Monday, October 17, 2011
To Be Benjamin Fodor
As a kid I always wanted to be a superhero--heck, even as a young adult I harbor a secret to be a superhero. Who wouldn't want to have super powers like jumping over tall buildings, running faster than a speeding locomotive, and having bullets bounce off one's chest. Even the x-ray vision would have been cool. But alas it was not meant to be. I have no superpowers. I have a hard time at my age of jumping over the stool in the living room, I am barely faster than our wiener dog--Dora, and nothing bounces off my chest. The closest I have come to x-ray vision is my tri-focal prescription for eye glasses which do not let me see through anything. Despite it all, I still can dream.
Benjamin Fodor apparently followed his dream of being a superhero. Phoenix Jones is his superhero alter ego in the city of Seattle where he patrols the streets and fights crimes. I am not really sure what his super powers are, but he likes pepper spray. On October 9th he came to the rescue of two men standing outside of a night club smoking cigarettes when an enraged man ripped off his shirt and prepared to give them a beating. Phoenix Jones swooped in, doused the aggressor with pepper spray, and saved the day. Several hours later he tried it again . . . only this time it was a false start as he sprayed a group of people outside of another night club. This time the culprits were all innocent bystanders. The result was that Phoenix Jones got arrested for assault. Those he rescued were not too pleased with being showered with pepper spray--heck, here in Montana we use pepper spray to ward off grizzly bears who don't care too much for the stuff. I imagine that ol' Phoenix's spray did quite a number on those folks.
Apparently there is a superhero movement spreading across the country--a movement I was unaware of until I stumbled across Phoenix Jones' situation. It seems that people are actually following their childhood dreams of becoming superheroes. According to the website Real Life Super Heroes (http://www.reallifesuperheroes.org) there are some 660 members in the group--and these are just the ones that have joined the organization. Part of the blame, I am sure, has to do with all of those wonderful comic books of yesterday and the great graphic novels of today which share the exploits and adventures of numerous superheroes. Then there are all the movies out now about superheroes from Super Man to Batman to Captain American to . . . well, you get the picture. Maybe, though, the biggest culprit of this movement's start was the movie Kick Ass.
I LOVED this movie. It had a great story and plot, it was colorful, engaging characters, lots of laughs and action--and it inspired me! Made me want to grab a pair of colorful spandex, climb on the roof of the house, and scope out the neighborhood for bad guys. I was raring to go even if it was the middle of winter in Montana and the temperatures were well below zero. But the wife nixed the whole thing when she reminded me that the church had a "no superhero" clause in my contract. It is difficult being a pastor in a small, rural congregation.
So, I just keep my dream to myself.
Truth be known though, the superhero I really, really always wanted to be like had no real super powers except for silver bullets, a white horse, and one of those cheap looking eye masks to hide his identity. Yeah, the Lone Ranger. I loved the Lone Ranger--in thirty minutes he could solve any problem and save the day--even though the law always pictured him as some sort of bad guy. Despite how he was often misunderstood he always brought law and justice to the forefront. He rode in, took care of business, never asked for anything in return, and rode off into the sunset with a "Hi Ho, Silver, Away!" Yeah, I could picture myself as the Lone Ranger--always thought I would look good on a white horse.
But instead I went into the ministry. It is sort of like being the Lone Ranger. I often go about my business in much the same manner--I ride in, do what I must, and then take off into the sunset with folks wondering "Who was that masked man." I like that because like the Lone Ranger doing the good deed, helping others out, is recognition enough . . . besides I do it for a higher power, just like the original Lone Ranger. I can understand how the Lone Ranger felt about being misunderstood because ministers are often a pretty misunderstood population of their own.
So, that is as close to being a superhero as I get today. It satisfies the dream and takes care of the superhero lust. Besides at my age I don't look too hot in spandex--there are laws against that sort of exposure once a person gets beyond a certain age and weight. I know that I am at that age and weight. Thus I dream . . .