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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Final Frontier










Super Hero






Step One: Get a towel. A solid color is preferable.

( Provides gravitas to the occasion. )

Step Two: Locate two large safety pins. 

Step Three: Pin the towel to the back of your shoulders. 

Step Four: Establish your new identity.

Assign yourself a nom de plume.

Step Five: Assume the flying position.

Arms outstretched to improve lift.

Step Six: Stow your tray table in the upright position.

Step Seven: Run really really really really really fast.

Step Eight: Launch sequence.

Step Nine: Make whirring engine noises.

Step Ten: Say.  We Have Lift Off.

Step Eleven: (optional) Say.  Roger That. 


...Unless the eagle has landed.

Tripped up by a loose towel and an errant flip flop.


Today marks the end of the shuttle program at NASA. To some, just another day. To those of us with a few years under our belts, it is the end of an era of unimaginable imaginings. I recall the moment Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon. Watching his footfalls. Down, down, down each step of the ladder attached to the lunar module. Waiting breathlessly for his safekeeping. His words, " One step for man, one giant leap for mankind. " Terra firma. The sheer wonder of the view. Of the moon's landscape. Of the earth from a new perspective. What man can accomplish even when the destination is so far afield. The astronauts, our own ET's.

Extra terrestrials escaping the pull of the earth.

I want to be a Super Hero too. An ET. I want to have Super Powers. I want to wear average apparel, look innocent in Buddy Holly glasses, slide into a phone booth and emerge a caped crusader. I want a cool Super Hero name and a costume armored with bravado.

The Yard Yeti. Lolita Lalapalooza. Betty Bedlam. 

I don't need to bend steel with my bare hands, but I would like to banish weeds with my laser beams. I don't need to time travel, but I would love an invisibility cloak, so I could disappear once in awhile, and reappear where no one is expecting me to be. Oh, and I would like to have software to soften my appearance, like Photoshop. An eraser tool and a lasso tucked in beside my Nerf stun gun. I don't want to harm anyone, just get their attention now rather than then. Oh, oh yes I must have, absolutely must have a pin. My mother left me some fabulous pins. Christmas trees, gaudy bejeweled peacocks and flashy poodles, large, loud melodramatic accessories.

Perfect for my two way radio receiver.

I can pin one on my shoulder,

lean down and speak into it with authority.

This is your captain speaking

I will have a vehicle, but since I am rather a dolt when it comes to cars, let's just say that it will be blue...with fins...and a siren. I will wear my hair in a massive pompadour with a bizarre blossom perched atop at a skewed angle. My mask will be white with two dots for eyes and an "O" for a signature look of perpetual surprise. My costume, I already told you, ( maybe I need a hypnotizing ray to keep everyone focused on me ) costume will be a towel. An old beach towel. One I keep in the laundry room for when the kids visit. The one they wore. When they were Super Heroes. When I made whirring noises with them in the yard.

Back when we all flew.

Together. Into the world of our imaginations. 


the next generation

will look with child like wonder at the stars,

just as we did,

and seek out where no man has gone before.

Maybe, if they don't wait too long,

we might be asked to go along for the ride. 



P.S. I am working on an action figure.

Every Super Hero needs one. I've got the first part locked.

Yellow wellies. 

No matter where in the world my boys might be,

these boots will lead me to them.

Even if it is only in my imagination.

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