Some time ago Steven saw a Facebook posting about a Superhero Sprint to be sponsored by Herkimer Now. He immediately recognized it as something that would interest me. It appealed to me on several levels.
In the first place, I’ve been meaning to sign up for more runs, to keep my legs moving if for no other reason (there are other reasons). In the second place, Herkimer Now, as I understand it, is a grassroots organization working to revitalize downtown Herkimer. That is definitely a worthy goal to support. If any other reason is needed… Superhero? Dress in costume? I am so there!
So I signed up right away and began pondering who I would be and what I would wear. I rejected out of hand any known heroes or villains. For one thing, I have no faith in my ability to render a convincing costume that is supposed to look a certain way. More importantly, for a person like me, it is much more fun to make something up.
I thought back to an old nickname of mine, seldom used but never forgotten, and decided to be a villainess: The Evil Woman CinCin.
I feel I should make a side note here. In general I try not to use gender divisions as in villain/villainess, hero/heroine, actor/actress (and here’s an interesting side side note: the word villainess isn’t even in my dictionary). As they say, we don’t call women doctors doctresses. (As another side side note, I believe I’ve used the term “waitress” in this blog, and I’m sorry about that. It’s a hard habit to break.) In the case of the Evil Woman CinCin, however, villainess seems to be the way to go.
I decided my superpowers would be an unerring knowledge of grammar and an extensive vocabulary. I would tell people I was didactic in the extreme, and if they asked what that meant I would tell them it means the same thing as pedantic. Bwah ha ha ha ha! I have a dictionary and I’m not afraid to use it! Oh, if only I would use my powers for good!
I decided my dog, Tabby, could accompany me. Of course she can’t be a villain or even a villainess. She’s too sweet. She’ll be the superhero whose arch nemesis I am. By day she is Tabitha, mild-mannered schnoodle. But when there is evil to fight she is… The Tabbiest! Her superpowers are extreme cuteness, unfailing friendliness and lots and lots of love (I think a lot of dogs share these superpowers). Oh, and the ability to forgive, another enviable canine trait.
I figure by the second book in the series, Tabby has reformed The Evil Woman CinCin and I become her hapless sidekick.
Having come up with this elaborate backstory, I’ve done nothing else about coming up with a costume. I figure I’ll go up to my attic and find a cape amongst my Halloween stuff. I’m not nuts about the idea of wearing a black cape on a sunny summer afternoon, but maybe one is reversible and I can put the red side out. And, yes, I saw The Incredibles (good movie); I know all about why supers should not wear capes. I don’t care. It’ll be a great visual, even if I don’t run very fast. Besides the cape… well, I’ve still got two days to come up with something.
And now, being me, I begin to second guess myself. Do I really think I am going to look any other way than doofy no matter what I come up with? When, you may well ask, have I ever had a problem with looking doofy? Then, too, I will be attending this even with only my dog for company. Won’t everybody else be there with friends and family? Will anybody speak to me or will I be lonely as well as doofy?
My fear of inadequacy increased when Herkimer Now posted on Facebook a picture of a member with rather impressive looking Wolverine claws. It wasn’t just that this guy is obviously going to have a way better costume than me. It’s that I’m not quite sure who Wolverine is (didn’t Hugh Jackman play him in a movie?). I realize I am not the least bit current with superhero lore. The last time I read comic books regularly was the early ’90s, when a friend who collected used to loan me his Justice Leagues. He also loaned me some Sandman, but I think that is more what you would call a graphic novel. Or are they all graphic novels now? You see how I have not kept up.
I don’t even watch superhero movies. The last one I saw Steven rented a couple years ago and I HATED it. (I shan’t tell you what it was, because I’m afraid of getting death threats from rabid fans.)
The one aspect of the whole thing I am not worried about is the run itself, even though I have not run a step since the DARE 5K. The Superhero Sprint, according to advance publicity, is not very long and the object is to to go very fast (unless, I suppose, that is your superpower). The object — stand by for me to start worrying again — is to be in COSTUME!
Looking back at the persona I’ve come up with, I gotta admit: pretty nerdy. And not a little cerebral. Will people get it? Or will I just look kind of dumb? You know, I had even thought about carrying a dictionary. That could get heavy. And I’d probably drop it on my foot.
What’s a Mohawk Valley Girl to do?
I sought reassurance on the Herkimer Now Facebook page. I posted asking how many people had signed up and admitting to being a little intimidated by that Wolverine guy (I got all cute about it and referred to him as the guy with the funky manicure). No response so far.
I will probably come up with some semblance of a costume and show up. Why not? Main Street in Herkimer is less than ten minutes from my house. If I get overheated or embarrassed, I can just walk home. And if I don’t get overheated or embarrassed, I’ll probably have a pretty good time.
The Superhero Sprint is from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, August 25, Main Street, Herkimer, NY, with registration in front of the Courthouse. Registration is $2, to benefit Herkimer Now.