‘If you could be a superhero, who would you be, and why?’
Tony tapped the pencil against his chin as he thought. He flipped the page over and looked on the back. It was blank. He read the question on the front of the page one more time. He wondered what this psychology questionnaire was trying to prove. Then again, it didn’t matter. All he wanted was the $25 he was offered to take the test.
The rest of the room was filled with people scribbling away furiously. Tony took perverse pleasure in watching other people squirm.
A grad student in a white lab coat sporting a clipboard stood at the front of the room. “Five minutes left. Please start wrapping up your essay.”
Tony’s eyebrows raised. He didn’t realize he was expected to write an essay. He looked at his blank page, making a mental list of all the superheroes he knew. None came to mind.
Suddenly, the image of a superhero flashed in his mind. He wrote down a name.
‘Aquaman is my favorite superhero, said no one, ever,’ he thought.
“Two minutes,” said the grad student.
Beads of perspiration formed over Tony’s brow. He wondered if he’d get paid if he only wrote two sentences. Then again, it would be two sentences more than he’d already written.
In a sudden flash of energy, Tony scribbled a few sentences.
“Time’s up. Please hand in your papers,” said the grad student.
Tony hesitantly handed in his paper. The grad student read the brief response and looked at him with suspicion.
“It was all I could think of,” said Tony.
“You wrote, ‘Aquaman, because he’s got an actual girlfriend.’ Really?” asked the grad student.
“Hey, Aquaman may not be cool, but at least he’s got a life.”