Monday, July 09, 2012

Mighty Girl Funbrain!

A few weeks ago, the university where I work sent out a very vague, and therefore very worrying, note over our emergency alert system: "Hazardous materials released at Institute for Genomic Biology. Escape area if safe to do so. Otherwise seek shelter.""Materials"? WHAT MATERIALS? HOW HAZARDOUS? Smallpox? Killer bees? Some new mutant strain of anthropomorphic soybeans? How do we seek shelter from something unidentified? Does "escape" mean "Good citizens, walk quickly but calmly to your vehicles, then drive as fast and as far as you can?"

Turns out it was just an itsy-bitsy chemical spill and no one was seriously injured, but we didn't know that until after we'd had a few hours to ponder the most important question: is everyone in the micro-urban area of Champaign-Urbana about to turn into superheroes? Is this going to be Turbulence* on the prairie? As someone who spent much of her childhood running around in a mom-made Batman cape, I couldn't help but hope the answer was "yes." What with Superman of Malegaon and The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man and all this summer, now seems like a fun time to indulge in some bombastic fantastic and imagine what we might be able to do if we became even more super than we already are.
 
My superhero alias would be Mighty Girl Funbrain, which is a snippet of text from a long and rambly spam comment that recently showed up on this blog. All the spam comments I have ever had, or will ever get, are probably worth it just for this one phrase, which is better than anything I could ever have come up with for myself. It's like the bot knew I love both fun AND thinking! 


My list of new abilities might look something like this:

  • freezing any moment as it happens and giving it a paagal subtitle. White text will scroll across the ground and contain a humorous misspelling or pun.
  • flouncing off in a huff will cause everyone else to stop whatever they're doing and scurry into an elaborate formation and cooperatively break into a song of appeasement. Fortunately, this can be directed at whichever minor troublemaker or impeding body who needs appeasing, not just at me. 
  • turning any scenario into a disco number simply by wishing for this to happen. Other victims...er, participants will often enter a sort of dream state while the song happens and then find themselves  much more cheerful than they were ten minutes ago but confused about their silver jackets or platform boots.  
  • I'm not known for my dancing, but with a very particular flick of my hips I will be able to jolt the people in my immediate surroundings into an alternate reality. This will take a lot of concentration and will not always place people into a context that makes any sense regarding what they were just experiencing or where they were experiencing it, and it is not to be used just on a lark or for self-benefit. It's sort of the serious, conflict-avoidant woman's version of song-teleporting.** 
  • in return for decades of films decried in some camps as deadly boring, the masala-based Mighty Girl Funbrain will sometimes inadvertently cause Bengali film writers to drop instantly to sleep, even pausing mid-argument or -poem. The universe is a playful thing, after all, and popular Hindi cinema does love irony and revenge. The question for MGF is how to use this soporific effect for good instead of evil...or at least minimal harm. This is an uncontrollable power with limited scope and is thus of negligible pragmatic value, but hey, we can't choose these things. Kismat! 

What would your Bollypowers be?

* Buy and read this book. It is very good.
** This idea courtesy of a noted subject expert. 

1 comments:

memsaab said...

My best friend from college has long had an alternate superhero ego called Mighty Girl. I will have to tell her that she has a colleague called Mighty Girl Funbrain. She will love it!

As for me...my superpower has always been my ability to go for hours and hours on end without peeing, very convenient in India especially. But Superbladder Girl just doesn't really cut it :(