Like the majority of us, there once was a time that i wished for some, if not all, of the traditional ‘super-powers’ that none of us have been blessed with. There can’t be many who haven’t entertained ideas of having x-ray vision, the gift of invisibility, or dreamed of super-human prowess in one form or other. Sadly, such things must remain in the realm of fantasy, and we have to get on with struggling through life with the meagre resources available to us.
Not so long ago, the subject of such super-powers came up in an inworld conversation – unsurprisingly, (considering the rather bonkers company i was amongst), the list of impossible attributes with which we’d wish to be endowed were, shall we say somewhat dubious.
Then again, who could possibly not argue the merits of ‘Butter From The Fridge Man’ – whose peculiar talent would guarantee no more destroyed slices when the butter is more solid than permafrost? And doesn’t this world really need ‘Spider Catcher Man’, ‘Wonderbra Woman’ and ‘Last Squeeze Of Toothpaste From The Tube Boy’? Let’s not forget ‘The Enigmatic Egg Man’ – able to identify a rotten free-range Black Leghorn before you try cooking your tea-time omelette with it! These are all super-powers that only a fool would want, but which only a fool would deny are as useful, if not more so, that the ability to catch a speeding express train between your teeth? (i admit, i may have become a little confused on the matter of that last one).
There is, however, one particular skill that would always come top of my list and which, as a youngster, would inpsire many of my dreams and flights of fancy – even today, it is an ability that i’d dearly love to possess: it is the ability to fly.
To clarify – it’s the ability to fly, without the need for passport, boarding pass and three-hour wait in the departure lounge, which is a very different ability to that bestowed upon such happy fictional characters as Peter Pan and Arthur Dent. To be able to soar, silently and without effort, through the clouds, seeing the world from above, is something that has always held an appeal for me and – if the mediums of art, poetry, literature and song throughout the ages are anything to go by – i’m by no means alone.
However, there’s always been that nagging voice of reason that’s inisisted on poking its nose into my fantasies… what if i was to run out of fairy dust, Weetabix, (or whatever form of supernatural fuel was required), or simply forgot to concentrate on flying? Would i plunge earthwards, like Icarus – only without the wax? What if i should accidentally fly through a pigeons’ jetwash and enter a flat spin, Top Gun style? As for take-offs and landings… there’s a reason they make you turn off electrical equipment and open the window blinds, don’t you know?
The final blow to my fantastical flying fantasies, however, has been dealt by our good friend, sl. The virtual world has finally given me the opportunity to do what i’d only ever previously dreamed of – and, the fact of the matter when it comes to unassisted flight, is that i’m completely pants at it!
Yep, it turns out that Seren ‘Hopeless’ Haven doesn’t have a clue when it comes to such matters as trimming her flaps, dropping her landing gear and setting her doors to manual and, no matter how easy flying in sl is supposed to be, it’s just another one of those things that really is best left to the experts. Bear in mind that i still manage to fall off spiral staircases without any effort, (oh, alright – i admit it… i fall off ordinary staircases pretty regularly too), tend to get stuck behind doors with monotonous predictability, and walk into walls more frequently than Lara Croft – did i honestly think i could ever master flying?
Anyone ever catching a glimpse of me in flight might possibly be initially persuaded that they were watching a consumate expert at aerobatical maneouvers, however it would soon become pretty clear that what is actually taking place is a desperate and ultimately ill-fated attempt to stay in some semblance of control. Those barrel rolls and vertical loops are actually failed versions of ‘trying to fly in a straight line’; that thin whine you hear isn’t the air rushing over my outstretched arms: it’s my screams of terror as i plummet completely out of control to sticky end. And let’s not even think about the landings!
Thank you, sl, for ruining my cherished dreams of one day flying… but, all things considered, that’s probably a very good thing for both my health and that of anyone who might unwittingly find themselves in my flight path!
Run and tell all of the angels
This could take all night
Think I need a devil to help me get things right
Foo Fighters – Learn To Fly