MetaX February 8, 2019 9:57 AM   Subscribe

End of another week, let's talk about something else that is not related to politics. If you could have a super power, what super power would you choose? Flight, teleportation, superhuman strength, pyrokinesis, speed, telekinesis, telepathy, claws, a giant tongue or tail, etc. Here's a fun list of X-Men-like mutant powers. Do you think you'd be a hero or a villain? Would you team up and form a super-group or would you be solo? Remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Also, be kind to yourself and others.
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 9:57 AM (130 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Teleportation is something I'd love to have, the ability to just blink and pop into another place. I'd love it if I could share it too, so that I could take my partner, my friends, or family with me. The other big one would be flight, I'd love to be able to soar real high and be above the clouds.
posted by Fizz at 10:01 AM on February 8 [7 favorites]

I am definitely a solo kind of superhero. And other than the not-that-super power of being able to SLEEP whenever and wherever I wanted (and for how long) I think what I would really like would be time travel. I'd like to hang out with my grandmother some more. I'd like to have more time to read. I'd like to maybe take back a few things I shouldn't have said. I'd like to fact check my childhood. I'd like to see if things are falling apart just as fast as people say they are. I feel like time travel kind of goes with teleportation a little? But I'm not sure. I'd definitely like to go to other places and times and I'm not sure which is more important, bopping around int he current time or staying right where I am but going back and forth in time. In either case I'd also like to be able to eat ALL THE FOOD and not worry about getting out of shape or unhealthy. Is that a superpower? It should be.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:10 AM on February 8 [11 favorites]

My answer to this question has always been similar to Fizz. I don't think about having teleportation powers every time I leave the house, but I'd say it happens 1/5th of the time.

And I think if you have Nightcrawler-like teleportation powers, you could still get above the clouds for the view (though you would start falling immediately so YMMV on whether or not you'd use it that way).
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:17 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

Languages - the ability to speak, understand, read and write any language in the world.
posted by Mogur at 10:18 AM on February 8 [11 favorites]

No question whatsoever: the ability to freeze time for everything/everyone but yourself and not age while it's frozen. I would get SO MUCH SLEEPING done, and reading, and writing, and laundry, and I could finally bike around NYC without fear of cars. From the perspective of other people, I'd functionally have teleportation powers, so I'd never be late to anything ever again. And then the times when I was back in the normal timestream, I'd always have the free time and energy to do fun stuff with other people.

Plus it would make it trivially easy to steal shit
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:18 AM on February 8 [23 favorites]

Younger me would have LOVED to fly. Current me wonders if I'd be too cold to enjoy it.

Low-level telekinesis, though? YES. I don't want to be able to accidentally destroy things by thinking about rearranging their particles, but to be able to .. hook up a generator and turn heat on in a jail building? Heroic! Get my report that I accidentally printed to the printer on the other side of the office? Very convenient. Move a package so it chases a would-be package thief down the sidewalk? Hysterical. Clean dog poop out of my yard from a hammock? GLORIOUS.
posted by kimberussell at 10:19 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]

I would have the power to make huge trees grow out of the ground all in an instant, like Totoro.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 10:19 AM on February 8 [11 favorites]

There's a recurring thing in several of Stephen King's novels that a character has the ability to become "dim" - not to be properly invisible (which always seems like it would be a nightmare), but to fade into the background, to have people's eyes pass over you, to be present but not noticeable. That's always seemed really appealing to me. (Yes, I have a lot of social anxiety, why do you ask?)

Most of the characters that can do that are pretty much evil-aligned, which I guess makes me a defacto villain? I would like to think that I would be a stylish and appealing one, maybe a villain who makes the jump to antihero or recurring and beloved-by-the-audience antagonist who occasionally has to team up with the heroes against a great and more evil opponent.
posted by darchildre at 10:20 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]

I feel like even if I couldn't quite teleport, leaping say, up to 100km in a single bound would be pretty great for me.

I would also like telepathy, but only if I can turn it off when I like. Buffy taught me much.
posted by wellred at 10:20 AM on February 8

darchildre, Terry Pratchett's witches can do that trick, and they are mostly good.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 10:22 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]


Of course, I'm in the process right now anyway, but I'd like to be able to do it at the superpower level, and into any form I could think of.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 10:23 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]

to fade into the background, to have people's eyes pass over you, to be present but not noticeable

Turns out I already have a superpower. Definitely in group situations or when I’m trying to make a point at a meeting. So that’s nice. In addition I’d love the ability to soothe people’s nervous systems, like a people whisperer. It would make my job easier for sure, but just in general when I’m around people who are stressed or anxious or upset, either engaging with them or just noticing them in passing, to be able to transmit a little internal “ssssshhhh it’s ok” would be nice.
posted by billiebee at 10:28 AM on February 8 [6 favorites]

Anticipation, that is very true and is reassuring for my eventual redemption (and possible survival) at the end of the story, but "stylish villain" is something I've wanted to be since I was a little child first watching superhero narratives, so I think I'll stick where I'm at for now.
posted by darchildre at 10:29 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]

Most days I'd settle for "age without joint pain," honestly.

But the "freeze time without aging" thing mentioned by showbiz_liz would be cool too. I'd probably take a walk across the US at some point with time frozen, 'cause why not?
posted by duffell at 10:33 AM on February 8 [9 favorites]

but to fade into the background, to have people's eyes pass over you, to be present but not noticeable.

This definitely feels like something out of a novel (I know Pratchett was referenced up above) but it's also something that you'd see in Charles de Lint's Newford stories. Though often this is seen as a curse and less as a power, but I get what you're saying here. There are times that it's better to just not draw the eye of a person. If I were a villain, I'd definitely use this to make thieving a bit easier.
posted by Fizz at 10:35 AM on February 8

I used to have a lot of dreams about flying, and I think that's the superpower I'd want the most. I wouldn't bother with the superhero part, though. I'd just use the ability for myself.
posted by briank at 10:35 AM on February 8

Time stop.

Kiiiiind of an obsession of mine in fiction.

The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything
The Fermata
Sex Criminals

And oh yeah, the cautionary tale ... A Kind of a Stopwatch
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:36 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]

I'd like to be able to transfer the perceptions of one person to another, so that person A would feel they were "riding along" with person B, and feeling everything they're feeling -- though not in control or able to communicate in any way. Ideally it could last for a day or two, but would be cancelable on short notice. (Person A's body would just sleep / be in a coma until they returned.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:36 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]

Though often this is seen as a curse and less as a power, but I get what you're saying here.

