When I was a kid there was a cartoon called The Super Friends. It involved Superman, Batman & Robin, Wonder Woman and Aquaman working together to fight evil. I dreamed of becoming one of the Super Friends one day and maybe casually dating Wonder Woman. As I grew up I realized two things; when I got older, Wonder Woman would also be older and maybe not filling out that low-cut suit quite as well. I also realized that we all have Super Friends too, except our Super Friends powers aren’t all that super. Sometimes they’re just plain annoying. Some of them don’t even realize they have a super power. I now call these The Super Annoying Friends!
I first introduced the concept of friends with super powers in a 2006 post titled Captain Retrospect! that I used as a Throwback Thursday post last year. You can see it here. Captain Retrospect is that “friend” you have who always has great advice, after the fact. After a situation has gone wrong somehow, Captain Retrospect is compelled to say something like, “You know what you should have done is…”
The other day at the gym I ran into another Super-Annoying Friend. Ok, this guy isn’t my friend, but we all have friends like him. A few weeks ago I injured my left shoulder, so for a couple weeks I’ve limited my exercise to cycling classes. Yes, I know, there’s probably a series of posts I could devote to that. Usually I walk into the room for cycling class about 5 minutes early just to sit on the bike and pedal a little to get warmed up. When I walked in on Tuesday, there he was in all his pseudo-super hero glory, Mr. Intensity!
When I walked into the cycling room a few people were on bikes casually warming up and chit-chatting about their holiday plans. Not Mr. Intensity. He was already hard at work warming up as if his life depended on it. Mr. Intensity was wearing what I assume is his super hero uniform. He was in cycling shorts, a skin tight cycling top and special cycling shoes! Wow, that was impressive, but not as impressive as him on a bike all alone in the front row, pedaling furiously with veins bulging on his forehead.
Don’t we all have this friend? Sometimes their super-power of intensity just comes out in one particular type of activity, such as recreational sports and games where Mr. (or Mrs.) Intensity will play beer league softball, basement ping-pong, or Pictionary and compete as if lives, gold medals and years of training are on the line. This may have been the Mr. Intensity I ran into at the gym the other day.
Once the class started he locked his special shoes into the pedals and focused his laser-like intensity, not on the instructor, but on his own reflection in the mirrored wall. This guy pedaled with such furious intensity throughout the class that I 1) worried his head might explode and 2) wanted to get off my bike, walk over, shove him off his bike and yell, “Knock it off you moron. It’s not the Tour de France and your super intense sweat is flying all over and getting on the rest of us.” Of course I didn’t shove him off his bike because with his special shoes locked onto the pedals the bike would have fallen over on him and I’d have been responsible for damages to the bike.
We all have our own Mr. Intensity friend. Sometimes he or she doesn’t want to give up on the debate at work about which side of the break room the water dispenser should be placed on. Sometimes Mr. Intensity uses their super-power to worship a television show. God forbid you disturb them during their show. Don’t breath or speak or move in the the same room as them while they’re watching their show. I bet some of you are even super intense about your blog. I’m sure their powers of intensity are well intentioned sometimes and maybe even a little useful, but the rest of the time don’t you just want to punch them in the forehead? These people remind me of Ben Stiller’s character Mr. Furious in the 1999 classic movie Mystery Men.
So who is your Mr. or Mrs. Intensity? Are you perhaps blessed with the super-power of intensity? I’d love to hear your intensely important answers in the comments. As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor or maybe have a Super-Annoying Friend of your own you want to share this with please hit the Facebook, Twitter or re-blog button below. Have a great weekend! ~Phil