Do Superheroes Get the Flu? | Sojourners

Do Superheroes Get the Flu?

MY DREAM OF being the vanguard of a new super race of elderly came to an end recently when I spent a week in bed with bronchitis.

I had been preparing for my new role by carefully watching instructive documentaries on two of our greatest citizens, Captain America, a hero whose muscles are swollen with patriotism, and the Green Lantern, a man empowered by a secret alien force that controls the universe, like the Koch brothers, only with better special effects. These two superheroes are using their powers to fight evil, such as job-killing regulations that are stifling American business innovation.

Speaking of which, I’ve been thinking of inventing a disposable shirt sleeve for people who, like me, have recently spent the last month coughing into their elbows. This is the doctor-recommended technique for controlling your germs (as opposed to my preferred method of coughing out the window of a speeding car, although you really have to get the angle right). But after a while, your target sleeve starts developing its own ecosystem, supporting life forms more typical of, say, a rainforest. I didn’t mind the moss, and the ferns were kind of pretty, but when an equatorial lemur started crawling up my shoulder I thought it might be time to change sweaters. But why not slip on a new disposable arm sleeve instead, I asked myself entrepreneurially. Unfortunately, since I’m not a rich job creator, I couldn’t move forward with the idea. Plus, my friends told me it was gross.

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