A Tourist’s Guide to Superhero Cities
So you've come to see beautiful New Metrothamork, home of a prominent superhero! Welcome!
Like most people, you've always dreamed of traveling to the city of Awesome-Man to see him fight villains, banter, and romance his on-again-off-again girlfriend. After years of saving up for the trip, you've left your hometown, jumped on a turnip truck, and rode it all the way to Metrothamork, checked into the Cheap n' Easy hotel and now you're ready to explore.
Here's what you need to pack for a fun, and safe, day in a superhero's city.
First of all, let's go over what to leave at home: family photos, mementos, letters, or your dad's old war medal, especially if you want to pass it on to your kid. You'll want to rid yourself of any symbol that might make your death poignant. Villains love that stuff. Don't write letters or postcards. In fact, just to be sure, get a throw-away cell phone to make all your calls with. You don't want any loved one to call you when you're in the middle of a hostage situation. It's the kiss of death.
Enough about what not to bring, let's get to what you need. First of all, dress for extreme weather. Even if there isn't a villain in this particular town who controls the weather, it will start to rain and sleet, even in June, if the hero is sad. Mood is everything in these cities, and mood can change very quickly.
(Pictured Above: Eleven o'clock on a July morning.)
Everyone wants to look nice when they're in a city, but resist the urge to wear fashionable, thin-soled shoes. In each city there lurks at least one villain who plays around with electricity. Just to be on the safe side, you'll want rubber gloves. Even thin latex gloves will help, and they'll also be useful if blood starts flowing.
In fact, you'll want to pack things that can block all your senses. Mind control or mass hysteria is a major problem in most superhero cities. But don't worry, sensory deprivation doesn't have to be bulky. Simple earplugs, helpful if anyone on the plane ride snores, can be paired with sunglasses and a surgical masked tucked into a handy pocket. Or an iPod can team up with a wide-brimmed hat (make sure it does not have a band that objects can be tucked into) and a bandana for your mouth – perhaps soaked in with peppermint oil, for a nicer smell while you're fighting of hordes of possessed citizens.
(Pictured Above: Someone who wishes they smelled minty.)
And now for the fun part: what you'll need to track down a superhero. There's a trick to this. You want all your encounters with superheroes to be comic, rather than tragic. Usually in order to be comic, things have to get embarrassing. Nothing gets a hero in close range like a funny or slapstick moment to relieve the grimness of their normal lives. However, it's a pretty high-stakes gamble to bet that the hero will take the hit on the embarrassment front.
Going around in superhero clothing in a good start, but that's still too normal and might attract the attention of the villains. Try wearing costumes inappropriately. Spider-shirt; not so good. Spider-undies; better. Spider-underoos; guaranteed face time with a superhero sometime before you leave.
(Pictured Above: Paydirt.)
To avoid wedgies while still acquiring a high-embarrassment quotient, try cutting pictures of the heroes into heart shapes, carrying scrap-book collages of the hero's exploits, or a crude sketch of the two of you as BFFs.
If you're not willing to make your one encounter with a hero into an exercise in humiliation, just bring along a camera and hope for good luck. Idealistic newcomers with cameras, especially old fashioned cameras, often get lucky in the big city. Walk around with a big grin on your face, an aw-shucks attitude, and a sparkle in your eyes. You never know, you might actually get your hero to follow you back to your place and ask for the film.
Do not attempt to negotiate.
(Pictured Above: Batman's response to the phrase 'What's the magic word?')