Yeah, I definitely only want this one if it's entirely under my control. Much like Mr Terrific's "machine invisibility", this is only a power if I get to choose when it happens.

(This has never been dealt with in comics to my knowledge, but whenever Mr Terrific talks about being invisible to machines, I always wonder how he deals with, like, the automatic doors at the grocery store.)
posted by darchildre at 10:38 AM on February 8

Uh, because I'd use it to make assholes live the lives of people they mistreat at least for a little while.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:38 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]

Teleportation would be super useful. Beijing for lunch to get some noodles? Ok! (Except it'd be midnight there so I'd have to know some 24-hr places).

Other than that, I'd like to be able to communicate with animals. I could get the message across that no Taco, not every vertical surface needs to be peed on for you to own it; and being able to say hi to the geese when I'm walking in to work would be a good time.
posted by Fig at 10:41 AM on February 8 [5 favorites]

If I overhear people gossiping (or subtweeting or subMetafiltering or whatever) I'd like to instantly know the full context and who they are talking about. I think that might be slightly on the villainous side.
posted by threetwentytwo at 10:43 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

You know, if I had three wishes that I could make this holiday season, first, of course, would be for all the children to get together and sing.. the second would be for the $30 million every month to me.. and the third would be for all encompassing power over every living being thing in the entire universe.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:52 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]

Telepathy and invisibility are at the top of my list, mainly because one of my life goals is to find out the truth behind the Katie Holmes/Tom Cruise relationship. With those skills I'd at least have a fighting chance.
posted by something something at 11:00 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

I'd like the power to quell fear: in myself, and in others at a distance and en masse. I am increasingly of the belief that fear lies at the root of so many social ills and problems facing humanity and this planet. If I could do one thing, it would be to help people do what the angels always say first: be not afraid.
posted by gauche at 11:05 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]

I would enjoy time travel, but only as an observer. If I could travel to any time and any place and just be witness to whatever was going on, without worrying about being seen or disrupting the future, I would want that.

If that wasn't possible then I would maybe just like to be able to eat cheese without having to struggle to poop the next day.
posted by bondcliff at 11:15 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]

and to clarify- comic book magneto powers where he is delightfully OP (levitation/true flight, all metal manipulation not just magnetic, electromagnetic pulses, ETC I have not even begun to list his powers) and not movie magneto who can move spoons, guns and sometimes a stadium.
As for what I'd do with it... maybe I shouldn't list that in a public forum.
(JK i'd make pretty metal planters. mostly.)
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:19 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]

My brother and I have this running joke about how a great superpower would be the ability to call down a bolt of lightning nearby, regardless of weather conditions, and with the proviso that it wouldn't hurt anyone or cause any damage.

The logic behind this is that it would be super-handy in awkward or uncomfortable work or social situations.



Suddenly, everyone's worried about the sudden bolt of lightning on a clear day in the dead of winter, allowing one to make good one's escape from the awkward situation.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:43 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]

Also, it would be fun to scare the shit out of people with sudden and inexplicable too-close-for-comfort thunder.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:44 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]

I would like to not be required to feed and water myself and be basically impervious to weather.

Why? Infinite bike touring or backpacking and getting out into nature.

Related to this being able to fly would be pretty cool. Which reminds me I had really good lucid flying dreams last night. I was hanging out at or working at some burgers stand or something, and whenever I got bored or tired of standing I'd just pick up my legs and start hovering or floating around. Someone even said in dream logic "wait, how are you talking to us and working while flying around? Aren't you supposed to crash or remember you can't fly when you do that?" And I was just like "Nope, obviously not. Because I'm right here doing it. And went on flying and hovering about."

I'm so good at flying in lucid dreams I have dreams about landing specifically because my legs are tired from dangling below me I just want to sit in a chair for a change.
posted by loquacious at 12:10 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

I have thought about this before, and I came up with a weird and personal answer. I want a magic notebook where whatever I write into it pops into existence, with one catch: if anyone notices a contradiction, a missing detail, or some other plot hole with what I've created, it disappears and I have to start again. It's a power that appeals to me on multiple levels, since I not only get to create whatever I want, but I get to learn more about the world and flesh out my creations whenever they disappear.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 12:19 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

My brother and I have this running joke about how a great superpower would be the ability to call down a bolt of lightning nearby, regardless of weather conditions

I also like thinking about ridiculous super powers similar to this, such as having the ability to snap my fingers and have "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang instantly play, like it's just immediately something everyone in the area has to listen to. Think of how absurd you could be with this super-power. Somebody at the office brings donuts... *snaps fingers*
posted by Fizz at 12:21 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]

I also like thinking about ridiculous super powers similar to this, such as having the ability to snap my fingers and have "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang instantly play , like it's just immediately something everyone in the area has to listen to. Think of how absurd you could be with this super-power. Somebody at the office brings donuts... *snaps fingers*

Or "I Feel Good", or "Everybody Dance Now"... Add a record scratch and you could make every day a trailer for a mediocre summer comedy!
posted by J.K. Seazer at 12:24 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

I want whatever mutant power lets me command wasps and bees to keep their distance from me in the summer time.

Also, whatever mutant power lets me get out of bed in the morning and not feel like my body is slowly falling apart from the ravages of time.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:27 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

My selfish powers would be time related. Either freezing time, as mentioned above, or teleportation (my commute is sucking years from my life, but is also some of the only "me" time that I get). On the other hand, healing and pain relief would be nice, too. Had surgery to patch up my three hernias on Monday. Everything has gone well, but it's not exactly a vacation.

