Saturday, January 16, 2010

In Which I Reveal my Secret Super Power

I have long held the belief that everyone has a super power. You may already know your power. Luckily, for those who don’t, Facebook can help you out. As of this writing, there are 47 different quizzes that will tell you your super power. In the interest of public service I tried five of them.

It turns out I have the power to read minds. My mind reading abilities apparently don’t extend to electronic devices, however, because this result surprised me. Let me clarify that. It doesn’t surprise me that mind reading would be my power. Five years living in a country where you don’t speak the language will give anyone extraordinary abilities to read people. What surprised me was how consistent the different quizzes were. The “Your Super Power” quiz pegged me as a mind reader, “What is your Inner Super Power” said mine was mind reading, “What is your Latent Super Power” said I have x-ray vision, and “What Super Power Should you Have” assigned me the ability of persuasion. The only outlier was “What Super Power do you Have?” which told me I could time travel.

Four out of five quizzes more or less agreed. It’s as though a million monkeys randomly typing on a million keyboards have finally written Hamlet. That’s good news for all of you who have yet to learn your power.

When you do discover your power, I hope it’s something useful. Forget invisibility, flying, and the ability to walk through walls. I hope you have a power like Jenny, a woman I knew years ago who could sleep anywhere, anytime, or my friend Jill who has mastery over the art of etiquette and the writing of letters of complaint. I wish you the power of Lisa, who can cook perfect rice every time, RuthAnn, whose sense of smell rivals that of a bloodhound, or Cassia, whose organizational skills properly harnessed would allow her to run several small countries, and still have time to help her son with homework and remodel the bathroom on the weekends.

There are other useful powers out there too, like the power to get children ready and out the door on time, or the power to do laundry without losing any socks. There are some I wish existed, like the power to de-ice a windshield with a single glance, or the one I most fervently want: the power to banish people who annoy me to Antarctica where they will live out the remainder of their lives believing they are emperor penguins. Unfortunately that power requires more than just mind reading, it requires mind control, and I’m not so good at that.

Anyway, mind reading isn’t my true super power. My actual power is colour vision. Really. I discovered it in graduate school when I tried to help out a friend by being a subject in his perception experiment. He kicked me out for being able to see colors people aren’t supposed to see. Then he ran me again, because, you know, it wasn’t possible for me to actually be able to see them. I could.

Now you know, if you ever need to match paint samples, or find out whether the clothes you are wearing clash, I’m your woman.

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