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If I were a superhero, one of the things I'd focus on, is the utility belt. Not all superheroes have utility belts, and to not put too fine a point on it, I think you're not much of a freaking superhero, if you don't have one! It's like being a second rate security guard or a night watchman, and calling yourself a cop.

We used to have a night watchman when we worked the night shift, and one of the guys who tended to go a bit loopy from working the night shift, he'd go sit in an empty cubicle, with the lights out, and wait for the guard to come by. Then, when the guard walked by the cube, he'd yell and smash his chair into a filing cabinet or something like that, pretending to have fallen asleep and that the guard had scared him. The guard would be scared shitless, because there was always something different every time. It was fun, because the guard always stopped by the main support room where we would hang out, to see if this loopy guy was there or not. And if he wasn't there, he'd get all edgy and sneak out through the cubicles to check the security and whatnot, and inevitably there'd be a scream and some chairs falling over etc. It was great. Oh yeah I remember now, the loopy dude would call the guard CHUCK, although his name was Thomas, or something entirely different.

Well CHUCK is like a superhero without a utility belt. I know, I know, Superman didn't have a utility belt, and perhaps Aquaman didn't have one either. So perhaps those are exceptions that prove the rule, sort of. Batman had a kick-ass utility belt though!

Now, what are you gonna do about a utility belt?! I mean, you're not gonna go buy one at Sears or anything. Amazon.com don't sell superhero utility belts. You'd have to create your own. That leads me to something that has been on my mind the last few days: What would you want to include in your utility belt?

Slim Jims! In case you get hungry, see? Or some beef jerky. Or, if you wanna be healthy, you could use some celery sticks. Either one could double as a weapon -- well not really, but dude, if you are holding up a 7-11 and a guy in a cape and a bulging cod-piece starts brandishing a slim jim at you, your little heist is gonna you know, not go so well, to say the least!

But I would also have some donuts. Now, that may not strike you as a good choice for a superhero utility belt, let alone a superhero's food source, but that's just because you're not a superhero (yet) so you don't think like one (yet). You need donuts for the cops. See, superheroes are basically vigilantes, and in this day and age, nobody likes a show-off, and certainly not cops. Look at Spiderman, that poor dude was in trouble all the time. So, if you run into any troubles, you could like, go "Good evening officer! Here, have a Krispy Kreme -- hey, it's on the house!" and hand the cop a donut. Make sure to buy the blueberry jelly donuts, because those are the "signature" donuts from Krispy Kreme. And of course, you should point this out -- about it being a blueberry, and blueberry being their speciality. Cops love facts like that.

I think one thing that few civilians realize, is that the utility belt of a superhero, should be symmetrical. The containers, the pouches, the boxes, they all need to be the same size, color, and they also need to be spaced out evenly. It's pretty obvious to any lay person, that they should be light, sturdy, and easy to access (yet impossible for anything to fall out even if you are upside down and falling from a tall building) -- but not many realize that superheroes pay a lot of attention to their utility belts.

Oh and they obviously need to be of the same color. Or, at least, if they weren't of the same color, they should be you know, of a color scheme that makes sense.

Look at Batman: he's basically into a blue/grey theme. And his utility belt is very uniform. Now, look at Robin: his scheme is completely different: Red, yellow and green! Batman is based on a dark, sinister thing. Not Robin. His colors are inspired by the circus, where he grew up. HA! I bet you didn't know that!! I bet you thought I was just making this up, and rambling. But fact is, Robin was a trapeze performer, and only because a superhero because his family was killed by some gangsters (his family were all circus trapeze performers also).

Robin doesn't have a utility belt I don't think, but if he did, I COULD get away with having a multi-colored one. He's so wacky he might even get away with an asymetrical one too. But I would bet on it -- besides, if you have Batman to back you up, you basically are playing with a fail-safe security net, because if people start dissing you because your utility belt looks stupid, then Batman would show up and sort things out. So that's not really a sensible analogy or whatnot.

Well, the point really is, if you were to just haphazardly put together a sloppy utility belt, you could be in for some trouble.

