Ul­ti­mate power

The Covington News - - LIVING - DAVID MCCOY COLUM­NIST David McCoy is a life­time res­i­dent of “The Glo­ri­ous South” and a re­peat win­ner of the Ge­or­gia Press As­so­ci­a­tion’s Joe Parham Tro­phy for his hu­mor col­umn, Pecan Pie for the Mind. David lives in Cov­ing­ton, Ge­or­gia but can of­ten be fo

I re­ally liked the mu­sic play­ing in the restau­rant. The songs were clas­sics from the ‘70s and ‘80s, in­clud­ing a good num­ber of New Wave tunes — Blondie be­ing the best ex­am­ple. I asked my server about the sta­tion, and she said, it was the owner’s fa­vorite, and later, told me that if they tried to change it, (the owner) would fire us.

Now, that is an ex­am­ple of ul­ti­mate power. Sadly, it’s ul­ti­mate power over a very small part of the uni­verse – Top Hits of the ‘80s – but I care about ul­ti­mate power, hav­ing grown up un­der the spell of su­per­hero comic books. I al­ways look for ul­ti­mate power, and I ad­mire it when I see it, even if it’s only the abil­ity to con­trol the sound sys­tem in a restau­rant.

Su­per he­roes had ul­ti­mate power.

Su­per­boy could fly and melt steel with his eyes, and the mem­bers of the Le­gion of Su­per-He­roes could col­lec­tively do any­thing imag­in­able – that was the in­tent of a “le­gion.” I wanted to be Su­per­boy, or Mon-El, or Cos­mic Boy, or Light­ning Lad. I wanted su­per pow­ers, and I would have even had “Kid” or “Boy” or “Lad” in my name if it meant I could walk through walls or shoot bolts of light­ning from my fin­gers. Ev­ery boy in the ‘60s wanted to be su­per, and we wanted ul­ti­mate power. Who knows what the girls wanted. Well, they wanted Bobby Sher­man, but that’s just too painful to think about. What su­per pow­ers did Bobby Sher­man have? Or Donny Os­mond, or Davy Jones, that cute and lov­able Mon­kee? They couldn’t melt steel. They couldn’t fly. Girls! The only girls who made sense to me were ones like Saturn Girl, a blonde su­per hero with a wicked abil­ity to con­trol minds.

As did most of my chums, I mostly out­grew comic books, but I didn’t out­grow my de­sire for su­per pow­ers. To this day, I’d love to have the power of in­vis­i­bil­ity. I wouldn’t use my pow­ers for evil — say walk­ing into a movie theater with­out pay­ing — but what would I give to be able to dis­ap­pear in a crowd, or at a dull party, or at the opera! And I still want to be able to fly, even though I won’t go out on a ho­tel bal­cony if I’m up higher than the sec­ond floor. But if I could fly, surely I’d also have a spare su­per power to over­come neu­roses and pho­bias, right?

Freud has a spe­cial in­ter­pre­ta­tion for dreams in­volv­ing fly­ing, but what did he know? Fly­ing is free­dom. Driv­ing to church the other day, I watched as I got closer and closer to a bird who was rest­ing in the mid­dle of my lane. “Stupid bird! You’d bet­ter move!” If you ride with me, you’ll find that I of­fer vo­cal ad­vice to all wood­land crea­tures. Well, the bird sat and sat and then de­cided to fly at the last sec­ond. He flapped and he was up in the air in a blink. “Ar­ro­gant bird. He knows he can fly! He’s just rub­bing it in my face.” If you ride with me, you’ll also find that I at­tribute sadis­tic ten­den­cies to wood­land crea­tures. Ar­ro­gant birds aside, I think fly­ing would be such a gift, and I wouldn’t be stupid enough to sit in the mid­dle of the street, if I had been so blessed. I wouldn’t eat worms ei­ther. Nope.

Sadly, I’m not go­ing to get any su­per-hero-class su­per pow­ers in this life, so I’ll have to pre­tend. When I go to re­new my driver’s li­cense and the line is short, I can pre­tend that I used mind con­trol to make ev­ery­one else for­get about their ex­pi­ra­tion date. If I watch a teapot and it ac­tu­ally boils, I can pre- tend it’s be­cause of my heat vi­sion. And I guess I’ll have to leave all my fly­ing to Delta and my dreams, Freud or no Freud. I’ll have to be con­tent with be­ing Su­per Dad, or Su­per Hus­band, or Friend of Steel, or Grand­fa­ther Boy, if that makes sense. As long as some­one gives me a cape, I’ll be happy. Although, if some­one would give me the power of in­vis­i­bil­ity, I wouldn’t need a cape. I could even wear white in win­ter and seersucker af­ter La­bor Day and no one would no­tice! Talk about real su­per pow­ers!

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