Monday, February 2, 2009


On one of our many escapes from the bitter cold while in Leuven this weekend, Laura and I ducked into a Belgian comics shop. The Belgians love their comics, so there was much on offer, such as the Dutch language version of the X-Men, "X-Mannen." I should have felt nostalgic for the long-ago days of comic book reading, but instead the visit got me thinking of more present day concerns - like the strange powers I seem to have developed since coming to Europe.

Ever since winter descended on the Netherlands, I have gained the ability to harness static electricity. Well, I don't so much "harness" it - that implies an aspect of control - but I do transport it everywhere I go. It is as if I bathe in electrons. They happily zip through my hair and clothes, waiting until I approach a metal fixture. When this happens, they build to a frenzy and the air ionizes with a mighty ZAP. As the electric arc forms, I inevitably find myself cursing the day these powers first manifested themselves (following a freak accident involving a balloon and a fleece blanket). But with great power comes great responsibility, or so they say.

As if being a vessel for transport of static electricity weren't enough, my cells have also mutated; I'm thoroughly convinced they now contain chlorophyll. There is no other way to describe the intense, joyous boost of energy that I now feel when stepping from a cold, shadowy street into a bright beam of sunlight. It makes me feel as if I could jump tall buildings in a single bound. Unfortunately, the earth's yellow sun is not a regular visitor in the Netherlands, so my cells must largely make due with normal Dutch sustenance like Grolsch and stroopwafels - at least for a little longer.

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