Chan was a cowboy with telepathic abilities. He was born in China in 1977 but moved to America with his mother in 1984 and grew up in Dallas, Texas. From his days as a teenager, Chan worked on a special ranch where young boys were trained to be cowboys, cattle ranchers/herders, etc. His mentor Stan was impressed with Chan's sense of place and wonder about the American landscape.
At the age of 25, Chan had enough money from work to purchase a small tobacco and cowboy novelty item store right outside Dallas. He used the money from the store to take care of his aging mother. Chan met a nice Chinese girl named Eva, who was only one year younger than him, through an immigration mail-order-bride service connecting Chinese immigrants to American residents. Chan and Eva married when Chan was 29. Everything was going well. Chan was living in his house with Eva and his mother and Eva was expecting their first child in 2009.
Chan never told anyone he had telepathic abilities. Chan had the ability to read the minds of others by observing their sensitive 'pseudo-sociological' gestures toward each other. He would use this ability mostly to make himself more presentable and hospitable to his customers.
For example, he would say things like, "I bet you're thinking about this awful rain today, ma'am. Why don't you look at our collection of nice Texas umbrellas for sale?" if someone walked in seemingly agitated about the rain.
One day, Chan read a strange news story in the Dallas Observer about a Swedish man named Magnus who recently moved to America and was committing a series of bank robberies in Dallas. Magnus always wore a clown mask to these robberies, and he would tell one of the bank tellers to report to the press that he was clairvoyant and distressed that America was so obsessed with credit cards. From the descriptions of Magnus in the Dallas Observer, Chan gathered that this unusual Swedish immigrant was indeed a psychic (like Chan). Chan wondered why someone with telepathic abilities (like him) would want to be a bank-robbing social critic.
Chan loved America, but Magnus seemed to be very dissatisfied with American culture and philosophy. Chan decided to write an op-ed in the local gazette titled, "."
In this piece, Chan wrote, "I may be psychic just like this elusive Swedish bank robber, Magnus. However, what is really important is that we're both immigrants, and we both need a place to establish our free thinking about American opportunism!"
Chan got comments from the local townsfolk that his piece was very engaging and sensitive and suggested to them that social critique is somehow indeed connected to a kind of empathetic cultural responsibility. Obviously, no one guessed Chan was a psychic (like Magnus), and no one knew (except Chan) that Magnus was a psychic too.
Chan decided to start making a series of political cartoons about how if social leaders had psychic ability, Americans would demand that these 'special' leaders were even more sensitive to their needs. These cartoons, which were applauded by his friends and peers, represented Chan's belief that American democracy fosters a special brand of capitalism criticism.
One year later, Magnus was still on the loose and robbed two more banks. He sent something to the Dallas Observer which read, "I've heard about this small-time Chinese immigrant named Chan who makes political cartoons about social leaders with psychic abilities receiving much fan-mail from citizenry. I want Chan to know that psychics like me are simply frustrated with American idealism."
Chan's son, Henry, was a bright and happy 10-year-old boy dreaming of becoming a cattle rancher in Texas. Chan's wife Eva was very happy, but Chan's mother had passed away. Chan was planning his retirement, assessing the profits gained from his modest but sustained store. Chan didn't think much about Magnus anymore and concluded that the Swedish bank robber may or may not be psychic like him.
One day, Chan read in the Dallas Observer that Magnus was finally arrested while attempting to rob his sixth bank. When he was arrested, Magnus told the police and reporters that he allowed himself to be arrested so the small-time political cartoonist Chan would feel vindicated. When Chan read this, he realized Magnus was a psychic like him.
Chan sent in his final op-ed to the local gazette which stated that psychic ability must somehow be related to religious sensitivity. Chan retired but believed in his old age that Magnus was an "evil psychic," while Chan was a proverbial "friendly psychic." Chan's son Henry was a big fan of the American psychic comic book character Professor X (Marvel Comics), and Chan encouraged his son's enthusiasm.
At the end of his life, Chan disclosed to his wife Eva and his son Henry (who was now married himself) that he was a psychic but realized from his series of political cartoons that he was an honourable psychic while the infamous Swedish bank robber Magnus was perhaps an unethical psychic. Henry told his father that Magnus was like Professor X's unscrupulous rival Magneto and that Chan was like the spiritual Professor X. Chan was very happy when he heard this, but he realized his special psychic ability had made him responsible to the ethics considerations involving the unscrupulous psychic Magneto.
"Are psychics like comic book superheroes? Is Magnus a super-villain?" Chan wondered to himself.