“I wish I had superpowers so I could turn my hands into hammers,” I overheard an enthusiastic school kid saying to his disinterested dad on the bus this morning. Don’t we all mate, don’t we all.
It must be great to be a kid. Obviously, I was one, once. But that was more than two decades ago, and I can’t remember much about being that age, other than once slinging a full-sized replica of a baby owned by my sister as hard as I could at my granddad’s face and my mum really, really not finding it that amusing at all.
But it must be good, being young; your mind unbridled by the pointless real-world distractions that cruelly shatter your ability to have any fun at all in later life, like logic, responsibility and rational thought. And guilt…
I thought for a bit about having hammers for hands. It does sound great. But, not being a kid, my enthusiasm waned when I started to think like a pedantic late-twentysomething. If you could turn your hands into hammers, they’d be pretty useless for anything other than making a complete mess of everything around you.
They’d be categorically the wrong kind of hands for, say, working in a traditional office environment. Sending a simple email would be a fucking nightmare – you’d be picking bits of your keyboard out of your face for days afterwards. Or you would be if you didn’t have hammers for hands.
Actually, if it was a superpower you’d probably be able to change the hammers back to normal hands for the undertaking of everyday tasks. But, hang on, how long would that switch take? And how much pressure and stress would each transition from hands to hammers, then from hammers back to hands, apply to both your body and mind?
What if you were summoned to an emergency that only a man with hammers for hands could properly attend to, and, eager to wade straight in and sort the situation out, you made your hands into hammers before you got there. Then, on the way, you realised you hadn’t memorised the directions. How on earth would you operate Google Maps on your iPhone with your big, clunking hammer hands? How would you even get the thing out of your pocket? And would you really go through the rigmarole of changing them back to normal hands just for that, with the clock ticking and it being an emergency and all that?
See what I’m talking about? This is actually how my mind works. These are actual thoughts I was thinking, on a bus to work at 8.40 this morning.
The kid, on the other hand, just wanted to make his hands into hammers. And that’s brilliant.