HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Okay: Counting blessings. I can--separate eggs, the whites from the yolks. I can make dinner from whatever is in the fridge. I can untangle yarn. I can find Jonathan's keys. I can--wait, you're saying, why are you listing these semi-valuable things? I reply--because I've been hanging out with Diane Vallere. Lucky me. Because not only can she accessorize beyond your wildest dreams, (I mean, look at that photo of her, channeling Chanel) and not only is she a witty and hilarious mystery author, and a great pal, she's also got a superpower. Or two. And she says, you do, too. (And it can help you win her new book! Keep reading.)
I have a theory that everybody has at least one superhero ability. Mine? I can change lanes on a crowded highway with little to no difficulty. (If you don’t think that’s special, then you’ve never driven in Los Angeles!) But here’s the thing: I only recently realized this. And once I realized that I never have trouble in this situation, my confidence driving in heavy traffic rose. My anxiety dropped. Suddenly, in the middle of five lanes of road rage, I was the picture of Zen.
All because I discovered and embraced my own unique superhero ability.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have all sorts of other travel-related anxieties, even those that involve other forms of transportation. I’m not in love with flying (my first few books were written on planes to distract me from the fact that, um, we’re in a giant thing and there’s nothing under us, folks, and how do we really know the air traffic controllers aren’t drunk?), and even on foot (don’t get me started on Watermelon Head). (Okay, since you asked: walking on a sidewalk, ankle turns, fall into the street, where an oncoming car squashes my head like a…you get it.) But since staying in the house 24/7 lacks a certain level of inspiration needed to write, I’m willing to take my chances.
Most of us never stop to recognize our unique superhero ability. We go about our day to day life with our heads buried in our phones, barely looking up long enough to avoid the others in our way. We complain about the weather, the traffic, the neighbors, the price of gas. We might never realize that one of us has a natural ability to roll up to the cheapest gas station in any town, or that it never rains on days when another of us carries an umbrella.
Instead of getting annoyed at life’s lemons, we should recognize that in a wide variety of circumstances, we each have an edge.
If we each have a unique ability then imagine what we can accomplish when we work together. A sort of karmic barter system would ensue. I can do this, you can do that, and look how much faster we’ll get to where we want to go (in my case, quite literally). (Unless we’re on foot, in which case I’ll be concentrating very hard on staying on the sidewalk.)
Okay, Reds, I’d like to know: what superhero ability do you wish you had?
(A copy of WITH VICS YOU EGGROLL, Mad for Mod #3, goes to one lucky commenter!)
HANK: What do I WISH? I wish I ciould type without ever making a tyop. How about you?
Diane Vallere lives in a world where popcorn is a breakfast food and Doris Day movies are revered for their cultural significance. WITH VICS YOU GET EGGROLL is #3 in the Mad for Mod series. She also writes the Style & Error and Material Witness mysteries. She launched her own detective agency at ten years old and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since.