Superhero powers to help others with, though... I think I'd go with a modification of Wonder Woman's lasso o' truth. Except, instead of making people who touch the lasso tell the truth, I'd like to be able to make other people see the truth. And let's just skip the literal lasso. This should be a power I can focus on individuals or broadcast more broadly, say within a city block. And it should work over the airwaves, either live or prerecorded. But only the actual truth. I couldn't use the power to convince people of lies, even if I believed the lies myself. And of course, the new understanding of the truth would have to be persistent. With this power, I feel like I could do the most to help transform the world into a better place without really messing with free will too much.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:32 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]

I would like to be completely in control of my body (not like I'd need to focus on breathing, just I'd be able to change anything I wanted). I wouldn't get sick, I'd never have a period or have to worry about birth control, I could fix all my health problems, I wouldn't have any more mental health issues, I wouldn't have to worry about pain or exercise or shaving my legs or brushing my teeth. I would be impervious to any pain I didn't want to feel and able to make myself strong enough that no one would be able to fuck with me and I could protect other people. I wouldn't need to sleep, I could drink without getting hungover and sober up immediately plus I would be effortlessly hot af without frizzy hair or anything.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:36 PM on February 8 [5 favorites]

When I was a kid I was read a bedtime fairy tale about three fairies who were bestowing gifts upon a new child. The first gifted the child with beauty, the second gave her the quality of kindness, and the third gave her the gift of common sense. The first two fairies were like, "weird gift, sis" but the third fairy insisted that it was the best gift that one could ever hope to receive.*

I wish I had that third fairy's power. I would like to be able to wave a magic wand an instantly bestow upon people sudden and stupid-thing-stopping common sense.

* does this story ring a bell with anyone? I did some quick online searching and am not finding it. I don't remember much more except that her common sense saved her when her kindness and beauty could not.
posted by Gray Duck at 12:43 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

I would like the super power of, having decided to do something that morning, to do it.

this may just be a power
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:52 PM on February 8 [5 favorites]

if it were an x-men power i would totally choose teleportation for sure because i hate long plane rides and such.

if a power could be "something people can do but you're not good at, but don't feel like doing the work to get good at it" my power would be to be a REALLY REALLY GOOD DANCER.
posted by capnsue at 1:03 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

probably something subtle, like people always accepting that everything I say/ask is with the best of intentions. So not really mind control, but more social "hacking" at an elevated level. Perhaps to always be able to make the "best" decision in any situation (the universe will know what I mean by "best", that's part of the power). Also, to be able to travel with no jet lag.
posted by alchemist at 1:05 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

I have actually thought about this a lot, so I have an answer:

When I get my superpowers, I am going to be Dr. Manhattan. I will split into hundreds of thousands of Drs. Manhattan, and I'll fix some people's little red wagons, you'd better believe it. I will also become giant and rebuild damaged places, rescue people trapped in natural disasters, etc.

While I will not use my godlike powers to topple popularly elected governments, I will correct certain injustices - I bet we'll get single payer and a green new deal a lot faster when there are thousands of me surrounding the White House, for instance. And I bet you'll be astonished by the global growth of unionization.
posted by Frowner at 1:08 PM on February 8 [11 favorites]

In the UK tv show Misfits (which, if you haven't seen it, definitely do that, as it's often described as Trainspotting + X-Men), the character Curtis has the ability to wind back time and try something again. That's the power I'd want: the superpower to fight regret and lost opportunity head-on.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:14 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

I would like to be completely in control of my body (not like I'd need to focus on breathing, just I'd be able to change anything I wanted).

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I've thought about writing a sci-fi story about this. Scientists at some big corporation develop a pill that gives a person the ability to change whatever they want about their body, to control their health, their appearance, what they feel physically. You take it once and that's it, you have the ability forever. The executives were going to be filthy rich; everyone's going to want this pill and they will charge a fortune. Then anarchists get their hands on the formula and distribute it publicly. The pills are cheap to manufacture. Everyone takes one. Trans, non-binary, and genderqueer people can have the bodies they want or change them day to day. Anyone who does or doesn't want to be pregnant can be or not be pregnant. The health industry and the beauty industry are diminished overnight although some people keep buying makeup and stuff because they like it. You can immediately have or not have a tattoo depending on your mood. You can make yourself impervious to cold and heat and you don't have to eat or use the bathroom if you don't want, so people can hike and camp and live wherever they want. Police tactics like LRADs and rubber bullets are ineffective.

But people can also pretend to be other people really easily. When you hook up with your partner, you can't know it's your partner just because they look like your partner. Perhaps everyone agrees to identification bracelets or something, because it's exhausting, having to prove to every friend and family member and loved one that you are yourself. And there's race stuff. White people who think it'll be neat and cool to change their phenotype, and then claim they understand what it means to be Black or Asian or from an indigenous culture because they switched their skin or their features for a few weeks. And everyone would have to figure out what it meant to be themselves when everyone is able to make their bodies match their self-conception. How do you know who you are when the things that make your physical self different are available to everyone?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:27 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

I fly a lot in my dreams, and it's pretty rad, but I can't always land when I want to which can be a little scary.

When I think of teleportation it's usually in the context of the Star Trek transporter. Like healing beyond what modern medicine can accomplish, I want that to be something everybody has access to rather than just me.

I think I'd want something to do with time. If not straight time travel or rewinding, than super-speed or something like that.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:29 PM on February 8

If I could travel to any time and any place and just be witness to whatever was going on, without worrying about being seen or disrupting the future, I would want that.

I would want that, too! Of course, if you had that, it would be your Great Responsibility to go out and solve murders all the time. It would be tough to take off and just hang out in Boston Common in 1880.

I'd also like the power to make people feel each other's emotions, together with all the physical sensations they entail. Either mine, or someone else's, like a conduit. Imagine what you could do with the ability to make an abusive person or a politician understand on a bone-deep level what he has done. Or, you know, I guess you could make somebody feel joy, too, if you had a moment.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:46 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]

I'd like teleportation, no question. Not for short-distance stuff--walking and trains are among the great pleasures in life--but what I wouldn't give to be able to go see my mom any time I felt like it without spending fourteen fucking hours on a plane. (I moved here, it's on me, but still.)
Like some of the other people here I think I kind of do have the "fade into the background" power: I remember developing it in high school as a form of self-defense, and I still have automatic access to the body language that makes people's eyes just kind of skid over you without stopping.
Magical healing would be a nice one too, if complex in practical use.
posted by huimangm at 2:35 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

I'd also like the power to make people feel each other's emotions, together with all the physical sensations they entail.

This would make parenting so much easier. I could really understand my kids. My kids could understand each other. Best superpower ever.
posted by Jpfed at 2:37 PM on February 8

I'd like to go one-up over JC and have the ability to turn water, or for that matter any other sub-optimal fluid such as Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew or (ugh) iced 'tea', into correctly made and served tea. In proper cups. Properly. With a biscuit on the side. And a slice of cake.
posted by Wordshore at 2:52 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]

Freezing time. I've always thought I would like to go back and forth in time, but I know that would just result in chaotic paradoxes and alternate timelines. Instead, I'd just like to be able to freeze time once in a while. My only concern would be that I'd end up aging faster than everyone else in an obvious way.
posted by soelo at 2:52 PM on February 8

I'd also like the power to make people feel each other's emotions, together with all the physical sensations they entail.

