I went with my family last week to see the movie “The Avengers”; then the girls made me watch a follow-up superhero movie, “Thor”. I have to admit that I have had enough of those movies to last for quite a while. A strong and hidden memory popped up from my childhood, and I wanted to put it down for me to remember, and laugh. It should come as no surprise that it involves my dad.
When I was just starting school, I was obsessed with what my dad did for a living. I’m sure it was a school project, but whenever I asked my dad what he did at work, he said, “I go to meetings and sign my name.” I don’t think he knew how to explain the Arkansas Power and Light Company to me. Everyone else’s dad had a real job, with a name the kids could understand. Why was my dad different?
A little background information is needed at this point. I am of the age that when we were children, the only programs geared to us were “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company.” “The Electric Company” had one person as a mascot, in costume, called “Spiderman.” He was by far the coolest character on the show. This will be very important in a moment.
I kept hounding my dad to explain to me what he did at work. Realizing that “signing his name” wasn’t going to satisfy me, he said, “I work for the electric company.” Bells went off in my head and everything finally clicked. Dad hadn’t wanted to tell me he worked for “The Electric Company” because his secret identity of Spiderman would be revealed. After all, Spiderman was the only person that didn’t show his face. I resolved never to betray his secret identity. I never told a soul (except my sisters) that I knew our dad was a superhero.