I still regret not being able to take a writing/lit class with George Saunders when I was at Syracuse.? Saunder’s is totally ace.? His short story collection, Pastoralia is a hilarious read.? Anyway, I didn’t know he was writing for the New Yorker until today.
Saunders has a great idea for a television show.? Everybody on Earth thinks they have superpowers, except they don’t. We’ll call it “Antiheroes.”
People jump off buildings and rather than flying they sprain their ankles, et cetera.? Saunders goes on like this and then he drops this quadruple paragraph stretch, which just double punched my funny face with the force of Chuck Norris.
Soon, in a plot twist, people begin losing even their normal abilities. A Japanese woman forgets how to speak Japanese. A Texas mother forgets how to chew, and that her kids are supposed to wear pants. Her husband also loses an essential ability he?s always had, which is: whenever he wants to have an affair, he just has it. It?s like he totally forgets he?s married. After these affairs, he manifests a secondary ability: forgets he?s had the affair, doesn?t feel the slightest bit guilty.
Today, he goes out, has an affair. But right in the middle he remembers he?s married. Lori?s a nice girl?why must he always do her wrong? Sexually, he performs not so great. His partner?s also sad. Her superpower is: whenever she has a sleazy affair, the guy?s always at least adequate in the sack.
When he gets home, Lori?s at the table, mouth full of chips. The kids are running around the yard in their underwear. What gives? No wonder he cheats on Lori.
Nothing, anywhere, is getting done. There?s great fear in the air. What fools we were, to take our basic abilities for granted! How wonderful life was, back when we still knew how to drive cars, button shirts, call for takeout, paint a series of watercolors depicting various views of our summer house, find our damn summer house in the first place.