It was a lazy commute during the first week of Spring Break. Spring Break where the kids, teachers and the entire educational system takes 17 days off.
I wouldn’t mind taking 17 days off…
But I was rolling easy – then all of a sudden, a small black Chevy cuts in front of me from the travelling lane and in another 60 feet or so hits the left turn lane into the local mall, disrupting traffic, and causing me to brake.
I could see that the car had a Batman logo on the back of it, and caught a glimpse of a designer license bracket that said something to the effect of
‘What you looking at stupid?’
It’s the sort of thing someone puts on their car to make everyone else realize that they are at liberty to do whatever they feel like doing – and you can take it or leave it.
As the car turned I could see a young man in his early 20’s, perhaps late to work, or hungry and needing his morning breakfast at McDonald’s.
All I could say out loud in my car was
“C’mon bud, and you have a Batman logo on your car to boot!”
You can put a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac, or maybe a picture of Bill Murray, but a Batman logo?
I think there is such pressure on people these days now with the Fantastic Four, Captain America, the Avengers, and all sorts of superhero movies.
You have to understand that Batman was MY guy, coming as it did into my ‘wonder years’ in the late 1960’s. I just didn’t get the kitsch of it all wondering why the ‘Boofs’ and ‘Kerpows’ didn’t show up when I was clubbing or getting clubbed by my brothers.
It brought back memories of a job a dozen or so years ago when I was visiting a sales rep in Winnipeg who had turned his office workstation into a shrine for Spiderman.
“Do you like it?”
“That’s interesting Ted. Now, let’s take a look at your numbers shall we?”
I paused to see if he was going to shoot some web to the ceiling and leap out of the cubicle.
Or the guy working the parking lot downtown, dressed in the Superman outfit during the 2010 Winter Olympics here in Vancouver. As I drove down the street he had the Superman outfit with the fake muscles, and he was making time with the two young women by his side – talking to them as he waved his sign – ‘PARKING $20’ – upside down!
I was going to stop my car and say,
‘Dude – c’mon, your sign is upside down , and… and, you’re dressed like Superman!’
It’s not like one of these girls is going to go home to tell her parents.
“Mom! Dad! I just met the most fantastic guy in the world. He dressed as Superman – he is a terrific marketer. We are going to elope and run away to Metropolis!”
Poor girl, she probably wasn’t aware he had another girl named Lois, in a downtown lane, nearby.
I think we have pretty well run the course with the Superhero gigs. They are now combining and fighting one another. And, if they are so damn great, why do they have to coalesce in teams I say? Why? Tell me.
I am longing for the ordinary hero – the guy or girl who steps up when things go crazy and does things you wouldn’t expect. They don’t wear a cape, or tights, or fly overhead.
Listen bud, I want the characters played by Tom Hanks fighting in the hedgerows in Normandy, landing planes on the Hudson River, or the Liam Neeson characters that ‘have a particular set of skills’, not to mention Harrison Ford’s ‘Indiana Jones’.
We go to these movies to see Super Heroes – and I think it’s a total waste of time, especially after Mr. Incredible announced his retirement (and is now spending time watching his kids track meets and Christmas concerts). You want an ordinary hero? It’s the guy who attended 13-Christmas concerts in a row to hear the same song played by the band, and listened to the French horn player miss the exact same note … e-v-e-r-y year! I am betting that the Allies would have taken Normandy more quickly if they just brought along a group of Grade 7 French horn players!
So, as I leave on vacation, I am feeling good that we have turned a corner in our transportation management software business. We are starting to gain momentum and the confidence that comes with that.
I just hope that my staff realize that they don’t need to be Super Heroes. They just need to be ordinary heroes. That they know that they have within them the ability and capacity to rise to the challenges and opportunities that are sure to confront them in the days and months ahead. That they know that the greatest achievements in life are those that ordinary people do when faced with difficult circumstances.
That they don’t need to capes, or x-ray vision, or webs, or a secret cave to store your batmobile… so you can rush like mad to Walmart on a Friday morning for that dollar pack of mini-donuts.
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