty, of course, focuses on the practical.

“I wish I could just wave a wand and have all this mess go away.”

I look around at our immaculate kitchen, poke my head around the corner into our shiny family room and say, “But the house is spotless.” Whereupon Patty shakes her head and fixes me with a subzero stare.

“No…ALL this mess.”

When I was a kid, I wanted to be the all-powerful cowboy liberating the world from bloodthirsty Indians. BLAM! POW! BLAMMO! The heathen would try to flee, but I’d gun them all down. This would go on for hours, with no adult pausing the action even long enough to inform us that ethnic cleansing, even for pretendsies, was—oh, how to put this—fucking shameful. Even if I can justify my behavior by saying, “I was just a kid,” or “We were less informed in those days,” how then do I explain my assigning the Italian neighbor boys the recurring role of Indians, because somehow that seemed logical?

Some never lose their sense of childhood magic, the dreams of leading good against evil in epic battles. Our son Devin, at almost 21, still poses philosophical questions like, “If the characters from Pokemon went into battle against the Transformers, who would win?” Patty would reply, “                         “* and walk out of the room. I would guess, “Transformers”, which would lead to a 10-minute dissertation about special abilities possessed by the Charizard that Megatron would kill for.

* silence.

When I finished the article (did I mention I'd been pooping?) and returned to the bedroom, I asked Patty, “What special ability could make me a superhero?”

Without a pause: “Well, you drink VERY well.”

“What kind of gift is THAT?”

“Well, you don’t get nasty when you’re drunk.” I was struggling to picture a costume—something bottle-shaped, like me—when Patty added, “But you sometimes get maudlin.”


“Well, you cry during the American national anthem.”

“What’s wrong with that? I’m a patriot!”

“You’re a Canadian!”

Patty then asked what superhero she could be. Drunkman answered without thinking. Mistake.

“How about ‘The Cold Fish’?”

Patty’s mouth fell open. I didn’t dare mention the resemblance to a largemouth bass. She said, “So be it. I’ll be The Cold Fish. No problem*. Nope, no problem at all.”


Patty then renamed me “Offensiveman”, a nod to my gift for saying the most inappropriate thing in every situation. The name will probably stick.

The conversation continued. If we were superheroes, there's a pretty good chance our offspring must also have special powers. So, since Sunday mornings are tailor-made for meaningless whimsies, meet our SuperKids:

THE SMOOCH (aka Devin): Exceptional kissing skills, as evidenced by the 200 or so nauseating Facebook photos of him with his mouth inside his girlfriend’s, like a mother bird barfing up earthworms for her young. Evil.

THE EGOTIST (aka P.J.): Unshakeable belief that no matter how much those around him wish he’d bite his tongue, he feels the world will be a better place when he speaks his mind. We don’t call upon his evil powers often.

THE INDIVIDUALIST (aka Colin): Different from everyone else. If you like something, he won’t. Then, just maybe, you won’t either. And then he’ll like it, because you don’t. Needless to say, he’s quite evil, unless you tell him he is.

TIME STANDS STILL GIRL (aka Kelly): Able to freeze time. No matter what time the family is leaving, or the amount of advance notice provided, and even amid threats of impending child abuse, never walks out the door until everyone else has spent at least 15 minutes grumbling in the car. Unspeakably evil.

THE BEFUDDLER (aka Connor): Promotes insanity. Could convince felons to go straight simply by promising not to ask another pointless question, like, “If you’re such a superhero, why do bears hibernate next to the swallows of San Capistrano?” Evil incarnate.

So we’re all superheroes or supervillains of a sort. Some have more to offer the world than others. Who YOU gonna call?



  1. Your ability to make cubicle dwellers across the continent lol at their desk could be your superpower. (It was the childhood Italio-Indian ethnic cleansing memories that did it.) I tried to turn mine into a cough but I don't think it fooled anyone.

    ...Since most of your offspring seem to be evil-aligned in their abilities is this going to be the best Family Feud ever, or would you recuse yourself and let another super do the deed?

  2. Kana--

    I think I'll pit them against each other in a cage-fighting death match. Thanks for visiting.

    Cheers, B

  3. My stepson refers to me as The Evil Stepmother. My son refers to me as The Evil Mother. My husband refers to me as Most Beautiful Woman In the World (as he wants to live). I think I have my evil superpowers well and truly in hand. :D


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