IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S...

The person who has had a significant influence in my life is Superman. Who said anything about Clark Kent? I'm talking about my dad, AKA Vuong Nguyen.

My dad is a short little man with an accent. He has been in America for eight years and he can't even speak proper English. He's one on the cheapest people I have ever known. The only place he ever does his shopping is the thrift store. He does not own anything that's anywhere close to being remotely new.

Working six days a week, you would think he'd have more than two pairs of work pants. You should see him dress in the winter; he puts on anything and everything that he owns- no sense of fashion whatsoever. Everywhere we go he has to stop at every garage sale looking for deals. He just doesn't realize that someone could have seen me with him.

As I've grown older, I've realized that there was more to this funny looking man than meets the eye. I discover that this is actually a hero in disguise. Let me tell you about his skirmishes with wicked Commie Dude and the diabolical Duke of Materialism.

Commie Dude was Lenin's cousin, ten times removed. His goal was to enslave the people of the world with his Communistic ideals.His favorite weapon was a sickle and his powers are most potent when the moon is crescent. Commie Dude commands an army of goons from his hide-out in Hanoi, Vietnam and wreaked havoc in this S-shaped country.

Superman didn't like that idea of everyone being the same, so he decided to join the South Vietnamese against the goons of Commie Dude. Disguised as a lieutenant, he fought for freedom. Unfortunately, the moon was in its crescent phase so Superman was captured. He was imprisoned for five years. The goons torture our hero and force him to join them. But Superman's will was made of Titanium and he held up. He escaped and took his family to the mystical, goon-free land called America.

Evil lurked in the form of Duke of Materialism in America. Getting into people's minds was what he did best. He used his telekinetic waves to turn the American dream into greed and despair.

But Superman was too smart for that trick. He went into disguise again- this time as a janitor. He recycled the villain's can with his own bare hands. The Duke's waves did little to break Superman's focus.

Superman's great intensity allows him to sweep 10 miles of hallways, plunge 583 toilets and deploy 189 pounds of sawdust on puking incidents. Doing so, he is able to send his kids to Catholic schools in hopes that they will have a chance to make a difference in this chaotic world.

Superman answers to no one, except the big cheese, code name: JC. The two meet every Sunday in the Big House. JC gives Superman's soul nourishment. His faith in JC is what helps him get through tough times. Without JC there is no Superman.

Superman's only weakness is age. But fear not, he has an heir: me. His training for me began very early. I started out with potty training, recently moved to driving and eventually I too will be saving the world. But most of all, he stresses faith in JC.

With all the powerful abilities Superman has entrusted to me, I will be able to carry on his legacy and make my mark on the world. So all you evil-doers out there better look out, 'Cause here comes...

Superman and Son.

Copyright © 2002 Anh Nguyen