Tag Archives: superhero

League of Married Gentlemen: Reflexes

Who would have thought, at this point, that I might come across a lead for such a mainstream power as heightened reflexes?

I’ve been trying for almost five months to find out what special abilities have been locked away in my wedding ring. As time has passed, I’ve been getting more and more antsy, trying to figure out where I will fit in to the esteemed League of Married Gentlemen. Every time I think I’ve uncovered a clue, it turns out to be nothing.

Maybe not this time!

Yesterday was the first day of the new ball hockey season. On Mondays a bunch of guys from church and some of our friends gather in a small gym to do battle. After a long summer of inadequate exercise, I had a tough time catching my breath, and I was huffing and puffing after only a few shifts. That’ll get better in a week or two, though.

Image from cheezburger.com.

At one point in the game, though, I was back-checking and stepped on the blade of an opposing player’s stick. My feet were taken out from under me and I spun through the air, landing completely unharmed on my side. (Well, I was a tad winded, but that was as much psychological as physical, I think; I was startled!)

What I took out of that event was that in a moment of extreme danger, some kind of cat-like reflexes saved me from landing on my head, which would have been certain doom. Now all I have to do in order to confirm my danger-induced super reflexes is jump off the stairs around the back of our apartment. My instincts will kick in, I’ll land on my hands and feet, and the newest Super Husband will join the fold!

Wish me luck.

Ok, I got scared and didn’t do it.

League of Married Gentlemen: A Camping Trip — Am I Unworthy?

Larissa and I spent the weekend camping with some friends. Thanks for coming up with the idea, Dan, and I’m glad Nick and Jenny came along and brought their baby Isaac. We were at the Stoltz Pool campground along Cowichan River. It was a lot of fun. We had great food, including such camping staples as pancakes, hot dogs, and smores. We even invented smOreos, which is where you put a marshmallow and chocolate between two Oreo cookies (either before or after removing the icing; your call).

During the camping trip, I kept an eye out for any developing ring powers, of course. It’s hard for me to keep my mind off of what powers my wedding ring has to have given me. I really feel like they should have manifested by now. It’s been three-and-a-half months since we got married, after all.

Our tents all lined up in a row.

The first day we arrived, I thought I might be on to something. I only saw two or three mosquitoes, even though other people said they were getting lots of bites. But for the next two days, I was inflicted with my fair share of itchy bumps–thankfully not all that many, overall–so I don’t think my ring has granted me any insect immunity.

Cold water still feels cold to me, too. We went swimming (well, more like wading constantly against the current) on Sunday afternoon, and the water felt pretty chilly. It was a really hot day out, though, so it was nice to get cooled down. Then I sat on the rocky beach for a while and did some reading (I’m still working on A Tale of Two Cities), and my back got sunburned just like normal, so there’s nothing there, either.

At this point I’m really starting to feel like all of my leads turn out to be nothing, and I haven’t hit on anything solid. A few times over the weekend my ring actually felt loose, too, almost as though it was trying to slip off my finger. Maybe I’m not worthy of a ring power, and my ring is trying to abandon me!

I’m going to have to do something to make sure it never gets away from me. I think I know a guy I can talk to. I’m not ready to give up yet.

An Excerpt from “Feel-Good”

Haven’t downloaded my latest mini-book, Feel-Good, yet? You should! It’s free reading, and if the opinions of previous readers count for anything, it’s good reading, too.

If you need a bit more incentive, here’s an excerpt from Hands-On, the short story that anchors the collection. Enjoy!


Excerpt From Hands-On

He was waiting for me on the beach below Dallas Road. Like a good animal rights hippie, he was dressed entirely in synthetic fabrics and was munching on a carrot stick. As I crossed the sand and logs that separated us, I saw a seagull swoop down and perch on a rock fifteen feet away from him, eyeing his food. He watched it like a cornered dog. For someone who apparently cared so much about wildlife, he didn’t appear to have an especially close connection with it.

He was still staring nervously at the seagull when I said, “Hello.”

He jumped. “Oh!”

I extended my hand. “Shawn Scott.”

He had a handshake like wilted celery. “Um, Sunrise McCrery.”

I handed him a folder. “Here’s your team. We had some extra manpower, so we upgraded you to a team of four at no extra charge.”

His hands were shaking slightly as he opened the folder and flipped through the papers, but there was a determined glint in his eyes. He really wanted to free this tiger. I waited for a few minutes as he scanned through the information I’d given him.

“Um?” he said.

“You have a question?”

He cleared his throat. “I, um, I realize this may be an odd request…”

“We get plenty of those,” I assured him.

