Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Don't Step On My Cape

Remember when all it took for Superman to fool everyone into thinking he was Clark Kent was to slick down his hair and don those black horn-rimmed glasses that Elvis Costello eventually made cool? It took a pretty ridiculous leap of faith to buy it. Of course, you're already watching a movie about a superhero who flies and can turn back the rotation of the earth's axis, so leaps of faith were all over the place.

So as I was saying, Clark ... hey, what the ...? Where did Clark Kent go? He was right here. And where'd you come from? And, uh ... why are you wearing a blue unitard?
The original Superman underwent and even easier transformation from Clark to Super. At least Christopher Reeve switched his part to the other side of his hair. George Reeve didn't even bother to do that (although his Clark Kent hair is under this rockin' fedora in this photo).

I think this Clark Kent would whip this Superman's butt. He looks like he's got mob ties.
Now I get it, though. A little bit. One of the approximately two bazillion impromptu games NJ and I play around here is "Glasses Daddy," where I put on these bad boys and become a whole new other person.

Dear Elvis Costello,
Please start wearing a pair of these frames so I can say I had them before they were cool.

Pump it up,
Dad Solo.
This game -- I suppose it doesn't meet Webster's definition of a "game," but still -- involves me smiling and talking to NJ, turning away and putting these reading glasses on, then turning back and calmly continuing to talk. NJ goes crazy for it -- she never fails to do a little baby double-take and smile. It's as though she's playing with someone completely new -- and, in a twist, it's the guy with glasses who gets the Superman reception. It's most likely because she sees her reflection in the glass, two shiny little NJs smiling back at her. But then the specs come off again and, again, she's enthralled. Oh, I suppose it's because she's seven-and-a-half months old and is easy to wow and entertain, but I don't think that makes my Dad Solo-as-Superman theory any less apt.

P.S. For those of you younger than me: Yes, I know Elvis Costello is no longer an arbiter of cool, and it's been quite some time since he was. But he was, once, damn it. So shut up. I'm an old man with reading glasses, lots of remastered CDs and a vivid memory of seeing a life-sized "My Aim Is True" cardboard cut-out at the record store in Almeda Mall. Leave me be.

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