The pressing questions of life for the rest of us mean very little to boys. How to achieve peace in the Middle East? Conquer world hunger? Convince Congress to pass a budget? Boys are not interested. (Neither is Congress, obviously.) But let me tell you what boys are interested in debating. If anyone can beat up Superman, that’s what. Boys are arguing about this on a daily basis. It typically happens when they’re supposed to be doing something productive, like homework, but instead my boys are saying things like this:
Nicholas: “I saw the lizard guy on the Spiderman commercial and he TOTALLY can never beat Spiderman.”
Nathan: “Yeah but Spiderman can usually only beat the weak guys, he can’t beat the guys with fire and swords and stuff.”
Nicholas: “But he could beat the lizard guy. But he can’t beat Superman.”
Nathan: “No way.”
Moment of silence ensues, honoring the man of steel.
Usually nobody can beat Superman, at least not in the prognostications that have gone down at our house so far in nine years of boy raising. Not even Optimus Prime, who always seems to get dragged into the discussion as a final measure of any superhero’s strength. I guess if you can beat a gigantic metal robot truck, you are pretty much the stuff.
There is one guy, however, who always generates great debate which never ends in much resolution: The Incredible Hulk. I think boys like the Hulk so much because they dream of spending at least one day of their lives acting just like him. Actually, let’s face it – they usually act like him at least ONCE during every day, but they dream of spending an entire day doing it. Like the best boy day ever. Just wrecking all the things they normally want to wreck, only with the most out of control super nuclear green strength in the entire universe so they can really get the job done. My boys have watched that scene where Hulk punches Thor like three thousand times. And they’re still not certain if he can beat Superman…but they sure like to argue about it.