A few weeks ago I was walking around Boston on a particularly snowy Saturday, which probably didn't help my oncoming bout with bronchitis any. Returning from Micro Center over on the Charles, I took a shortcut through a large-quad sort of park over by Boston University, just off Comm Ave.
On this particularly snowy Saturday, though, the cold and wind and snow/freezing rain combo was a bit much, so I made my usual move. I wrapped my scarf all the way around my head and neck about four times (it's long, like "Doctor Who" long), slipped on my 'round-the-back-of-the-head-style earmuffs and pulled by faux-wool winter hat down over my head.
When I do this, naturally, heat is the main concern -- not fashion sense, which I don't have anyway -- and as a result my head is completely bundled up aside from the eyes. At times like this, as friends can vouch for, I sort of look like a large-economy version of Ralphie's little brother in A Christmas Story crossed with your garden variety convenience store robber. This day, though, I seemed to remind someone else of someone else...
Passing through the aforementioned park, I spotted, a few yards up in the pathway before me, a woman and child, possibly baby and babysitter but more likely mother and son, playing in the snow... or, more accurately, kicking a ball back and forth in the cold, miserable slush storm. My oncoming bronchitis must've been making me irritable as my first thought as I saw them ahead of me on the pathway was, "Way to take your kid out in the crappy weather. Nice momming, Mom!!" Then I remembered what I must look like -- a large, masked man approaching silently in the near dark of the otherwise-empty park. Not wanting to appear as some sort of troublemaker, I slowed my pace until there was a decent enough moment for me to pass through. As the kickball reached the little boy and he bent down to pick it up, he looked my way. And froze.
"Uh oh," I thought. "I've scared him, now."
I waved, unthreateningly and uber-friendlily, and suddenly his eyes widened. He excitedly announced... "Wow! You look like Spider-Man!"
This was probably the most flattering thing I'd heard in a while. (Me and Spidey go way back.) I didn't really look like Spider-Man at all; dressed in grey and pushing 220 pounds on a good day. But I went with it.
"That's right, kid! I am Spider-Man! This is what I wear in winter!"
The mom starts laughing nearby, so I turn it into some sort of stand-up routine for them both.
"Yep, have you ever noticed in my movies that it's never winter when I'm fighting the Green Goblin and all them? That's 'cause my other suit is freezing in this cold. And the ice makes it impossible for me to stick to the buildings and I can't shoot webs with my gloves on. So I come to Boston and hang out until New York warms up again. Spidey hates catching the flu."
The kid's mouth just hangs open, eyes wide.
"So, bundle up, be good and I'll see ya' later. Let me know if you see Doc Ock... I heard he was around here somewhere."
The mom giggles. The kid twitches, looking all around the park like a squirrel evading a german shepherd. I wave them both a happy goodbye and move along my way. So, long story short... Apparently, I'm Spider-Man. Which is cool enough for me...
But... if Gwen, Mary Jane and Betty Brant were here... Then we'd be on to something. :)