Author Archives: Chad Parry

Superheroes

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I liked Jason Statham’s hyper-competent character in The Transporter. A character like that would have to exercise more than the average amount of discipline. Life would consist of months of routine preparation punctuated by high-speed chases. During those boring months, it would be necessary to avoid attracting any attention. In particular, a successful transporter would have to obey traffic laws fastidiously, even though he is driving a car capable of torpedoing the speed limit. Any unnecessary risk would jeopardize his entire career.

So the best way to drive like a transporter is to observe the speed limit. You can tell yourself that you’re driving like an action hero would–an action hero who is lying low. You’re showing that you’ve got the extra discipline it takes to perform at that level.

My wife and I used to be in the habit of driving exactly the speed limit, without exceeding it by even a fraction. We used to say that we were being superheros. The irony was fun for us.

I kept it up awhile because it turns out that I like the feeling of obeying the speed limit. There is real peace in knowing that you don’t have to be on the lookout for a cop.

Plan of Truth

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There’s a popular Mormon doctrine that describes the future of the soul. It’s always called the Plan of Salvation. Teachers present it so often that I have wondered what made it so important. People wouldn’t accidentally find themselves in Hell just because they forgot the order in the diagram.

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Medical Manslaughter

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A short story following the Machine of Death premise

Instructions for tomb raiding, number 1: Act first, think later.

My first dig was for Mom. Hopefully she was glad to be receiving visits still, in her bungalow underground. Even if the dearly departed would have preferred privacy, I didn’t feel like I had much of a choice. I just dug and dug, and I didn’t dare stop, because when my hands stopped, my mind might start working. I worried what an angel on my shoulder would say. I was a little disappointed in myself for not being overcome with remorse. At the same time, I was a little proud that I wasn’t on the couch like an average guy, watching celebrities bare their teeth for reality TV. I focused on mustering up some sadness, to convince myself that I was still a good person.

Mom had been the strongest link between me and the rest of civilization. When I was an infant and my brother was two, my father ran off. Mom used to say that he returned to the zoo. I knew no other relatives. We had started fresh in Los Angeles after the divorce.

The glow from my phone showed me where to pry up the coffin’s lid. The corners of my smile involuntarily twisted upwards towards my ears. Even before this plan had stained my imagination, I had luckily ordered a “green” coffin, not a regular locked-down vault that looked like it was fortified against a zombie invasion. Did I have a devil on one shoulder protecting me but nothing on the other side? Lightheartedness is not an attractive quality in anybody who is kneeling at an open grave, opening a pocket knife. I was greeted by Mom’s ample balding forehead. Hi, Momma. I’m going to help you lose a tiny bit of weight. The next task probably would have been easier with a steak knife. Continue reading