On my way home from work today I was thinking about what super power I would choose. Not that anyone has offered any super power to me. Well, not for a while anyway. I mean, there was that one guy in high school, but hey, I wasn't as naive as he hoped.
At first I thought that being able to fly would be pretty cool. Then I tried to figure out what I'd do if I could fly. Oh, sure, the first few days I'd probably just fly around and enjoy the wind in my face, check out what a bird's eye view really is, try to guess the buildings by their roofs - you know, normal first couple of flying days stuff.
But what I'd do with my power after just playing around a while stumped me. Before I could rationally choose flight as my superpower, I'd need to have some idea what benefit it would be to me and the rest of the world. And in order to figure that out, I'd need more details.
How fast could I fly? How long? How high? Would I be able to pick up things and fly with them, or does super strength not automatically go along with being able to fly? These are things I need to know. Because I couldn't carry any more when flying than I can when walking, and if I couldn't fly really fast and really far, I'd be limited to rescuing small animals and children who were nearby. I suppose I could be a courier of small packages but how helpful (and how fun) would that really be?
Then it occurred to me that times being what they are, I'd need to keep my ability a secret. Someone would surely shoot me or I'd be kidnapped by the government and have horrible experiments performed on me. Well, of course! This is why flying superheros wear masks and costumes. They have to protect their identities and their lives! I'd never actually thought it though before. So flying, while really cool and not something I'd turn down, isn't probably the power I'd choose.
By the time I reached the city limits I was considering invisibility. Right away I thought that would be very cool because I could sneak in and out of places. But what would I do with that? I'd possibly be very tempted to turn to a life of crime because it would be so easy to steal things. Then I'd be Superguilt Woman! I felt bad for even thinking about it. I could listen to what people said about me, but then I'd probably feel hurt and angry. I could foil the plans of evil-doers, but I'd have to work with people who know where to find likely evil-doers and I've already determined I wouldn't care to let the government in on my abilities. So basically, having the ability to invade people's privacy probably isn't something I'd choose.
Same goes for reading minds. While at first glance you might think it would be helpful, I don't need to know what people are really thinking. I'm frightened enough by the bits they are willing to tell me. Sometimes I don't even like being able to read my own mind let along anyone else's. Talk about invading privacy!
So what then? Talking to animals? Been doing that all my life. A human magnet? Sounds dangerous. Xray vision? No big deal in the age of MRIs.
I though for a bit about having the ability to convince people - sort of Supercharm. Just think of it! I could convince everyone to recycle everything, to conserve water and give up their gas guzzlers. I could convince people of the errors of their ways because. . . Oh. What if I'm not right about absolutely everything? I know, it's a stretch to even imagine such an absurd notion, but still. . .That's a lot of responsibility. And I've been known to be irresponsible on the very rare occassion.
By the time I got home, I realized it hadn't rained enough to keep me from having to water my gardens. That's when it came to me. A super power that would really improve the quality of my life (which is pretty ding dang groovy already) without being interesting enough to get me in trouble. I realized that at that very moment, in the spirit of the true Batwoman, I'd really like to be disgusting to mosquitoes.