This would make parenting so much easier.

Not to mention medicine. How many people suffer for years or even die because they can't find the right words to describe their symptoms in a way that rings a bell with their providers?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:13 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

Or, you know, I guess you could make somebody feel joy, too, if you had a moment.

I'd use this ability to fuck with people trying to KonMari their stuff.
posted by tobascodagama at 3:18 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]

Another "freezing time" cautionary tale that has stuck in my head since reading it in OMNI magazine in 1979.

I'd go with teleportation, even if it was the current limited, line-of-sight teleportation that Peek-A-Boo has on the Flash TV series.
posted by hanov3r at 3:22 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]

As a kid, I saw half of a remake of "A Kind of Stopwatch" in which the protagonist was a woman. At the end, she froze time just after she had heard there was going to be a nuclear attack, and just before the missiles landed. I don't know if I was able to keep watching after that, but it really scared me and haunted me for a while.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about how I would use that power to put the kids who were mean to me into elaborate, degrading poses in the middle of the classroom.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:26 PM on February 8

and the third would be for all encompassing power over every living being thing in the entire universe.

That seems like a lot of paperwork.

There are some impressive superpowers here. My ambitions fly much lower: being a reformed physics geek I fret too much about the angular momentum involved in transporting halfway around the world, the subzero temperatures you wold get while flying, the conservation of energy problems involved in time travel. It's all great to have an amazing superpower until you use it for the first time and wind up trapped in some terrible situation, while a short distance away Rod Serling addresses the camera and delivers an ironic homily.

It occurs to me that it might be handy to have some temporal parallax: to look at something and be able to simultaneously see it today and to take in the same view from the same vantage point years or cenuiries previously. Watch your family home get built decades ago. See what flock a billion passenger pigeons looked like, blotting the sun out for hours. Go to New York and watch Henry Hudson dispatch a landing party to the shore of Mannahatta; go to Greece and watch the Colossus of Rhodes tumble after the earthquake; go to Laetoli and watch three of our ancestors walking across the damp volcanic sand. See your great-grandparents go on their first date. Go stand in the parking lot on your hometown that was a glorious thousand-seat cinema until fifty years ago. Find out what happened to your favourite toy that you forgot at the playground when you were six.

Time tourism without the paradoxes and chances for smallpox.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:42 PM on February 8 [5 favorites]

Not to abuse the edit window, I will say that my aspirations to this low-key superpower may come from being Gen-X: with little power comes little responsibility.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:47 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

Also, the power to always match every sock in the laundry into a pair.
posted by Wordshore at 4:02 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]

Also, the power to always match every sock in the laundry into a pair.

That's not a mutant power though- that's witchcraft!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:13 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

the subzero temperatures you wold get while flying

In my dreams, I tend to fly pretty low

Ooh, maybe I'm a ghost!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:17 PM on February 8

the subzero temperatures you wold get while flying

You just plan accordingly, also you should watch Chronicle.

*small spoilers*
posted by Fizz at 4:39 PM on February 8

Time travel/time stop is one. I would love to be able to spend time twice- which would simultaneously solve and worsen my procrastination. There seem to be all sorts of complications when you mess with time, anyway.

Teleportation is the one I would love to have. My side of family lives 4 hours away, mrfeet's lives close, and it always seems like there are things happening at the same sort of time, and it isn't practical to spend the time travelling, and I have to choose. It would be nice to just drop in with my folks for tea (evening meal) and then come home again to my own bed.

A device in your car that, when driving down a road that has another road named the same, you could suddenly be driving down that road. Would cause issues because of left/right hand side driving, of course.
posted by freethefeet at 5:11 PM on February 8

Welp, I'm actually pretty much completely snowed in for the first time in my life. None of my housemates vehicles can make it up the very long, steep driveway for a week now and they've been having to haul in everything by foot. We've had nearly a half a foot of fresh snow today on top of the few inches from the last storm, so it's definitely piling up in drifts a few feet deep in places. I deployed a plastic toboggan as a grocery hauler today and have been up and down the driveway at least four times just today, and that's a pretty significant distance even without the snow.

And we're expecting to get up to 12 - 22" inches over the next week. And it looks like Seattle is already kind of majorly shutting down and it's probably good that it's the weekend.

This is actually kind of nuts because we don't have the infrastructure for it. Other places that deal with 1-2 feet of accumulated snow on a regular basis have the plows and salt trucks to deal with it.

This is potentially a 10-15 year storm for the area and the last time this happened major parts of the area were without power for up to two weeks. Which... if that happens here we might have problems because the cast iron fireplace isn't properly sealed yet. But I have stoves and stuff and lots of skills, and I was smart and went and stocked up on stuff on wed. I even picked up a bag of handwarmers and a new isobutane canister.

And I'm *really* glad I have my big rubber boots and shell/rain pants and stuff and I'm not trying to walk around in a pair of low-top Keens or something.

In other news I have handwarmers on my hummingbird feeder and it's working, there's hummingbirds out there right now dodging snowflakes. I'm pretty sure these might be black throated hummingbirds that stay year round and survive on sap and bugs.

Oh, and surprisingly my Amazon order for a power cord for my Macbook finally came through. Unsurprisingly they sent the wrong magsafe size, it's the later larger size, not the earlier, smaller one. This has officially been the longest I've gone without a fully functioning computer since about, oh, 1996. I have a dinky netbook I'm borrowing, but even with a good lightweight linux install it's... not what I mean by functioning computer.

Aaaaand holy crap the snow is still falling hard enough to erase all the tracks I made about an hour ago.
posted by loquacious at 5:24 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]

I want teleportation, including bringing people and things along as I choose. And the ability to eat whatever I want with no ill effects. I don't want to be a superhero, though, those just sound lovely to have.
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:42 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

I’m with Mogur, way up in the beginning of the thread: languages! Let me understand all the languages!