“This, um, the Baconmancer…”

One of Ian’s stupid nicknames. It had begun as a way to keep our guys’ real names a secret, and turned into an outlet for Innis’s juvenile sense of humour. “What about him?” I said. “It’s all in there. He makes bacon appear out of thin air, cooked any way you like. It’s good bacon.”

“Um, I’m sure it is, for people who like that sort of thing.” He put enough vehemence into those words to scare away the seagull, which had hopped closer and had been just about to snag a chunk of carrot. “But you see, I’m a vegan, and I’m not sure, um, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable working with, um, a pig murderer, you see.”

“Oh, don’t worry at all,” I reassured him. “He’s never hurt a pig in his life. I’m completely serious when I say his bacon appears out of thin air. It’s… call it synthetic bacon, if it helps. Besides, he doesn’t eat the stuff, either. A lifetime of overexposure to bacon has turned him into a vegetarian.”

He twisted his mouth up as he thought it over. “I see,” he said. “Well, I suppose he will be fairly useful for, um, for luring the target out of its cage, um, I suppose.”

“A keen tactical insight.”

He perked up a bit at the compliment.

“I’ll have the group meet you at midnight along the highway to Sooke,” I continued. “The spot is marked out on a map in the folder. As far as their abilities go, use them in whatever way seems necessary. If nothing else, they’ll do what they’re told, and they can do their share of heavy lifting. Well, except for AFO. His arms tend to come off sometimes.”

“Um?”

“Don’t worry; he can reattach them. But it’s a hassle. Best to let him drive or something, I’d say.”

“Oh, right.”

“If you have any trouble, give me a call. You know my number.”

I turned and walked back to my car.


Read the rest of Hands-On by downloading Feel-Good.

League of Married Gentlemen: Empathies and Married Women

This weekend Larissa and I spent some time at her family’s newly renovated cabin (or I guess we’re supposed to call it the “lake house” now) at Hatzic Lake, visiting with family and friends. While we were there, I decided to take the opportunity to explore a couple of potential ring powers that were suggested to me by Twitter followers.

My friend Andrew, who is himself a married man, recommended that I check whether my wedding ring has granted me any powers of animal empathy. This seemed like a real possibility, since my latest discovery had suggested some potential psychic abilities. In addition, @mikerpenny figured I might as well test for vegetable empathy at the same time. It never hurts to be thorough.

There's an aloof bald eagle in the middle of the picture. Honestly.

On Sunday morning, I went kayaking out on the lake with my brother-in-law, Darren. A bald eagle was circling high overhead. I took the opportunity to focus all of my mental energy on it, willing the bird to open itself up to me. I suggested that it fly down and hang out for a bit, so we could get to know each other better. I don’t think I got through to it, though: it just looped around for a bit, then flew away. So much for animal empathy. Further evidence: none of my psychic pleading seemed to sway the mosquitoes in the slightest. ITCHY ITCHY.

I chose to interpret “vegetable empathy” as referring to a connection with plant life in general, not just with carrots, beans, and broccoli. I found the opportunity to explore this line of abilities on Sunday afternoon, while playing with my niece, Adalia. We were chasing each other across the lawn, and I was using the time in-between the frequent chaser/chasee role reversals to cast my mind out amongst the vegetation, searching for an empathic connection.

Such a sad, brave tree, toppled over but still doing the best it can to grow.

I wasn’t really paying attention to where we were going, and when I brought my attention back to what was in front of me, I saw a big fallen tree, partially uprooted but still fighting and growing. I figured if I couldn’t pick up some emotion from that barely living heap of inspirational tragedy, I wasn’t going to be able to connect to anything ever.

I squinted and grimaced and subvocalized and rubbed my temples and got nothing at all.

Apparently I’m just not all that empathic, not psychically so, anyways. Scratch a couple more options off the list.

Despite my failures, later that evening I did end up learning something very interesting. Some of our married friends were visiting, and one of the ladies–Larissa’s friend Megan–revealed that over the last few years, she had been having a hard time seeing certain things. Specifically, her mind seemed to be filtering out anything ugly.

I’ve been wondering why I hadn’t heard anything about the effects of wedding rings on married women. I mean, men have a League and everything. Now I’m thinking it might be because while men get special powers and abilities, women’s wedding rings may take away some of their prior capabilities. Other than the ability to see ugly things, how else might wedding rings affect the women who wear them? Physical weakness? Forgetfulness? This opens up a whole new line of enquiry!

As always, I’ll let you know what else I’m able to discover as my explorations continue.