Archive for April 6th, 2007

Observable Phenomenon – Triathletes and Ageism amongst the Playground Set

There’s a playground within earshot of our apartment. As I was getting ready this morning, I overheard a group of kids playing a game of “Cops and Bikers” and working out the politics of collaborative fantasy.

Their debates centered on who got to play which part, and whether the cop or the biker was the good guy. My debates, however, rapidly spun into more hypothetical territory. Given where we live, these particular kids have a much better chance of spotting an expensive road bicycle than a Harley, and are more likely role-playing triathletes in training than Wild Hogs. But what have the triathletes been up to, that neighborhood children are pitting them against the police?? And how would a confrontation between a goggled athlete with a bicycle pump and a cop with a taser go down, exactly?

My speculations were interrupted when one of the kids grew bored with his playmate and left, announcing in withering tones: “call me when you’re bigger”.

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Tales From the Gym – The Society of Random Picnickers; Acid-Based Superheroes in Training?

I don’t know very much about superheroes, but I’ve spent some quality time with people who do. Based on my wealth of second-hand information, I know that lots of superheroes get their super powers – not from birth, or talent development, or from a mail-order catalog, but rather, as the result of a horrible accident. They fall into a vat of chemical waste, or get walloped by a tidal wave of refrigerator coolant, or drown in a tub of poisonous green slime. And, instead of dying, getting really sick, or suing all the vat-owners for criminal neglect, they transform into mutants with super-powers somehow related to their recent toxic baths.

Members of The Society of Random Picnickers have shown a striking propensity for acidic foods. Oranges. Grapefruits. Pickles. Tangerines. All acidic!

What if members of The Society are trying to immerse themselves in acid from the inside out, as it were? What if, instead of waiting for a propitious accident, they’re taking mutation into their own hands? Using the sauna to sweat out all the water in their bodies, eating too much acid, changing their acid/alkali balances forever… what are they going to do, sue the Orange Growers Association? No! They’re going to develop super-powers! Interesting nuance in strategy: mushrooms and ginger (recently-spotted picnic fare) are alkaline; perhaps both are used to modulate the rate of bodily acidification – and thus, mutation?

Of course, one question is tantamount: when all the naked ladies picnicking in the sauna suddenly turn into superheroes, what kinds of super-powers will they have?

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