January 26, 2012

Superman's A Baby, But He's Still Superman

its pretty so you never leave.jpg
it's so pretty

So this is how you miss the signs.  Pay attention, it's a kind of charade.

The boy is at a kid's birthday party and the kids are 7, and they're bowling because nothing suits 7 year olds better than perfect spheres made of depleted uranium and 45 minutes of waiting your turn.

A girl wearing a tiara bowls a 71.  Superman-shirt bowls a 76.  A future parole violator quits after two gutter balls because this game sucks, an odd assessment since it's his party.  His mom is showing another mom texts from a man who is not his dad.  The boy bowls a 101.  Granted, he double underhanded it the whole time, but so what.

Princess says to the boy, "You won!" The boy tries to suppress a hesitant, humble smile beaming with incredulous pride. Princess gives him a hug and he almost cries.

Superman says, "No you didn't."

"Yes he did," says Princess.

"Yes I did," says the boy.

"No you didn't," says Superman. "You got the highest score, but you didn't win."

I'm not familiar with sports, let alone bowling, so I don't really understand the scoring.  Is bowling scored like blackjack, where you can have more points but still lose?  Or is bowling pretty much like football, where more points= the other team's cheerleaders?  Which would mean either Superman is running a short con or he got into his parents' mushrooms.

The boy says some words, but what he says is irrelevant because the boy's parents are less like parents and more like Idiots and Idiocy can overwhelm everything but death, and death can overwhelm everything else but denial.  The boy's parents are proud of the boy, they want him to feel good, so they jump in: you did win! you are the winner!  They are patting him on the back for his win, sure, they may suspect it was a fluke (so he crossed the line a little) but self-esteem is what's important here, right, at this age, right? This is a big deal for the boy, he won, f-i-s, come on, let him have his moment.  Have some more cake!  Have another juice box!  Hey, everyone, come give the boy a high-five!  Don't pay any attention to Superman, he's just a Greenie Meaneenie Jealous Butt Crybeanie, he doesn't like it when anyone's satisfied.

Yeah, but Superman is telling the Idiots something important.  He is telling them that based on his prior history with the boy, based on what he knows of the boy, telling him he didn't win might actually work.  He wouldn't have tried this on the Princess, or his parents, or some stranger with a beer gut and an ankle monitor-- no, he tried this on the boy because he had a feeling he would fall for it.

Which means that the correct lesson the boy's parents could have taught him was what is it about Superman that makes him act that way?  Or more importantly, what is it that the boy does to make Superman think he can manipulate him?  But the one they went with, the one that will make him neurotic for the rest of his life, is that he's a winner.

But he might not be.  Not if Superman has anything to say about it.