Growing up, John wanted to be a pirate. Or a superhero. Or a ninja. He hadn’t really planned on being an accountant. There just weren’t any promising superhero majors in college, and accounting was near the top of the list of majors when he was looking for an alternative.
Being an accountant wasn’t completely terrible. He didn’t save the world, but he did help people. And sometimes he saved them from bad guys. Still, there were days after filling out too many tax forms when he wished for a cape or a parrot on his shoulder. Or both. Both would be nice.
So, when he was shopping for some new exercise clothes, he was drawn to a lightweight black outfit in the corner. It looked like something ninja would wear. The only thing better would be if it came with throwing stars. Or a parrot.
John hurried home to show his wife Sandra. “Look, it’s a ninja uniform. I always wanted to be a ninja.”
Sandra looked up from her book. “It’s quite dark, and it doesn’t have a reflective stripe.”
“Ninjas don’t need reflective stripes,” John said.
“You’ll need to be careful crossing streets and don’t run at night.”
Sandra sighed. “Well, have fun then.”
The ninja jogging suit was more effective than he’d imagined. He didn’t have to try hard at all to blend in with his surroundings.
Even running during the day, no one could see him. It was like he’d somehow become invisible. Cars nearly hit him and splashed him with water from puddles on the road, people bumped into him and knocked him over, and someone even dumped their lawn clippings onto him.
At first, John was thrilled. He was a real ninja. It was like suddenly discovering he had a superpower after all. What could he do with his newfound invisibility? John tried to think of something.
He didn’t want to steal anything. He wasn’t an assassin. He wasn’t a spy, either. Or a soldier. Or a magician.
Really, all it was good for was getting him into trouble. Sandra was unhappy with all of the bruises and grass clippings he came home with. “But I never get chased by big dogs,” John pointed out. Sandra wasn’t impressed.
After a few too many terrible runs, John gave up and decided to buy a new jogging suit. He picked up a suit that was neon blue with a reflective stripe. When he changed into it for a run, Sandra set down her book with a smile.
“That looks much better,” she said.
“I miss being a ninja already. I can’t blend in wearing this.”
Sandra laughed. “It’s safer. Isn’t there some superhero in a blue suit?”
“Not like this one,” John said.
“Then you get to make one up, super powers and all,” Sandra said, and she picked up her book again.
John thought about it. He liked that idea. So, the next time he went running, he imagined making it rain and turning things to ice. It made the run much more entertaining. It was also nice that the cars and people gave him plenty of space and no one dumped lawn clippings on him.
“Being the Weather Maestro is much better than being a ninja,” he told Sandra.
“I’m just happy you’re safe,” she said with a smile and handed him an apple.
John took the apple and smiled back. “Now all I need is a parrot.”