Blog Dishing It Up

Paying For Our Pesky Inner Hero

December 12, 2014
Paying for our pesky, inner superhero.

Most times, I really do tell the truth. But friends generally think I’m gearing up to tell a story.

I think the problem lies in the fact that I am a writer of fiction, hence friends who read my posts on Facebook might question whether something I put up on there was, shall we say — slightly over the top?

The inherent beauty of writing fiction is that one can be a dreamer, interweaving real life impressions and experiences with the vapors of the mind. Those vapors drift into the atmosphere, and I catch them when I sit down at the computer, fingers on the keyboard releasing my thoughts. From that confined inter-cranial darkness, subconscious remembrances decades old are retrieved; those feed my imagination, building new worlds, creating stories. Scientific studies posit that the storage capacity of the human brain would be about 25 cubic feet, the size of a luxury refrigerator, or 2,500 USB drives. Depending on how stuffed your fridge is, that could be a lot of thoughts chilling in there.

Paying for our pesky inner hero.

People live their lives questing for the heroic. Ever dream of zooming down an icy Olympic luge track to catch the villain, James Bond style? The Bavarian Zipfel Bobsled is available from Hammacher Schlemmer for $39.95.

But, what I post on Facebook is real life, not a story-in-the-making. Or is it?

Something I posted recently that raised questions about true-to-life experiences was this:

Life Lesson #523: Although it’s enticing to venture out on balcony of half-completed house remodel to check on progress, if the temporary door handle only works from the inside, it’s probably not the best idea. 

COROLLARY: It’s a long drop from the roof.

That was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Since then, everywhere I’ve gone, people have asked me about how I became stranded on the balcony; they seem to want direct confirmation of the story.

Or possibly, a story is better in the telling.

Because, yes, I did venture out onto one of the balconies of our remodel-in-progress, and when I did, the new french door (unaccountably) swung shut behind me with a near silent click. Not quite silent enough, because I heard that click from where I stood at the railing on the second floor of our home, where I stood enjoying the pale light of early morning. The sun silvered the yard below, and on the new (and frozen) sod I had so looked forward to for months, ice crystals glittered. I wasn’t worrying about what the ice might do to the new grass. Sometimes you simply want to enjoy that moment of cold stillness before life erupts around you again. Sometimes, you want to appreciate the transitory nature of an experience before it slips past into the void of time and memories lost, from where it later must be dredged. 

Except I had heard that click. My immediate thought was a panicky, “Oh crap,” which is the same thought you would have had if you were up there in air 15 degrees cold.

Paying for our pesky inner hero.

We all want to do something special. Superheroes can slice off the top of a champagne bottle with one downward motion! Imagine the awe you could inspire, and nary a drop spilled. The Authentic Laguiole Champagne Sabre is available at Hammacher Schlemmer for $299.95.

That’s when that pesky, archetypal Superhero (we all have one inside of us) awoke, insisting that it couldn’t be all that difficult to hang onto the rain gutters and drop down onto the ground. After about twenty minutes or so evaluating my options of (a) waiting around until a construction worker showed up to unlock the door and let me back inside; or (b) find the lowest spot on the roof and jump down, I did the most stupid thing possible. I skittered across the crystalloid roof shingles to the front balcony, and seeing no one there, I jumped. Really, it was more of a drop. Leveraging myself onto the freezing roof gutters, wondering if the patio furniture below would support my weight — that was worrisome. But, if you were only wearing pink pajamas (embellished with cowgirls), and a fluffy, white robe, wouldn’t it be the smartest thing to do? Especially if you hadn’t bothered to stuff your cellphone in the pocket of that fluffy, white robe?

When you’re freezing in 15 degrees, your brain isn’t functioning all that clearly. All I knew was, I wanted to get down off that roof.

The problem is, when we’re stuck in a position such as this (pink pjs and all), we don’t think very much. They do it all the time in the movies! There are popular catalogues dedicated to selling doodads supporting our superhero aspirations. Why couldn’t I jump off the roof, too?

Paying for our pesky inner hero.

With The Remote Controlled Tarantula, the girl of your dreams (or guy) might jump into your arms in fright, hoping you would save her/him. That’s heroism. Two AAA batteries required. Tarantula available through Hammacher Schlemmer for $29.95.

Stories are built around real life situations, and then, for the heroic in us all, storytelling ramps up the excitement factor, imbuing we little humans with the courage to run farther and longer than we ever thought we could, slide down icy hills on metal sleds, and sometimes, save lives. Stories are life waiting to be told.

As it turned out, I was fortunate. I paid for my adventure with a few bruises and aching muscles, whether from the cold, or from the exertion, it’s hard to say. Nothing too terrible happened.

But, as in true Superhero form, I did learn a lesson. Always take the temporary door handle with you if you decide to venture out on to the balcony of an unfinished house.

Paying for our pesky inner hero.

A subtle reminder for all heroes at breakfast: know thine enemy. The Darth Vader Toaster is available at Hammacher Schlemmer for $49.95. May the Force be with you, and Happy Holidays!

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Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, illuminating the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished,, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou . Life inspired. Vodka tempered.

Award-winning Chick Lit author Emily Kemme writes about the quirks of human nature. Find musings, recipes, and satire on her blog, Feeding the Famished. Novels | Drinking the Knock Water: A New Age Pilgrimage | In Search of Sushi Tora | Other works in progress

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  • Reply Charmaine Coppom January 4, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    GREAT story, Emily! How I wish I could have been a $29.95 tarantula watching your amazon super heroine adventure. Very, very impressive! So glad you survived it. Lots of good wishes coming your way from me for a healthy, happy, uneventful 2015. CC

  • Reply lin o'hara December 13, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Happy Holidays Emily,
    Just want you to know how much I have enjoyed your blogs and recipes this year! Looking forward to your new book. Keep it coming!


    • Reply Emily Kemme December 13, 2014 at 9:05 am

      Thanks, Lin! Same to you! New book is on Chapter 21: lost on the M25 with a carful of people on the way to Canterbury. Looking forward to Chapter 22, and progress!

  • Reply Susan Gleasonpierrelouis December 13, 2014 at 8:42 am

    After 10 years my book is finally finished. It has gone to four people to read and I have two emails back. A hero difficult project and a narrow subject. Susa

    • Reply Emily Kemme December 13, 2014 at 8:43 am

      Congratulations on completing the first part of your heroic project! What is the topic of your book? All the best on the next steps of your Hero’s Journey!

  • Reply Jill December 13, 2014 at 2:01 am

    Just one question Emily. Did you for just one moment utter, “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo” from said balcony?

    • Reply Emily Kemme December 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

      I think I uttered, “Wherefore art thou construction workers?” It was way too cold for romance up there.

  • Reply Darrell Laurant December 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    You’ve got to put that story in a future novel. It was chilling.

  • Reply Sara December 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Star Wars Pancake Molds = Super Hero Powers. I have these in my cupboard and have a finished pancake pic to prove how epic they are.. Have given them to many young aspiring heroes in my family who adore SW. They use the whole series at this point….and I’m sure they have infused these little people with confidence and attitude. So to answer your question…you use the force. Duh.

    • Reply Emily Kemme December 12, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      That would set you up for an epic day for sure! I want to see the pic!

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