Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Growing up, did you have a favorite superhero? Was it Superman? Batman? Wonder Woman? Robin (if he was your favorite hero, you have serious issues)? Did you run around the house pretending to be like him/her? I have a nephew that loves Spiderman. When we get together, I often find myself playing with him pretending to be the bad guy, running from his webs and dodging his punches. I have another nephew that used to really like Ben Ten, and I think one night when he was over, he would have me be one bad guy. then we would fight, and he would beat me up. Then he would be another bad guy, beat me up, and so on. Good times.
When I was a young lad, I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maybe it was the little Asian boy in me that liked sneaking around and pretending to fight bad guys like a ninja. One Halloween, I dressed up in my ninja turtle's pajamas and went trick-or-treating. I thought I was pretty hot stuff, and I knew deep in my heart that someday I would fall into a sewer, toxic ooze would drip onto me, and I would turn into a ninja turtle... someday.
I suppose I have grown up a little since I was 6 years old, just a little. I have since convinced myself that I will never find the ooze that will turn me into a ninja turtle, although I hope I am wrong. Now, almost 20 years later, my idea of superheros have changed a bit. I don't think that having superhuman powers is a prerequisite for being a superhero. I don't think that you need to wear a skin tight suit or have a cape. You don't need to have a secret lair or have to fight crime. Let me tell you about the person who became my new favorite superhero not too long ago.
In the land that he comes from, he is a little taller than average. He is a pretty skinny guy. His looks are by no mean intimidating. He normally wears black pants or jeans, slightly shorter than what most men would wear. He has some pretty sweet hair that he is constantly brushing out of his eyes. He is kind of creepy and kind of greasy. He once asked me how much a prostitute was in America. He was a student in my English class in Okayama, Japan. His name means "beginning." After every English class we would go outside to say bye to everyone. Every time, he would roll down his windows, wave to us, turn on his car and blast "Take on Me," by A-Ha. Without a doubt, every time.
One cold winter night we were at English class. My friend Steve, Megan, and I were teaching. The class begged us to give them English names that they could go by. Although a little apprehensive because we thought it was weird, we gave into their request. "Suzuki-san, you can be Jennifer. Matsumoto-san, you can be Larry Bird..." Then we came to him... He suggested that we call him Jason, but I wasn't feeling that. It just wasn't good enough. There had to be something more. Then it came to me, "Hajime! You will be known as Captain Beginning!" A hero was born. You see, in my strange little universe that is my mind, to be a superhero, all you need is a name, and a theme song, and that he already had. Thank you A-Ha.
Today, while I was at the OC Tanner employee store, I heard a familiar tune come across the air waves... Bada da dum bum bum pada da da da dum...
So here is to you Captain Beginning, my favorite superhero!