When we were kids my brother and I always fought over the kitchen radio to see who would get to select the station that we’d listen to while we ate supper. We would create such a racket that more often than not my mother would say, “OK, the radio stays off and you boys better be quiet!”
The problem was my brother liked Rock & Roll and I liked classical music. Sometimes he would be sneaky and come down for supper early, turning on the radio to one of his stations and we’d get Rock & Roll with supper. No sympathy please – I did the same thing when I was paying attention to the time.
On one of his stations, the announcer would often offer words of wisdom to go along with the songs. He called it “Mortimer Snerd’s ‘Words for the Birds'” and we’d hear: “When breathing use your lungs” or “When walking use your feet.” There were others and you’re welcome to make up your own. Caveat – you can’t use them as a GIVEBACK!
But that got me thinking about comic books because if there was one thing my brother and I could agree upon it was comic books. We both loved them and could read them all day long. We had a combined collection if I remember correctly – of course, he’s also old now, 77, so I’m not sure how reliable our memories are at this point, and well, it’s me telling the story.
And with comic books come superheroes. I did check Wikipedia – and we were kids during the golden age of the comic book superheroes: 1938 – 1950.
This finally gets me to my point: we’re all superheroes playing on the same team – the one I mentioned way back when: Team Humanity. Each of us has superpowers that are there when we’re called upon to help one another. And we do come through.
We have a couple of great retired superheroes that stayed around to coach the team. There’s KC – Captain Kindness who in his modesty reversed the letters of his name. He’s always whispering in a player’s ear, “Remember: kindness conquers.” You’ll notice if a player comes up to the plate, he no longer urges them on with a friendly pat on the butt – the teams are now coed. It’s sexist and I for one don’t give credence to the claim that old newsreels are showing that’s what happened in the good old days. No way. Kindness is kindness and would never stoop to sexist behavior.
And we have RS working up and down by the 50 Yard Line. She’s the most energetic offensive coach in the league. When she sends a player in to substitute, she’ll wink, signaling that they should Remember to Smile. I’ve heard tell that if she calls Time-Out and the team comes in for a huddle she often drops a questionable one-liner. But heck, we all know football and life can be one brutal game, so I’m willing to cut RS a little slack. Just don’t forget to smile.
TAKEAWAY: We can all be superheroes when the pressure is on. Kindness and a pleasant smile are two of our power sources. Use them daily and they’ll grow even stronger.
TAKEBACK: Think of a time when you came through for a buddy or member of your family. Close your eyes and stay with those memories for a while – but please not while driving a car or farm machinery – that only works in comic books.
GIVEBACK: Think about the times you’ve scored for TEAM HUMANITY. Come up with your own name and initials (you can use KC or RS; their numbers never get retired and can be used by everyone) – and for extra credit – design your own uniform.
Extra, extra credit, send the sketch along with a short writeup to Scott at HAVOK, I’m sure he’ll be delighted to share it with all of us. (This is also a test to see if he really reads all my submissions – just joking.)
Ken was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, and an IBMer until downsized in 2000. He taught yoga until COVID-19 decided otherwise. He continues writing, living with his wife and beagle in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He’s a homebrewer and runs whitewater rivers. Ken is a writer and his literary works can be found at https://www.kmkbooks.com/
He welcomes feedback on his articles and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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