I remember when a character was introduced with this power in the New Mutants series in the 1980s: Doug Ramsey, code name “Cypher,” and he was just so splendidly different from the other New Mutants. He couldn’t fight with super strength or flight or magnetism or whatever, but he had tremendous fluency in all languages! So cool! Heck, I can barely get by in one language! I vividly remember young teenage me thinking that was just so practical and interesting and unexpected and delightful a superpower. As I recall he was quite unpopular, I guess because language fluency is maybe not the greatest for superpowered combat. Maybe it was also his undeniably homoerotic relationship with Warlock? The powers that be at Marvel killed him off, much to my chagrin, and that’s actually when my fan experience of comics kind of veered away from mainstream comics, and, well, that’s that. Anyway, a language superpower would be just fantastic.
posted by cheapskatebay at 6:02 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

posted by dobbs at 6:08 PM on February 8

Giving it a bit of thought instead of giving my usual tryhard answer here. As a nerd/geek/boff person on the internet, I reckon having mad information/hacking skillz that can always help your friends wherever they are a la Oracle would be pretty amazing. Not sure that counts though.

On the other hand, add me to the list of dream-flying fans. Arms out in front, one half extended the other fully outstretched like Christopher Reeve's Superman. Just takes a bit of a run up and you jump, pushing against the ground with one leg, but don't take off, then you do it again, and then the third time you push hard against nothing and suddenly realise that you're already airborne, merely launching yourself higher and faster off thin air. Can't be beaten, even if I always have to concentrate to control it.

Alternately, you may prefer my Mum's amazing self-reported dream flying technique which is to jump into the air and flap her arms like a chicken.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 6:09 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]

I'd rather be an animorph, to be honest.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:14 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

Like, Jesus-like powers of healing. Like, I could touch someone and take care of all their medical problems.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:15 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]

Evil twist: I could give medical problems to other people after I took them away from the people I took them away from.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:16 PM on February 8

Man, screw superpowers, I'd be happy to not be stuck with near ludicrous amounts of allergen response and a prism of about a bazillion in my glasses prescription. But honestly I'm happy with what I got when everything is said and done.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:18 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

I've always wanted the ability to make facts about people appear in little bubbles over their heads, visible only by me. I could change up the facts presented whenever I wanted.

Recently, it has been things like income, age, weight, or the last time they had sex or drank alcohol. It could do predictions too, like how long they have to live. I realize it's horribly intrusive, but I'm a horribly nosy person.
posted by kinsey at 6:37 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

I would llke to be a barely there time traveler. Meaning I want to observe, but not be eaten by the dinosaurs, I want to smell that jungle, see the skies and see all those creatures, without harming them by being there as well. I want to wander around in Genghis Khan's camp, see King Tut walking around. I want to see the volcanic eruption that made Crater Lake. I want to witness Salome's dance. I want to materialize just enough to wink at William Shakespeare.
posted by Oyéah at 7:12 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

Talking to animals would be pretty cool. Well, talking to them and understanding them.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:14 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]

I’m tempted to ask for the power to convince anyone of anything. But I think this is one of those powers that would eventually become a curse.
posted by eirias at 7:30 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]

No question about it: I'd like to keep my physical age at about 30 yo indefinitely. This comes with dependably good health, but not invincibility. Not being invincible would help me avoid too much hubris. Now I have time to ride some of the high country trails I just never got around to seeing. After that it would be immersion in foreign lands, learning the languages and histories.
posted by mule98J at 8:47 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

The ability to curb stomp my way to an alternate dimension, a la America Chavez.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:01 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

Sometimes I'd like to be the invincible, invisible Time Traveler Investigator! I'd travel back in time to find out What Happened at various events and times. And a key part of that superpower would be that a report detailing all available observations would magically appear when I got back, because if it were left up to me the reports would never be finished.

But then other times, I'd just like the ability keep my dog at 7 years old - a good dog age for her - for the rest of my life so I'd never lose her.

And then other other times, for someone like me with ADHD, executive functions seem like such a super power - it amazes and awes me that people can, like, do stuff! Without struggling to do it! I'd like that power.
posted by barchan at 9:16 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

This answer has always been the same for me: Mary Poppins' cleaning powers. I want to just point and have things wipe themselves off, twirl once, maybe twice and then a flip and march off back to where they belong.

Option 2 is regenerative meniscii. Meniscuses?
posted by carsonb at 10:50 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

100% freezing time without ageing, I would love to be able to rest, and sleep as much as I need without encroaching on time for socialising or life admin. Speaking every language would be pretty cool too.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:19 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]

I would like the power to control probability. What is the chance of me sticking my hand in my pocket and finding $$$. Actually, it's now 100%. Chances of me finding a parking spot right outside where I need to be? Ooooh, that's certainly 100%! Chances of that bullet actually hitting me? Damn, that's got to be zero.

Failing that, telekinesis. It has always puzzled me that telekinesis seems to be such a badly utilised power. Why try to kill the bad guy by trying to drop something heavy on his head when you could just yoink out a body part, or move bad-dudes brain a quarter turn to the left?

Yes, I may have spend a bit of time thinking about this. Yes, I'll go stand in the villain queue. Again.
posted by ninazer0 at 11:37 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]

Living in the dank, dark, dripping and periodically freezing-over hellhole like I do I would lobby for the superpower of influencing the weather. Like, just a little bit:
-- If there were for example a choice between slush freezing solid at midnight (preventing me from moving my car out of the driveway in the morning, after I've cracked three ribs trying to even reach the damn thing), and slush not happening at all, I'd like to pick the latter.
-- If there were a choice between crisp winter weather with a light dusting of snow and (like we had the past few days) a continuous night-and-day downpour-just-above-freezing-temp, I'd choose the former.

So, you get the idea: no crazy fantasy of the tropics, just a say in making our weather bearable within the usual limits of the seasons.
posted by Namlit at 2:39 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

I'd like the power to instill peace in the middle of chaos and create a sense of caring for others as if they were not "others". I think that would, then, solve a lot of additional problems.
posted by mightshould at 2:40 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

Back when I was still doing science my boss always insisted that x-ray vision would be the best power. He wanted to be able to zoom in and see exactly what the proteins we were working with were doing.
In my current job super strength and the ability to heal my own body would be great.
In terms of benefit to the whole world, super inventing powers to be able to devise alternate power sources to make us not reliant on polluting technologies. A teleportation device to bring us to new planets where we could perhaps not screw things up so bad. A form of I guess you’d call it mind control that would make the entire world population 10% less selfish so we could all make better choices.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:14 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]

I want to remove things. Like all the plastic in the oceans, just... dismantle it at the sub atomic level and swoosh it out into some sun. All the toxins and built up pollutants in the soil, air, waterways, just poof it away into space dust.

