01 June 2006

Flight or invisibility

    Invisible Boy: I'm invisible. Can you see me?
    Rest of Mystery Men: YES.
      Mystery Men

    Superman superman
    I want to fly like superman
    Superman superman
    Wish I could fly like superman
      The Kinks

Yesterday I was listenning again to a classic This American Life episode entitled Superpowers. Act One features John Hodgman asking a bunch of people which superpower they would like to have: flight or invisibility. He finds that this is one of those questions that offers insight into the kind of person you are. He also found it to be a great conversation item for parties.

He set ground rules for each ability, as follows:

  • Flight: At will you can fly within Earth's atmosphere with a maximum velocity of 1000MPH.
  • Invisibility: You and your clothes become invisible at will. Items you pick up stay visible.

I'm on the fence, leaning toward invisibility. Which would you choose, and why?

P.S. The episode also includes an interview with Jonathan Morris, editor of the website Gone & Forgotten, an archive of failed comic book characters with Morris' commentary. His articles are funny stuff.

6 comments:

Rob S. said...

Flight, certainly. It's worth it for the convenience of not having to go through airport security. no more taking off my shoes, no more juggling my cellphone, keys, wallet and laptop, no more showing up two hours early. If I want to be in LA at 10 in the morning, I can leave my house at 10 in the morning, thanks to the time difference.

I would hope that someone I know would choose invisibility, though -- I'd like the opprtunity to see a shirt make a telephone call.

Sharon GR said...

I want flight. I hate traffic.

Why do you want invisibility, hmmmm?

Chris A. said...

Invisibility for me -- I think any overly self-conscious person would say the same. And having somehow gained a rep for being helpful and knowledgeable in a work environment lacking in both qualities, I'm an easy target. (Picking a superpower on the basis of how much more work I could get done... sheesh.)

Rob, please note that under the stated rules, my clothes would also be invisible. However, it appears I could pick up a shirt and phone and manipulate them to get the desired effect.

Does this mean I could wear armor, and therefore be both invisible and bulletproof? Now we're talking.

Jeri said...

I already have invisibility, judging by the service I get at most retail outlets, so I guess I'll have to go with flight.

Rob S. said...

invisible AND bulletproof? That's just four shots of tequila away, my friend.

Forty_Two said...

I'm already invisible.