Senior Superhero

January 13, 2023 at 10:05 a.m. Sy Rosen


There’s this strange trend that’s catching on across the country. Average, every day, seemingly normal people are dressing up in superhero costumes and going into their cities and doing good deeds for a couple of hours a day.

Although there’s not a lot of crime fighting, these masked crusaders perform a variety of noble feats from handing out free bottles of water when it’s hot, to shoveling driveways when it’s snowing, to escorting women home late at night.

I’m not sure why they do it. Maybe they want to do something special in their life. Or maybe this troubled, chaotic world has created in some the need to fight for truth and justice.

Or maybe, just maybe, they look good in spandex.

The majority of these superheroes are in their twenties, and there doesn’t seem to be any seniors. I started thinking maybe this was for me—I was looking for a hobby ever since I got kicked out of my book club for saying Jane Austen put me to sleep.

The first thing I need is a name. These new superheroes have great names like Polar Man, Terrifica, and The Mysterious Samurai. My name has to say who I am and what I stand for.

After careful deliberation I’ve decided on . . . Senior Sonic Solarman. Senior as a nod to my being a senior, Sonic to give the impression that I’m fast (which I’m not), and Solarman because I like the alliteration. As far as a costume goes, I don’t think I’d look good in spandex. I think a stylish jogging outfit and maybe a white cap with oversized glasses (as another nod to my senior status).

Now the big question is: what will I do as a superhero? I don’t want to just give out water bottles and shovel snow, I want to fight the forces of evil (and I’ve got a bad back so the shoveling might be too much for me).

I’ve made a list as to who and what evil I am going to fight; it’s not a great list but you have to start somewhere.

The first evil force I’d destroy are all those ads that say if you invested $100 in such and such a stock 20 years ago, you’d be a billionaire now. Who needs to hear that? I’m filled with enough remorse about missed opportunities, I don’t need any more.

And I would put down all those insidious individuals who walk up to you and start talking louder because they assume at your age you can’t hear them. And then there’re the middle-aged salespeople who say, “And how are you today young man?” Am I supposed to be complimented that they patronizingly call me ‘young man’ when they obviously know I’m not? Oh yes, they must be obliterated for the good of mankind.

My next malicious opponents would be the people who decided on the print size of the newspaper’s baseball box scores. There’re so tiny, there’s no way I can read them. Along with that, I would destroy those evil doers who make the lines for the return addresses on envelopes. They are so close together that you can’t possibly fit your address in there.

I also don’t care for the bag boys in grocery stores who ask if I need any help with my bags. Why do they assume I can’t take care of it myself? In the same category, I would give the evil eye all those teenage cashiers who, unprompted, yell out, “I gave you your senior discount.”

And then, of course, there’re those sinister villains who keep sending me e-mails for a “Free Electric Wheelchair.” They are evil on two levels. First, after reading the fine print (with a magnifying glass), the wheelchairs are far from free. And secondly, why are they sending me this email in the first place? Do they think that because of my age I will soon need a wheelchair?

And then there’s the e-mails offering me “Superior Colon Cleaning.” What makes them think I want or need that? And by the way, is there an “Inferior Colon Cleaning” because that too should be destroyed.

Anyway, that’s my list so far.

This is Senior Sonic Solarman signing off—for now. ❖

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