Not sure what I would do about the continuing regeneration of such stuff -- can't be messing with free will -- but some way to protect as much area as possible from further damage and then just watch things heal, which they would.
posted by luaz at 3:15 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

ninazer0, I’ve thought the same about telekinesis. Why throw large, heavy, easily dodged things like cars at people? Why not shred the car into thousands of jagged projectiles? Or, hell, why not throw the person you’re fighting in front of the car? Make it look like they ran (move their limbs) out into traffic.

The only time I thought, yeah, that makes sense, was the prison break scene in XMen 2 (I think) where Ian McMagneto rips the iron out of the guard’s blood and uses the tiny amount of iron to wreck the whole place. Why go for outlandish, exhausting displays of power, when, like you said, simply given half their brain a good twist is all you need?

Personally, I’d like teleportation, failing that, flight. I commute. I don’t hate commuting, but I’d really like to have those daily two hours back. And all of the bank vault looting that comes with teleportation. So, yeah, villain. Not like, rule the world type. Just teleporting thief. I’d rescue stranded cats to make up for it.

Failing all that, the power I sometimes wish I had was, well, not that useful, but I’d like it. You’re walking along, and it sucks, because walking is slow. That thing that’s ahead of you, that building, that intersection, it’s always just there, not really feeling like it’s getting any closer. So you look ahead in the distance, and anchor yourself to a spot, and just sort of reel yourself in, speeding along faster than the eye can see. Sort of kind of super speed, but pretty much only line of sight, straight line sort of thing. The pull comes from the torso, leaving legs and arms limp until you end up at the anchor, and move on.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:45 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]

100% freezing time without ageing, I would love to be able to rest, and sleep as much as I need without encroaching on time for socialising or life admin.

Okay now I am suspicious that all those people who seem preternaturally successful and lucky, especially the ones who claim to never sleep but aren't scatterbrained and low-energy all the time, have this power and are doing something like Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt's characters in Edge of Tomorrow, researching and planning out every individual minute they live ahead of time with as much napping and spa time as needed between the minutes.
posted by XMLicious at 5:18 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]

Omg so much snow! I just went to peek out the door of my shed and I had to push the door through a foot of super heavy snow! That's a foot over the bottom of the door, the porch is long gone. My bike is buried and is just a mound of snow.

I've volunteered to salt 1200 feet of driveway the hard way but it's going to be pointless for a few days at least.
posted by loquacious at 5:58 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]

I wish I could turn off unnecessary shame - in myself and others.

And be both super-strong and impervious to bullets. Because it would be really fun to be an average-looking 40-something woman who goes into an alley and kicks some ass and then emerges still looking nondescript and thoroughly invisible. And also I'm tired of not traveling to interesting but not "safe for women" places. And tired of planning walks so that I don't wind up alone in my neighborhood, on foot, after dark. And of being afraid of taking a road trip because what if I break down in an isolated area.

Also, languages. I'd settle for being able to learn really quickly and easily.
posted by bunderful at 6:33 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]

Has anybody said mindreading? Or is it just me? Honestly it would probably be enough if I had just a little more (not complete) insight into what motivates people and how they look at the world. You‘re all completely unsolvable, unpredictable riddles to me and this is something that bugs me a lot in everyday life.
posted by The Toad at 7:36 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

I'd like to enhance my already sometimes uncanny affinity with cats into an ability to raise cat armies as needed to defend and protect myself and others, and otherwise bring joy and peacefulness whenever possible.
posted by Little Dawn at 7:38 AM on February 9 [6 favorites]

The ability to stop and restart time at will is definitely the most superhero-y superpower I can think of: you could use it in place of a ton of other powers (teleportation, faster-than-a-speeding-bullet, invisibility, etc). But I really don't think it's a power I would want.

I'd probably enjoy myself for a while by e.g. sneaking into secure facilities to liberate documents and political prisoners, putting cockroaches in various politicians' mouths during televised speeches, pantsing Congress, assassinating various warlords dictators and billionaires, etc. (So... supervillain, I guess. With good intentions.)

But it would be an awfully lonely power to have. A few subjective weeks of wandering ghostlike through a world of frozen people and motionless objects and I'm pretty sure I'd stop believing other people were real. A week or two more and I'd stop believing I was real.

I think the power I'd actually want would be control over physical matter. Not even necessarily at the atomic level, though transmuting elements would be nifty too; I just mean basically controlled telekinesis at whatever scale. I wouldn't be a superhero or a villain, I'd mostly just stay home making sculptures and practical objects, maybe dabble in architecture or surgery now and then. And the landscaping around my place would be on point.
posted by ook at 8:22 AM on February 9

This is a hard question. I don't want to fly for the same reason I never want to go on another roller coaster - too unpleasant.

I have rheumatoid arthritis and a number of other health issues, so Wolverine's power of healing is a huge temptation. I would love to be able to ride my bike again and just not be in pain all the time and eat what I want and not have to worry about losing function in my hands. This is the practical thing I would want.

As a linguist, the gift of tongues would be amazing and fun. This is the thing I would most enjoy.

As someone who would like to not have the planet go completely to shit, if I had Professor X's power I could use it to, say, move a few Supreme Court Justices to the left, get reasonable policy through, destroy the careers of assholes with the information in their own heads, force people to resign, that sort of thing. This is the thing I feel like I should do, but I know it would be unpleasant and a ton of work and a lot of internal interrogation about ethics and the use of the power for my own comforts, which would totally happen because staying on top of news enough to use this would be a more than full time job. Superhero and supervillain are matters of perspective.

Or I could have Bobby Drake's power and not only fix the polar ice caps but also freeze climate change deniers in big blocks of ice, Victor Fries style. That could be fun, and also personally hilarious because I hate being cold and would have to wear basically all my clothes at the same time.
posted by bile and syntax at 8:31 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]

I would like to be able to change or control the music playing in public places using only my mind.

It would also be nice if I could make things appear when needed. Not necessarily big fancy things, more of an "Accio toilet paper" sort of thing.
posted by thivaia at 9:15 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

I'd answer differently probably any time you asked me this question. Today:

Super speed, just like in the current (pretty dumb) run of The Flash. It's versatile, (everything from passing through walls to time travel), it looks like fun, and I'd finally have an excuse to eat anything I wanted all the time. Bonus points if it meant hanging out with a different incarnation of Tom Cavanaugh every year.

