Monday, March 4, 2013

The Amazing Dave-Man in How To Fly


I read comic books. Yeah, I know, I'm way past the age I should be reading these things but what can I say? I still enjoy reading them. Today, we call them graphic novels to sound pretensious but hey, they're still comic books.

My habit of reading comic books began when I was a very young boy. Of course, back then comic books were printed on stone tablets. (Ha. Ha.) But seriously, I started off with comics aimed at really young kids. I remember reading Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich. Anyone remember Casper & Richie Rich? Of course, Casper was the ghost of Richie Rich who had killed himself in despair that his massive weath could not buy true happiness.

For anyone who remembered reading these comics as a child, sorry if I shattered any childhood innocence.

But from these books, I began to read comics for older kids. Now, comics are not just about super heroes. There are comics about western cowboys, space explorers, monster fighters, war soldiers and...okay, mostly it was about super heroes. Oh did I glom on to these bright colored characters with their amazing powers.

The strength of the Incredible Hulk.

The speed of the Flash.

The agility of Spider-man.

The ability of Wonder Woman to fight enemies without a wardrobe malfunction.

Of course, as a youngster, I was not just content to read these astonishing exploits; I was determined to act them out.

So with a towel tucked in the collar of my shirt...like so!...and I battled the forces of evil, injustice, excessive homework and early bedtimes as the magnificent...DAVE-MANNNNNN!!!!

And like all super heroes, I had an arch nemesis...known as The Mad Mother.

(As Dave-man) "Dave-Man fights the terrible PLANT MONSTER!"

(As Mad Mother) "David! Put down the potted plant before you break it!"

(As Dave-man) "Oh no! Innocents trapped behind that stone wall! Dave-Man to the rescue with....LASER VISION!"

(As Mad Mother) "David! The flashlight is not a toy! Put it down before you break it!"

(As Dave-man) "Oh no! A gazillion ninjas! Dave-Man will fight them with his super speed!"

(As Mad Mother) "David! Stop running around like a crazy person before you break an arm or a leg!"

And so it went. Dave-man was dedicated to the defeat of Mad Mother. Until she gave me a cookie.

But the super power I most wanted to emulate was the power of flight.

(Well, when I was sixteen, I really wished I had x-ray vision. But THAT's another story.)

But the power to fly...oh, what a wonderful feeling to soar free over the masses of people, to slip the bonds of earth, to feel the wind in my hair and the bugs in my teeth.

OK, we can skip that last part.

Once there was a time, even in the fantastic world of comic book superheroes, being able to fly was a big deal. Most heroes had to make doing with leaping and bounding. A few could fly: Hawkman had wings, Wonder Woman glided on air currents. Iron Man had jets in his boots. My favorite flight ability belonged to the mighty Thor. Thor would swing his big magic hammer around and around and around and then hurl it away but he wouldn't let go so the hammer literally pulled Thor along. So it was very important for Thor to know the right direction he was going because turning around was not an option.

(As a damsel) "Thor! Save me, Thor! Wait! You're going the wrong way...."

(As Thor) "Please hold tight while inertia overcomes the forward momentum of my thrown hammer and I'll get back to you....."

But today, a lot of super heroes can fly and its almost a given regardless of the power set.

(As a random hero) "I am Capt Squash. I have dominion over squash and certain zuccini. Oh, and I can fly."

But as absurd as the ability to fly is, even amongst comic book super heroes, it is the one ability that may be within your grasp.

If you want super strenght or heat vision, you're going to need mystic artifacts, alien visitation, strange radiation and more.

But I can teach you to fly. In two easy steps.

Now, in the essence of full disclosure, this is not an original concept. Douglas Adams who wrote The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy and all subsequent sequels and spin offs postulated this two step process to learning how to fly.

Step one: Hurl yourself at the ground.

Step two: Miss.

Now step one is very easy: hurling yourself at the ground. But step two, that's tricky. In order to miss the ground, you require a moment of extraordinary distraction. Someone popping out from behind a hedge with an extremely unexpected declaration of love or a particularly garish outfit, for example.

But once this moment of distraction is accomplished and you have missed the ground, you will be able to fly.

A couple of thing for when you first learn to fly:

1) Do not listen to anything anyone says to you at this moment. For anyone witnessing this will likely not say anything helpful. More like, "You cannot possibly be doing that." And then you won't and down you come.

2) Don't look down. Looking down will only accent how impossible what you're doing can be. And you're liable to think, "I cannot possibly doing this." And then you won't and you know the rest.

But once you hit that moment of distraction, it will be easier and easier to take flight and soon you will be soaring with the birds.

Oh, I can teach you the power to talk to birds. However, I can't help you to understand them.

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