I have perhaps the two least impressive secret powers ever documented. They’re so lame that they verge on not even being “powers”, per se, as much as just “things that I’m good at that others aren’t”, the way some people can throw a ball more accurately, or some people are good at math. The only thing is, I’m superhumanly good at both of these things, and no one I’ve ever met comes close, so I’m gonna still refer to them as powers, until someone comes along and matches or defeats me in a test of these skills.
Secret Power The First: I can speak at the exact volume required so that my target hears me, but that others (whom I wish not to hear) can’t. Like, for illustrative purposes, let’s say the missus & I are in a restaurant, and a guy with an enormous, Notre-Dame style hunchback comes in and sits behind her. In most cases, there’d be two choices. 1) Not point out the hunchback, thus depriving the missus of an awesome real-world hunchback sighting, or 2) point out the hunchback, calling attention to the pointing out and risking hurting his mishapen feelings, or worse yet, a vicious hunchback beating (they have the strength of three men!). But here’s where the Amazing Whisperio (that’s my secret identity) could use his powers for good. I’d be able to point out the hunchback and all his unique attributes in a manner such that the missus would hear every word, glare disapprovingly at me (but still subtly turn & look), and Quasimodo would be none the wiser. No one believes I have this power, despite frequent demonstrations of it. Which, given that it’s a “secret” power, is exactly how I want it.
Secret Power the Second: I know whether someone will recognize a specific reference or not. This one has actually won me money, although like Secret Power The First, it’s not an officially recognized Power when it comes to the commonfolk. Here’s how it works. A circle of guys are talking, and one says “That’s like when the Metrons forced Kirk to fight The Gorn!”, and the whole group experiences an awkward silence, because they realize that the speaker is a massive nerd, and none of the rest of them are. Now, there’s nothing wrong with knowledge, in fact, I’d say the more knowledge the better, even if it’s suspect knowledge like “knowledge of showtunes” or “knowledge of exotic poisons.” But when it’s knowledge of pop culture (movie/TV quotes, character names from movies/TV shows, musicians, song lyrics, etc), you need to know your audience. And somehow, almost supernaturally (one might say) I can ALWAYS tell when a specific audience will or won’t recognize a reference.
Like I said, possibly the two least useful superpowers ever. But I guess I’d rather have them than have no superpowers at all. I’d be completely defensless against the hunchbacks. And the Gorn.
P.S., congrats to my friend JK on the birth of his new son, deep in the heart of Texas, where the bears are very large indeed.