I also like this answer. Magneto seems to like what he does.
posted by mordax at 9:28 AM on February 9

On reconsideration, I could also seriously go for the basic jedi mind trick. You don't need to see my identification...
posted by bile and syntax at 10:20 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]

Definitely "change the weather." Both because I could stop spending 80% of my waking moments preoccupied with climate change and because the weather has a huge effect on my well being. From now on, under my mutant reign, Bay Area evenings are going to be mid 70s instead of clammy sweater weather and all the rain that feeds the Sierra snow pack is going to be normally distributed throughout the year with occasional thunderstorms. I miss thunderstorms.
posted by Smearcase at 10:25 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]

I love long plane trips — I get lulled to sleep as the plane sways while taxiing down the tarmac. But when I’ve run out of eggs or icing sugar, I’d like to use teleportation to get to the market. It’s the little interrupting trips that I loathe. Or use for emergencies like getting back to North America when someone I love is ill.

Otherwise, I’d like to be a little lucky. Always get thru the yellow light, always make the elevator, find the book I want in the library, get the last portion of the daily special, cars suddenly pull out of a space right in front of the shops I’m going to, bartender always sees and hears me, shorter people sit in front of me in concerts, silence and no phones during movies. Basically conform reality so life is a little less annoying. But yet keep mystery and happenstance in the mix.
posted by lemon_icing at 10:38 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

Teleportation definitely, but also Magneto's powers.

Magneto can control magnetic fields. That should mean that he can also control electric fields, as well as light. Magneto should be able to shoot lightning and lasers. Depending on the strength of his powers he should also be able to create black holes and wormholes by concentrating enough energy in a small enough volume. So, he could destroy planets or instantaneously teleport via wormhole. This also means he could time travel as well. Basically, other than gravity manipulators and reality warpers, Magneto should be the most powerful super-person of them all.
posted by runcibleshaw at 11:02 AM on February 9

It could do predictions too, like how long they have to live. I realize it's horribly intrusive, but I'm a horribly nosy person.

It might make one kinder if they could look at the asshole shouting into his cellphone at a coworker and realize that he is going to die in five days.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:03 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

I don't know if this has been covered yet, so sorry if I'm repeating anyone. Nightcrawler is very religious because when he teleports he travels through Hell. Just a FYI to any of my BAMF peeps out there.

I'd go for telekinesis because, unlike the various travel powers, I can use it to travel and affect the rest of reality.

And honestly, I'm not so sure I'd be a good guy. At least not all the time.
posted by Splunge at 11:06 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]

Has anybody said mindreading? Or is it just me?

Mind reading is often depicted onscreen by a babble of overlapping voices. I think if the range were any further than, say, arm's length it would make me crazy in short order. Imagine being on a crowded city bus and everyone is simultaneously chatting loudly about $LocalTeam's failures in coaching/their plans to party all weekend/what a moron their boss is. And then, as I am sure I have seen in some TV show or other, the realization that one of your fellow passengers is a serial killer, plotting the murder and dismemberment of their next victim.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:08 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

but to fade into the background, to have people's eyes pass over you, to be present but not noticeable.

Wait - this is attainable: I have it. Just be a small woman of a certain age, and you can go anywhere without anyone really seeing you. The only problem is that there isn't a good way to un-fade. Sometimes I have to practically send up a flare to attract a server at a restaurant.

I think once I would have answered this as having the power to fly, but now I'm definitely on board with Mrs. P in wanting total control of one's body and total health. And no more frizzy hair.
posted by AMyNameIs at 11:20 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

Omg so much snow. We have a solid, honest 1-2 feet of new snow accumulated and it's practically up to my armpits in the heavy drifts. If I hadn't kept clearing the outward opening door on my shed all night I'd probably be stuck in here and figuring out how to go out the window. My area is getting hit the hardest in the region by a factor of two or more.

Seriously it looks like Alaska or Norway out there. The only time I've ever seen this much snow is at a ski resort and most of that was artificial. I've definitely never, had to live in this much of it.

But still, weeeee! I'm getting layered up right now to go wade around in it!
posted by loquacious at 11:30 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]

My superpower would be the ability to unmake – down to its constituent elements – any thing, any person, any where, any time and bury those elements deep into the mantle of the earth. The world would be a much better off without so many... Guns – gone! Nuclear weapons – gone! Fascists – gone! PUAs & pussygrabbers – gone! Televangelists & prosperity preachers – gone! Terrorists - gone! Excess carbon dioxide - gone! Cane toads in Australia - gone! Fire ants - gone! Hate radio hosts - gone! Gas powered leaf blowers - gone! Cancer - gone!

I would be willing to entertain all reasonable suggestions. You just wouldn't wanna get on my bad side.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 12:45 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]

I can report that it took me almost an hour to laboriously hike a small segment of trail that usually takes me like 5-10 minutes, and I'm pretty worn out by it, and I'm a strong hiker. There's totally armpit deep drift out there. Most of it is past my knees and a lot of it was hitting my hips.

I'm hearing reports that major roads in the area are still closed. I'd be surprised if our side of the county had more than two snow plows.

It's also some of the heaviest, wettest yet still powdery snow I've ever experienced, but is more like dulce de leche cake. It doesn't have that good hard crunchy structure that colder snow has that often makes it easier to walk through, nor the benefit of drier powder snow that's lighter and a bit less sticky. It's like wading through marshmallow fluff. This is bonkers.
posted by loquacious at 1:19 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]

Gas powered leaf blowers - gone!

I am intrigued and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by Splunge at 1:20 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]

> the power to convince anyone of anything

This is always my go to answer, because every so often, someone will go "hey, that is a really good— hang on."
posted by lucidium at 1:30 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I'd only take mind reading if I got to pick and choose whose mind I would read, when, and for how long, and could turn it off in between readings.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:30 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]

I'd like to be able to choose a painless death.
posted by vers at 1:35 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]

If it's solely for my own benefit, I'd be torn between teleportation and a Wolverine style healing factor. On the one hand, see the world for free! Never deal with a shitty commute again! On the other, living forever with perfect vision and physical health is pretty tempting; one of my recurring worries is ending up with health problems that would make me unable to paint any more.

