Halloween and superheroes: A pairing that’s been around as long as Route 70 and King of Pizza. The first Halloween superhero I ever dressed up as was Superman. My mother bought it for me at Kiddie City. It came with a cape and everything. Although it was one kick-ass outfit I remember being disappointed when I couldn’t fly or use X-ray vision. I truly believed that all you needed to do was put on the outfit. Maybe it was because I changed into it in my bedroom and not a phone booth?
Being Batman when I was in the fourth grade was cool, but being The Riddler the next year was even cooler. My mom took this old green suit and sewed question marks all over it. I was also Captain America one October and I loved wielding that shield!
Women got in on the action also. My wife was Wonder Woman one year (I’d like to see her in that costume now) and one year she dressed both my daughters up as Batgirl and Supergirl, which sounds cute but the costumes went to their heads and they got in a big fight on a neighbor’s porch in my development that we still laugh about.
I still love Halloween; and although as I got older, the costumes got less extravagant, I still always put something on like that nose and glasses bit. It’s a terrific day.
But nothing beats being a superhero. The problem is I would look pretty silly in a pair of tights dressed up as Ant-Man. So I started thinking; how about creating my own superhero? Not one that would save the world, but a man who would make life better for my wife and family. Let’s face it; I don’t have a prayer of lifting the rear of a car to change a flat like the Man of Steel or stretching to dust a ceiling fan like Mister Fantastic. (Although my wife claims there is a resemblance between me and the Hulk when I lose my temper.)
So here’s a superhero I could be now, not one I could have been when I was a kid. Look through the window of my home. Right there. On the couch. Watching TV. It’s Patience Man!
My wife takes an hour and a half to get ready. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a wedding or to go out and get a half a pound of ham at Heritage’s. An hour and a half. Minimum. Now while I am an extremely lucky man and the end result is one hell of a gorgeous wife, I confess that often it gets on my last nerve doing all that waiting. (You do know that this is literally what the Eric Clapton song “Wonderful Tonight” is about, right? Eric waiting around for his wife, Patti Boyd—George Harrison’s ex—to get ready?)
Like most men I take about 10 minutes to get ready and that’s if I’m doing more than just putting on a hat. To combat my impatience, I sometimes drive over to my buddy Spins’ house. We hang around, play music, eat Cow Tails, and I wait for my wife to ring my cell to tell me that she’s ready. Then I drive over to pick her up. It’s sort of like going out on a date. I highly recommend this method, guys.
I do this because if I stay around the house and make the slightest noise whatsoever she’ll yell down from upstairs, “Relax! I’ll be down in five minutes!” And not in a pleasant tone. The next thing you know we’re getting on each other’s nerves and there’s nothing like getting in a fight before you get in a car, is there? All that tense silence is a lot of fun. Wrong!
What kills me about all this is we’re never late. I don’t know how she does it. If we’re going to a 7:20 movie at the Deptford AMC and it’s 7:15, she’ll yell down, “There’s 20 minutes of previews!”
So we end up driving like a bat out of hell but I’ll be damned if we don’t take our seats just as the film begins. I don’t know how she does it. And that’s with a bag of unbuttered popcorn in her lap on top of it. (Will someone please tell me what’s the point of unbuttered popcorn at a movie? I like mine where there’s a puddle of butter at the bottom of the bag. Which explains my excellent health track record.)
The need for me to create Patience Man is for those moments when the weather is lousy or there are no neighbors to visit, and I’m forced to sit in the house for an hour and a half.
And what would Patience Man’s superhero costume look like? I’m working on a design that would resemble one of those full body armor outfits that knights used to wear. It would be so heavy that it would force me to sit on the couch because it would be too cumbersome for me to anxiously pace around the house. Maybe slap a big medieval-style “P” on the chest. It would also have one of those chain mesh nets around my mouth so I couldn’t talk and annoy my wife.
I’d keep it in the garage and slip it on the second she’d say to me, “Be ready in 10 minutes!”
Patience Man. Women across South Jersey would buy one for their man. Eventually there would be a movie and merchandising. I’d be a rich man. And patient!
Look there. Through my living room window. Sitting on the couch. Watching the Flyers. It’s Patience Man!
For those who missed the final performance of Big Daddy’s show about his Dad, Last Call, it's now available on DVD. Visit BigDaddyGraham.com for more information.
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 7 (October, 2015).
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