Sunday, June 22, 2008
by Shirley Bahlmann
I just finished a week and a half long stint at the Mormon Miracle Pageant in sunny, mosquito-infested Manti, Utah. My routine was pretty much get up at 6:00 a.m., clean the alternative high school in readiness for Summer School classes, feed and water our pets since that's the only way I could be certain they'd remain alive, then be in my Craft Fair booth by 10:00 a.m. (I didn't have to go except when it was my turn to take the till, but more people bought books when I was there to threaten them with paper cuts if they didn't.) I stayed among the paper and glossy covers until it was time to do my part in the Pageant, which started at 9:30 p.m. (I was a wicked Shaman who led people astray from Third Nephi.) Home by 11:30, I was in bed soon after, unless my restless 8-year-old made it later.
Later, rinse, repeat.
I met some interesting people in my book booth. One fellow who appeared deceptively young had a double super hero cape velcroed around his neck. On one side was the Superman symbol, the other side showed Batman. One lady who shared my booth asked the young hero which super dude he was. "Are you Batman or Superman?" was her innocent question.
The boy fixed her with deadly laser beam eyes. "I'm Under Son," he declared, clearly irritated that she did not recognize him by sight. (How could she have known his real cape was at the cleaners?)
"Under Son?" the lady asked, unaware of the mortal danger she put herself in by questioning his identity. Her life was saved by the lad's older sister, who obviously had super powers of her own. She grabbed Under Son's shoulders and held him fast.
"It's like Under Dog," the girl explained. "Only he's Under Son."
That boy has a big future. I could tell by his cape-swaying swagger as he left us without a backward glance. (Under Son never glances backwards.)
I'll tell you what... if I'm ever in danger, I'll run to the nearest kindergarten class and call for Under Son, the hero of limitless creativity.