“With great power comes great responsibility.” –an uncle in one of the fifty recent Spider Man movies
I have a super power. It’s nothing close to easy to have a super power, because as you all know there are rules to super powers. Just as in budgets, where an expense is offset by an equal amount of revenue, so goes the rule for super powers: if you have a super power, it is offset by a super weakness.
My super power is that I can see about two seconds into the future, sometimes. Did you catch that? I can SEE INTO THE FUTURE. Sometimes. I don’t personally know anyone who can see two seconds into the future, sometimes. I did hear of a guy who claimed to see one second into the future but I’ll be honest – it was a little hard for me to believe.
So I guess now that I’ve divulged my super power I have to share my super weakness, which I’ll do right now. I’ll just come out and say it: my super weakness is that I’m on a two second delay.
MY TWO SECOND DELAY
A not-at-all famous SNL skit from the Mike Myers era illustrates my super weakness perfectly. Three 20-something friends in a diner talk politics, clam chowder, and other topics during their casual conversation. The only problem is one of the friends chimes in with a clever zinger well after each conversation topic has passed. Fortunately, he finds a solution in the bathroom.
I had only seen this skit once as a teen before finding it online and I will tell you this – it struck a nerve when I watched it in the 90s and I still find it true today…
The skit especially rings true to anyone with the two second delay super weakness.
Another instance where my super weakness manifests is the conference call. Invariably, it goes like this:
I dial the 1-800 number I was given.
I enter the passcode, followed by the pound sign.
I rock out to the music as I await for the conference call to begin.
“Hi, thanks to all of you for joining the call. This is Sal Slymaster. We have a number of people on the call so let’s go around for introductions.”
Do you know any Sewasassis’s?
“Hey there, Sal.”
Someday I’ll tell you more about Don.
I’m making these people up.
“I’m sorry, we didn’t catch that. Can you say that again?”
“Uh, yes. Donna.”
I don’t think I know a Donna.
“Thank you, Donna.”
“Repeat that please?”
And the call roster continues.
“Anyone else on the call?”
“Say again? I missed your name.”
“Ok, thank you. Well, let’s begin the call.”
If you didn’t catch what happened above, Donna, Bart, and Lucinda won the conference call roster war against me. I was trying to say my name, but could never quite get the timing right. It’s a war and I’ve come to feel warrior-like when this happens.
This happens to me every time I’m on a conference call. It is a source of genuine frustration.
All because of this two second delay super weakness business. There’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. Nothing.
When I get really frustrated by all this, I try to think of things that make me happy, like my super power.
MY SUPER POWER
I’ve noticed that sometimes, when someone is telling a joke and hasn’t quite made it to the punchline, that I laugh about two seconds before everyone else does. Sometimes.
On the next conference call I hope to see into the future two seconds to know whether to say my name at the perfect time and not overlap with anyone. But the two second delay will most likely keep me from doing that.
A smart person might argue that my seeing two seconds into the future, offset by my two second delay, would nullify my power and keep me firmly planted in the here and now. I can see their point.