by Lauren Gard
Day job got you down? Particularly because you possess extraordinary talent the like of which the world has never before seen, and -- sigh! --likely never will? Now's your chance. Who Wants to Be a Superhero? the SciFi Channel's latest foray into reality TV, will be hunting for Season Two cast members Saturday at the Southland Mall in Hayward.
Before stitching up that costume -- and you will need one -- we suggest taking a peek at the nine-page application. The first few items -- "superhero name," "non-superhero identity and occupation" and "describe your costume and physical appearance" -- aren't too tough, but don't be fooled. Only the truly Stan Lee-obsessed seem likely to succeed: You've got to come up with superhero catchphrases (examples given include "Cowabunga!"), list several weaknesses (e.g. "illiterate"), draw your hero (including props or weapons), and respond to soul-stirring questions like "What was going on in your life that made you feel the need to create your superhero?"
Most challenging of all, you've got to spend a few hours at the Southland Mall. Some recent reviews from Yelp!: *"Ever had some 14-year-old thug wigger 'spit game' on you while sucking on his gold teef and scratching his nuts? No? ... Southland Mall is most likely where it will happen." *"With high-school punks looking for fights or action, it is a dangerous sight. They need Hayward police to safeguard this mall, instead of a 90 lb. Toys r Us inexperience security guard. ... If the city of Hayward offer[ed] me money to shop this mall, I would deny the offer." *"Recently at Southland, I watched a young fellow of 16 or 17 repeatedly shout, "I'm O.G., bitch!" as he lashed his similarly aged and dispositioned opponent with a studded belt."
Now that's the sort of place that could use a few superheros!