Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Innocuous Super Powers

A couple weeks ago I was down in Charlotte visiting my friend, the Charlatan. That's not a description of the kind of person he is, it's just that he's now from Charlotte, and I don't know what people from Charlotte are properly called. But anyway, we had a lot of random conversations, as old friends tend to do. At one point, the Charlatan started talking about random super powers. Not the kind of powers that would get you membership with the Justice League or the X-Men, but regular powers that could possibly be considered the worst super powers in the world. Like the guy in City Slickers that always knows the perfect flavor of ice cream to follow any given meal. That's not a great super power, but could be impressive nonetheless. Today I bring you the tale of the guy that can always find a parking spot right up close. I give you... ParkMan!

It was another one of those hot, humid days that were always so abundant in the south. ParkMan didn't particularly feel like running errands that day, but he knew that the kids needed milk for their cereal and his wife needed hair color to cover up those few strands of gray that she insisted were really there. So ParkMan left his apartment dressed in civilian attire. After all, he didn't need the whole world knowing about his super alter-ego and his ability to always find the perfect parking spot. Sure, on a scorcher like today, that ability would certainly come in handy for him when he got to the Target. But he knew how it would be if he went in his work clothes. "Hey, Parking Guy! Can you help me find a spot?" He would hear that yelled at him from all over the parking lot. And he would inevitably roll his eyes because, well, his name was ParkMan, not Parking Guy. But, because he would feel the need to help his fellow man, he would point directly at the perfect parking spot for whoever yelled. "Thanks Parking Guy!" the citizen would say. They were always very grateful. But sometimes, he thought, some of these people could really use the exercise that comes with walking halfway across the lot. But it was his sacred duty to find a really great parking spot. It was a task that he never took lightly. And so, ParkMan made his way to the store wearing a t-shirt and jeans, and he found the perfect parking spot. He drew sideways glances from strangers, as if they were thinking, "How did that guy luck out and get such a prime space?" ParkMan, kept safely inside his secret identity, just walked on by and got his shopping done. No one knew that he was secretly finding great parking spots through his peripheral vision. And he knew that, someday soon, he would be sharing those great spots with all the people around him. And he looked forward to the day when he would be able to park in that great parking spot right in front of the Hall of Justice. That's right kids, even super-heroes have dreams.

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