Tonight is my dad's 70th birthday party. And I am on the other side of the world instead of celebrating with him. I'm a daddy's girl - how many daughter's aren't? - and my dad has always been my superhero. He's strong and loving and generous and kind (lets me win at Scrabble when I'm having a bad day). He's funny (usually unintentionally) and clever (beats me at Scrabble the rest of the time) and I've never seen someone work so hard to support their family.
A superhero is defined as 'a figure, especially in a comic strip or cartoon, endowed with superhuman powers and usually portrayed as fighting evil or crime.' This is how I think my dad qualifies.
1) Wears an eye-catching outfit - usually lycraBeing Austrian my dad's fashion sense is a bit iffy at best. Fortunately he tends to avoid lycra but he does have a penchant for eye-catching and peculiar footwear - Crocs are a particular favourite. Perhaps they're worn to distract or offend more stylish evil villains?
2) Has a catchphrase'To the Bat Mobile, Robin', 'This looks like a job for Superman' or even 'Cowabunga!' are all catchphrases we are familiar with. In my household we also got used to 'If you're going to do something, do it properly', 'Put things where you expect to find them' and rather more excitingly, 'Let's have a schnapps'.
3) Has one or more superpowersSuperpower 1: Never ages. Despite berating my mom frequently for giving him grey hairs, he still manages to look blonde - albeit a bit platinum these days. Also, for some reason the wrinkles that should have afflicted him by now, seem to be giving him a wide berth. I can only hope he's been generous at passing on these particular genes to me.
Superpower 2: Invincible when it comes to hangovers. It doesn't matter how many schnapps or Jagerbombs he's had the night before, I have never witnessed my father suffering from a fully fledged hangover.
Superpower 3: Has scored not one but two hole in ones on the golf course. Personally, I rate this more as luck than a superpower but he's justifiably proud of this achievement so I thought I'd mention it.
4) Is a smooth moverFootage of him on the dance floor at our wedding should prove this.
5) Has a nemesisMy Mom. (And maybe me in my teenage years.)
I have been stewing for weeks trying to think of a suitable birthday present for such an auspicious event as his 70th and I think I've finally found the perfect thing. It's common knowledge that every superhero needs a cape - and let's be honest, at his age my dad may need a little something to put over his knees on a chilly evening too.
At Superherosupplies (where else?) they stock a large range of essentials for the everyday evil-fighting avenger. Although I am more than a little in love with the gold cape they have in stock I suspect he'd be more keen on the red - it's a little less camp.
Cheers Dad - here's to you and your superness! I love you.