The following was a sign in front of chain store: “Now Hiring Managemen”. Now, I know full well the Kansas wind simply removed the final “T” from the last word but it made me laugh. All I could think of was it was a whole new cadre of superheroes. First there was The Justice League of America, The X-Men and The Avengers now the world is being protected by The Managemen.
Their leader is Manager Man. His powers include making at least one third of his staff unhappy no matter what decision he makes, the ability to be uncannily out when the most important things happen, and he can throw words like paradigm, proactive and brainstorm with such deadly vagueness his enemies are so confused he can, not so much stop, nefarious deeds as make the people looking to perpetrate them so crushed under protocols and bureaucracy they simply lose the will to perpetrate.
Another member of this group of patriotic warriors is Middle Manager. This may be the hardest working member of the team but he seems to be always behind. The newest crime wave is thrown his way but just before it is taken care of the upper management team swoops in, finishes the task with only a tiny bit of genuine effort and takes credit for the whole thing while poor Middle Manager is given a whole new set of criminals to deal with.
There is also Micro Manager. This hero is able to infiltrate the criminal netherworld and get his hands into their different endeavors. His chief power is to nitpick and annoy to the point everyone involved with the evil plot just becomes so annoyed they simply walk away.
Finally we have Office Manager. She is incredibly talented and gets the most accomplished in the least amount of time. She multi-tasks with an efficiency truly terrifying to the lazy and incompetent evil doers of the world. Her greatest nemesis is Glass Ceiling.
I really think I am on to something. Does anyone have Joss Whedon’s phone number?
The biggest money maker movies these days are all the gigantic scale superhero movies. I admit I am one of the mindless movie-goers willing to plunk down my eight bucks to see good looking people in ludicrous costumes save the world from the less good looking people in less ludicrous costumes and their labyrinthine plots to take over the world. Some of these labyrinthine plots to take over the world are so convoluted the guys who actually wrote the script get lost about thirty minutes in.
The biggest reason I go to these movies is I was a comic book kid. I loved comic books. Every time I walked to the convenience store or went to the grocery store with my mother I would get a comic book. Now before the younger generation reading this column starts thinking I was some sort of Richie Rich (non-superhero comic book reference) comics didn’t cost four bucks a crack. The very first comic books I bought were twelve cents apiece. No, they were not painted on the walls of caves. Those would have been a bear to store under my bunk bed. (Also, when I bought bubble gum baseball cards there was actual bubble gum in the package. The bubble gum and the cards tasted about the same but the bubble gum would not make the cool sound in your bicycle spokes.)
I still think comic books helped me develop the vocabulary I have to this day. Think about it. Would someone who only read the readers in school use the words I like to use? The school books didn’t say things like:
This is Dick. Dick has a ludicrous costume.
See Jane. See Jane run. See Jane run with her cadre of mutant companions.
See Puff. Puff plays with Spot. Puff has a labyrinthine plot to kill Spot.
I would have preferred books like that in school, especially one with Puff being an evil doer planning canicide. (Yes, that is the real word for killing a dog.)
I think we all would like to be a superhero or at least have a super power.
My choice would probably be the power of flight. Let me add an extra requirement to that power. I want to be able to fly really fast. I would love to be able to travel around the country and still make it back to work on Monday. See my kids at college each evening. Fly to New York for a show. Heck, even making a quick trip to Toledo would be great if I could fly there.
Christopher Pyle considers his true super power to be confusing people with his words. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.