Remember when you were a kid and you used to play superhero? You probably dressed up in a cape and pretended you could fly, totally oblivious to Edna’s most authoritative advice:
“Do you remember Thunderhead? November fifteenth of fifty-eight! All was well, another day saved, when his cape snagged on a missile fin! Stratogale, April twenty-third, fifty-seven, cape caught in a jet turbine! Meta Man, express elevator. Dynaguy, snagged on takeoff. Splashdown, sucked into a vortex. NO CAPES! Now go on, your new suit will be finished before your next assignment.”
Older and somewhat wiser now, we still play at superheroes when we watch movies and play video games. But have you ever wondered what a real life superhero would be like? Just as Mr. Incredible needed a day job at an insurance company to feed his family, other superheroes also need to earn their pay.
What if your Chem-Dry carpet cleaner was actually a superhero in disguise. Mild-mannered Chem-Dry Guy.
For starters, he could lift the furniture, just like Mr. Incredible and Superman, because he would be incredibly strong. No more twisting around the beds and the dressers and the pianos. No more leaving spots of carpet unwashed where the legs of the furniture were sitting, or in the case of some standing cupboards or dressers, the whole piece of furniture.
A superhero would just lift up the furniture with one hand while cleaning the carpet with the other hand. Until a superhero comes along, however, best to remove as much stuff as possible from the room and make it as easy as possible to clean all the carpet.
A superhero carpet cleaner would really suck. No, I mean that. He would empty his lungs and then just suck all the dirt up with his powerful lungs. There goes the dust, suck it up. There goes the grime, suck it up. There go the needles and buttons you dropped under the bed two weeks ago, and the dust bunnies and the some dirty tissues and a half-pair sock and some pencil shavings…and whatever else gets caught in the carpet or under the furniture.
On second thought, maybe a superhero might not want to suck all that stuff up.
But he would want to be flexible, like Elastagirl. Being able to reach around corners and under beds and inside closets and along staircases and in crawl spaces…all that would come in very handy. And there would be no need for extra extension cords – not when one’s arms can stretch that far.
Speed would also come in handy. Let’s face it, who wants to spend all day cleaning carpets. It’s an important thing to do, and somebody has to do it. But nobody wants to spend more time cleaning carpets than he has to. So speed – faster than a speeding bullet – would really help pass the time. Fast enough and a carpet cleaner could literally pass time.
Superheroes are able to leap skyscrapers in a single bound. Imagine how helpful that would be to a carpet cleaner. No, I can’t think of even one way that would be remotely helpful. But it would be cool to be able to do, just the same.
Flying is something else that superheroes do well. Except for Batman. And except for Mister Incredible. And except for Spiderman and Mermaid Man and…well, some superheroes can fly. And if a carpet cleaning superhero could fly, that would be very helpful. He could save on pollution by not driving. He could arrive at your house on schedule by not getting caught in traffic. Flying is a very useful skill that all carpet-cleaners should have.
As much as all these super powers sound great, the fact is that a super carpet cleaner would probably break half the things he grabs in your house, suck up jewelry with the dust and burn up your carpet with his speed. And instead of bypassing traffic to reach your house on time, he would probably get sidetracked along the way to wrestle with a two-mile long space snake, destroying half the city in the process (possibly including your home). Superheroes just aren’t cut out for real life.
But the fun thing about superheroes is that they are not real. The fun thing is that we can play with the idea of superheroes, and that while we do, we don’t have to grow up. Not really. Not completely.
About the Author:
Brendan Smith is no superhero. He rarely even clean his carpets or does the laundry. But he loves to write and he loves to imagine and, well, you can imagine what that can lead to.