You ever seen those Chinese takeaway boxes? I don't mean the Wonton soup styrofoam jars, but the cardboard boxes that have a smaller base, and a slightly larger top, and a small metallic handle? Those would be nearly perfect for a donut. But what about the slim jims? They're not gonna fit in a Panda Express takeaway box! And if you start cutting them up, they are gonna lose their sealed-in flavor -- and they are sure as hell not gonna intimidate any desperate 7-11 robbers.

So what the hell are you gonna do then? Cops are smart people, you know. Not in the Mensa sort of way, but they have a LOT of "street smarts". And if you just walk up to them with a bunch of slim jims and celery sticks stuck through the belt-hoops in your pants, and try offering them a donut, they could get suspicious (because cops are basically really paranoid). Maybe there's some stuff left in the Chinese takeaway box, and the first bite, the cop gets a taste of the Kung Pau chicken and thinks you are trying to poison him (as I said, cops are pretty crazy people).

In light of lalala's utility belt (idea) node, I was inspired to think long and hard (okay, not that long OR hard) about what I would include in my own utility belt. I agree with lalala, that the utility belt is a crucial part of effective superheroism.

I think the rule should be that you can only carry things that are realistically accessable to you. No special military weapons that go beyond grenades or guns. I mean Batman had all that cool shit because he was really really rich. Besides, Batman isn't real. And I am.

So... I think I'd carry...

1. Duct tape. Definitely duct tape. Detaining slippery nemises would be easier with duct tape than with handcuffs. You don't want the bad guy getting ahold of your cuffs in action and chaining you to their mass-destructive weapon they've concocted in their secret lab. So duct tape, because it's multi-purpose.

2. And a Swiss Army knife. The huge one with 50 tools in it.

3. An extra pair of tights. Because a run would be pretty embarrassing when you make the news for your heroism.

4. A tazer gun, because you're supposed to be a good guy, you can't kill people, just stun them.

5. Stink bombs, to clear a building in seconds. Although I'm not sure if I want my superheroness to be synonymous with bad fart smell.

6. Chewing gum. I can't tell you how often I've seen TV heroes save the day with chewing gum.

7. A debit card. You really shouldn't leave home without it. That would be stupid. But you can't put your real name on it of course. That would be careless. So I'd go to the California DMV, get a driver's license and a social security card in my superhero name, and THEN get a bank account. You have to cover your tracks, or you'll never make it in the superworld.

8. Deodorant. Hello, who are we kidding here? Do you want to be a stinky superhero? People will be reluctant to be saved by you.

9. Chapstick.

10. Snacks would be nice. It's hard to make it through the drive thru window of Taco Bell without being noticed when you're wearing a cape. And since I'm a flying superhero, I don't have a car, and I'm in a hurry. They never get my order right anyway.

11. A discman. For dry spells, when you're just flying around with nothing to do.

12. Flintstone vitamins. They're like candy, but they encourage your superhealthy goodness.

13. Pen and paper. You might need to write down your clues sometimes. You're not VELMA for cryin' out loud.

14. The SuperHero Dance Mix CD.

15. Bungee cords. Like duct tape, they can be used for many good things.

16. Double-sided tape. I'm a girl superhero. I need to keep my boobs from falling out of my superrevealing supersuit of course. And in time, I may invest in fake nipples, for the "trapped in a freezer" look. I read comic books, I know what I'm competing with! Although, two thimbles and some glue may work nicely, and until I get my endorsement deals, I need to conserve money.

17. Nail glue, to repair my awesome, but fake, nail claws after scuffles.

18. Anti-bacterial wipes. Have you SEEN the kind of places bad guys like to hang out?

19. A palm pilot. Because, DUH. This is a competitive field. Also, I'd need to check my email.

20. A boot knife. Those are so cool.

21. Apparently, a bigger utility belt.

And after much thought, I think I'd try to market myself in a new way. Like, The Ultrahero. Super's been done, ya know?

Whew. That took some heavy thought. But I'm happy with my belt. Although I'd definitely have to practice packing all that stuff in a convenient way.

The last thing an Ultrahero needs is to be caught fumbling with her utility belt. Or even worse, trying to detain a bad guy with double-sided boob tape! Or, at a crucial moment, when you should be zapping someone with a tazer, you accidentally whip out a pair of tights. I mean, how scary are tights?

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