If I were to design a superhero, I wouldn’t create a Man of Steel or Woman in spandex. No power bracelets or magic rings. My superhero wouldn’t need a gas-guzzling super-car that always breaks the speed limit but never is issued even a warning.
Instead, I’d invent a superhero who finds things.
No computers or radar allowed. I want a superhero with an inborn, omniscient talent for zipping up black holes before they suck in all left socks, kids’ Spam Museum permission slips, and pens that write.
My superhero need not leap tall buildings in a single bound. I just want her to find fat-free mayo on sale. Minty breath mints. And Seductive Salmon.
Not an amorous fish. I want the lipstick. The moment I deem one my favorite, cosmetic gurus shriek, “Rachael Phillips likes it! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” My marketing kiss of death sends Seductive Salmon posthaste to a black hole.
Where our keys also reside. They disappear, especially when I was due somewhere 20 minutes ago. I find the keys to our first apartment and those to old cars we maintained when our children still (theoretically) lived at home. But current car keys? They vanished upon our signing the purchase agreement. I eventually find them — often in the freezer, beside my frosted-over cell phone. Still, both continually play truant.
As do gas stations. When driving to catch a predawn flight, I inevitably discover my gas gauge points below E. At this signal, all stations at all freeway exits disguise themselves as bait shops.
Please do not tell me to trust a GPS. Once, when I traveled with writers so hungry we gnawed our books, one of those cruel, lady-voiced demons sent us to five different boarded-up restaurants.
I might consider a super-GPS that could locate tax receipts. Correction: the right tax receipts. I readily unearth one that records I ate a Belly Burger in Yazoo City, Mississippi, in 1999. But has anyone seen my 2020 W-2?
I also should program my superhero to lose things for me.
For example, my champion would swallow hated lyrics and toxic tunes that imprint themselves on my mental hard drive.
However, my superhero wouldn’t swallow pizza, strawberry-rhubarb pie, or moose tracks sundaes. That’s my job. Hers: banish the calories.
She’d deliver me from public restroom stalls with empty toilet paper spools and broken locks. My superhero would absorb the fines for library books I checked out during the first Bush administration. She’d scare away dandelions and crabgrass.
Oh, Lost and Found Superhero, please be real! I’ll give you a big, gas-guzzling superhero car.
But you will have to find the keys.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do you need a Lost and Found Superhero?