Ted Wilson Reviews the World: A Parachute


Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing a parachute.

When I found what I thought was an enormous nylon blank in the middle of a field turned out to be a parachute, I immediately began looking for the body that should have been attached to it. When I found no such body, I realized I just scored a free parachute. Whoever it belonged to had run off without it. Probably a spy or someone just very forgetful.

A parachute’s primary purpose is to slow the descent of a skydiver so that he or she does not smash into the ground and get everywhere. Parachutes have saved countless lives, but how many of those lives was God trying to end? The inventor of the parachute must be one of God’s biggest regrets.

If you go skydiving in the rain, the parachute will work as an umbrella, unless of course you fall faster than the rain. If that’s the case, you’ll need an upside down parachute to keep your feet dry. It can get pretty complicated.

The parachute I found was the first I’d ever seen or touched in person, and it was everything I imagined a parachute to be. It was much more realistic than some of the drawings of parachutes I made in the past. Those looked more like jellyfish.

A lot of people think that when you get to be my age and death is imminent, there’s less of a fight to stay alive. That may be true, but I still like to reduce my injuries as much as possible. So I took the parachute and stuffed it into a backpack — ready to deploy it if I should fall out of a first story window or a sinkhole should open beneath my feet.

I practiced daily, unzipping my backpack and throwing the parachute up into the air as fast as I could. I got my time down to 54 seconds but that still didn’t seem fast enough to me. I tried oiling the parachute to lessen the friction, but that made it harder to grab onto. So I sewed a pair of gloves onto the parachute. The gloves didn’t belong to me so they were too small for my hands. Perfect.

To-date there has been no reason to use the parachute, but it does me a lot of good mentally to know it’s there.

BEST FEATURE: If I lose my pants I can just wrap the parachute around my waist.
WORST FEATURE: I wouldn’t mind if it were bigger. I’ve never heard a skydiver complain that his or her parachute was too big.

Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing an abacus.

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