If it's for the benefit of others, then mind control for sure. I know there'd be a lot of ethical objections, but there are a lot of world problems one could solve that way, much as bile and syntax described. I assume that would make me a villain, since virtually every time I can think of mind control being used, it's portrayed as evil (Jessica Jones, Bright Sessions, etc.), but if I could command the world to dismantle their nukes, I would. (Edna Mode jokes aside, I also want a cape, if I'm going to have a visible presence.)
posted by tautological at 1:40 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]

I would have the power to dream into other people's dreams.
I would secretly influence the world from in there. A lot of good people would find themselves sufficiently motivated and confident, and a lot of bad people would just quit.
Plus I would sleep as much as I want, and folks would deliver me food and stuff.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:10 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]

Sign me up for preternaturally good intuition. About everything. Like, just double my odds of picking the right option on any decision I concentrate on. Maybe triple them if I'm paying particularly close attention.
posted by deludingmyself at 3:42 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]

loquacious my person, I took a three-day trip last weekend and spent much of the middle day breaking trail through six feet of fresh snow, falling into spruce traps, following bobcat tracks, kicking my way up thirty-foot tall drifts, and just generally being ridiculous out in the mountains. I have 30" snowshoes and I was still sinking in at least a foot with every step. I made it all of three miles out before I decided I had to turn back while I still had the energy to get back, but it was glorious, glorious fun.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:49 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]

I know it’s cheap and lazy, but I’d like to be able to memorize the contents of any book just by holding it in my hands. I’d go to the library way more often and I’d do so much better on my upcoming midterms.
posted by armeowda at 5:00 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]

Luck. Domino-style luck. It would cover a lot of ground.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:26 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]

I’d really like to see a tale of the tape sort of breakdown of luck powers, Longshot vs Domino. I mean, it seems like they have essentially the same power, but that can’t be, because that might mean that Rob Liefeld was, gasp, a lazy writer?
posted by Ghidorah at 7:11 PM on February 9

Teleportation for sure! Also, the ability to see clearly and breathe well underwater.
posted by dubious_dude at 8:42 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]

(Edna Mode jokes aside, I also want a cape, if I'm going to have a visible presence.)

I mean... if you want a cape, don't wait for powers.

If I had powers there is NO WAY that I would ever make them known, except in the "hey, they're a really good lawyer, oddly persuasive" sort of way or possibly the "how did you end up with a private island?" way. No one who knows me would find it at all weird if I had a supervillain style abode, they'd just think I'd stepped up my style.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:41 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]

The last time something like this came up I got myself deleted. But a mix of spacetime travel and speed and basic immortality. I think it was a TARDIS question. I want to see the pyramids built. Watch Denisovian and Neanderthal, trace human evolution. Fact check history, explore the galaxy. Flying is just really fast repeated teleportation, but you have to worry about those sonic booms when you create a body sized true vacuum when you leave somewhere or instantly compress and displace a volume of atmosphere when you arrive causing everything nearby to burst into flames. You sorta have to replace volumes somehow... seems a bit complicated.

Being a being of pure energy might be pretty cool, like the ascended being of the Stargate universe (but without the non-interference bit). Or just being Q (also without the whatever rules of Q).

But definitely has to be spacetime, because if you just have the time bit you'll end up floating in space where you started and the earth will be somewhere else.

Super powers are so complicated.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:18 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]

"The last time something like this came up I got myself deleted."
I think there's a McFly-family joke that could be made here.

But, yeah, zengargoyle and DirtyOldTown and I are on the same wavelength - going back to the mid 70s to teach young me how to be considerably less unpleasant, and also, TARDIS-ing up the past before the 70s because currently we have too many Historical Examples of S#!++y Behavior. See relevant previous comments 1 and 2 for the idea of what I'd like to accomplish. I do tend to think of it more as having the space/timeship Dora from Heinlein's Time Enough for Love.

Countess Elena, was it "A Little Peace and Quiet" ? The Wikipedia page makes it sound like there wasn't much of the episode left after the part you recall.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 9:46 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

When I was around the age of five, I had many dreams about being able to fly. On waking, it wasn't entirely clear to me that they were dreams rather than memories. I spend a long time trying very hard to fly. This involved flapping my hands, in a way that couldn't possibly work, even given a five year old's physical intuition. But, it seemed worth a try.

I'm going to have to go with flight, as the selfish choice. (Invisibility became less exciting after the invention of internet porn. And, after the age of 13. Those more or less coincided for teenage me.) The use for super strength, speed, bulletproofness, etc., don't really come up much in my daily life.

The ability to convince politicians not to destroy the world would be pretty cool. I'm not sure there's a comic book name for that.

I remain intensely jealous of pigeons. Is the ability to spend a few minutes in the body of any animal, while retaining all your human mental faculties, a super power? That'd be a hell of a lot of fun.
posted by eotvos at 8:18 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]

Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead, that's it exactly! I remember the scenes described in the article. I wonder if it's on streaming somewhere.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:34 AM on February 11

Something something something magic sparkle girl transformation scene!
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 12:07 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]

If any of y'all into teleportation haven't read Steven Gould's book Jumper (and its sequels) (also do not judge the books by the hilaribad movie) you should definitely give it a go. The consequences of a teleportation superpower might not be all sparkles and sunshine, but I'd still take it. And I'd probably take all the suggestions from those books about how to manage it.
posted by asperity at 3:33 PM on February 11

The use for super strength, speed, bulletproofness, etc., don't really come up much in my daily life.

When you need to be bulletproof it's absolutely indispensable. Getting shot sucks.
posted by bile and syntax at 4:36 PM on February 11

My superpower would be friendship with people that have superpowers. Superheroes, supervillains, and just generally super people. Like, they'd invite me around, say hello to me, and think of nice little things to do for me. They'd never, ever want to hurt or inconvenience or even embarrass me. They wouldn't mind me having other superpowered friends either, in fact our mutual friendship would be something they'd enjoy talking about when they get together to plan little parties and stuff for me.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:48 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]

If you could have a super power, what super power would you choose?

posted by clavdivs at 11:32 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]

Timing (edit 3:23)
posted by clavdivs at 11:32 PM on February 11

If I wake up at night and have trouble getting back to sleep, I think about the different things I could do if I had Magneto’s powers. (The ability to move metal things with my mind)

Since I’m trying to get back to sleep, they get mundane pretty quickly. Lost your wedding ring at the beach? I’m your guy.
posted by thenormshow at 12:32 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]

You could clean up some industrial waste sites, or reclaim metals discarded in garbage dumps. You could lend a hand in restoring buildings after earthquakes and removing sunken vessels that have become a menace to navigation. You would be an environmental hero.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:31 PM on February 12

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