After our trip to southern Alberta (photo set now 1/6 done!), my girlfriend carried on for a visit with family in Vancouver with her dad. Before going, I loaded up her iPod with some new podcasts including my current obsession, This American Life. I don’t know which episode in particular, because I haven’t heard it yet, but it caused her to come back with the question of:
“Which superpower would you rather have– flying or invisibility?”
It’s an age-old one, but I hadn’t considered it in years. My inclination was to say flying, when suddenly found myself with all these questions. They included:
How high can you fly?
Are you affected by changes in atmospheric pressure?
How much of your own energy do you have to exert– can you go as faster or faster than walking and running, and do you tire just as quickly?
These are all real issues to consider. What if you chose flying and then found you could only get about ten feet off the ground, and even then you could only go at the pace of a jog for an hour or so before tiring? What good would that do you?
Likewise, with invisibility there’s the question of side effects, the ability to keep your clothes on and remain unseen, the question of how you would bring anything with you (ie. if you were to use it to get places unseen, could you have your car keys on you at the same time), what happens to food in the process of being digested, and what happens if you have an accident while in the state of invisibility– do you come back into being so medical help might be summoned, or does your body stay hidden from you until you either regain consciousness or pass away in a shroud of mystery, your body never being found? As with the flying, if these issues aren’t addressed your left with a neat trick, but not much of superpower, per se.
Apparently these questions were also addressed in the podcast, so I’m relieved by the knowledge that even if I overthink these issues, at least someone else did, too. And on the radio, where people would actually hear them. So I think I’m safe.
Oh, and I’d still go with flying.
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