Perhaps you think I have acquired a bit of an ego. I mean, here I am bragging about my brilliant Star Wars idea, how I had a letter in Saga printed, and I instruct people on how to hug. I mean, how pompous can a guy get?
Well, I am here to make it worse. To quote Reggie, “I don’t think I’m half as great as I really am.”
That is correct, my friends! You think I am a meager fellow who reads books and serves drinks? Nay, I say! I have a veritable array of superpowers at my disposal. I have simply been too meek to bring them up before. That time ends now!
Things I Can Do Better than Most but Are Life-Shatteringly Important (with Illustrations)
Yes, I am a walking champion. I have walked double digits to work, “just because”. If it snows then I will walk to the comic shop. Hiking/ walking/ strolling, it is all the same to me. My socks cry out for death to allow them relief from their soon-to-be holey existence. If you need a guy to put one foot in front of the other and repeat that process endless, I got ya covered. Well, me and Gump.
I can find a bomb without even trying. You want proof? Let us look at my current Minesweeper stats. As of this morning, I had lost 211 out of 213 games. That means, without even giving the slightest bit of effort, I found a bomb. (Usually, several.) Imagine if I was attempting to find them! Why, my goal of not-exploding bombs is so low that the game has actually rounded my score down to 0% from .09%. Nobody comes across a detonation device better than I.
Why do I not go to work for a bomb squad or some marine unit? Uh, it is my understanding that they like their explosive devices to remain undetonated. That is not the skill set I offer. Besides, after I found a bomb, I would not be in any kind of condition to find another one. (Call it a “one-off” skill; at least in the real world.)
I will always loathe smartphones because of their button-less demands. And it all started with Macs. Macs are far too mouse-reliant. Why should I move around my forearm, wrist, and fingers simply to keep you happy? Keyboards are where it is at. Ya know how I play solitaire? With a keyboard. (Tragically, all my .bmp illustrations for this were created entirely with a mouse. Oh cruel world!) I’m a typer, not a clicker.
It is true, my brownies bring all the boys to the yard. And girls. No need to be gender-specific, everybody likes my brownies. They contain Just the right amount of chocolate, hearty portions, soft in the middle, and a stern (but not burnt)-edge to contain the flavor. I know. “How could we possibly recreate the level of perfection that you have attained? Apparently, you cannot. I mean, how could you possibly be expected to follow the three-step directions on the red box, then not only put the pan into the oven, but take it out as well?!?! I mean, following mass-produced directions with included ingredients? Aaaah! Leave it to the pros.
I enjoy changing tires. It involves the slightest amount of manual labor. Plus, you get to crawl around on the ground and try to find that little circle with an “x” in it that signifies where to put the jack. Fun for all, especially in the mud. I still enjoy it. And as of today, I have yet to suffer a car slipping off the jack and crushing any limbs. Score!
Back/ Neck/ Shoulder Massager
I have no professional training in this area whatsoever. But what I do I do well. I can find knots. I can squish knots. And if the victi–, er, patients, are in no rush, I can get rid of said knot. Or at least reduce it considerably. I fix people. Do I fix their lives so that the stress goes away forever and the knots never return? Look, I’m a massager, not a magician. Or therapist. Or licensed counselor. I am only one man, darnit. Long fingers will only do so much; sheesh.
When it comes to piling an assembly of parcels onto a tiny L-shaped metal frame, I am your guy. Hire me, UPS. Physics comes to play and I am happy to have its help. Stack it all, cart it across busy walkways, up poorly-paved concrete hills, and navigate around tiny hallways. It is like a game of 3D Tetris. Only, if the whole thing falls apart on you, the boss might have some stern words for you. “Game Over” indeed. Remember, you are not truly having fun unless the load is threatening to crush you Atlas-style.
Sports Shirking “Fan”
Look, I hate sports. But others love it. And sometimes you need that empty conversation to pass the time while helping a customer. Thus, I have mastered talking about sports with several go-to phrases. “Man, how ‘bout that game?” “Bet you were wishing that hadn’t made that trade, huh?” “Did you have any money on the game?” Now recall; I have no idea what I am talking about. Squat. I did not know that our home team won the SuperBowl until about 20 hours after the fact. Still, it lets the people talk about something they care about. And you can always, always end the chat with the very non-committal, “well, we’ll see how they do next time.” (Unless it is a NASCAR crash that kills a driver. Then you come across as morbid. Or odd. Possibly both.)
Yeah, that is right. I get high. Vertically speaking, that is. You want a lightbulb changed without a ladder? Boom. Cat climbed on top of the fridge? Boo-yah. That box on the top shelf of the cereal aisle behind the others looks like it has the best toy surprise? Done. Sometimes I put boxes behind boxes on a high shelf simply to secure my position at work. Devious sure, but a guy needs his job security. Those old-timey grippers that shopkeepers used to pluck rarely used retail items off of the top shelf have been replaced by the human stretchy-snagger; me.
Rock Band Expert
I will get the full applause from the TV screen. I will play the notes so well that the text flashes words of encouragement. My mother and nephew will be impressed at my dexterity. That is, provided that we are playing “Life is a Highway” or “Check Yes, Juliet.” All the other songs in the world? Look, that is not the point. Foucs! Those two songs! No more. Stop being demanding.
How did I get to this level of skill? I tie shoes every day. Going to work? I tie my shoes. Going for a jog? I tie my shoes. Walking out to watch the sunset? See previous responses. My fingers can do it even if I am not (knot?) looking. And, to show that I know what the day might bring, it gets a double-knot every time. What, you think I have the energy to stop and tie my shoelace when I am running around a pedestrian trail? I say thee, nay. Double the knot for double the success.
Have you ever ushered midnight movies? Spent three hours in a lobby waiting for a show to end? Well, if you had, you would find that you had a lot of free time. Especially when your boss says that you are not allowed to read because it “distracts from the customer experience.” Sigh. Do not get me started. BUT! They never said anything about flipping a coin up and down in the air. Throw in several years of shifts like this, and you two just might be able to flip a silver dollar in the air and catch it dozens of times in a row. Maybe you two will acquire the skills needed to flip a coin behind your back and catch it all spiffy like. And perhaps you will learn to roll a coin through your fingers without dropping it. Results may vary, but I feel that working said job gave me a valuable new addition for my resume.
Ya ever stand around a person and say absolutely nothing? They cannot handle it. I can. It is probably my decades of Quaker-dom. (We usually have a ten minute span where no one says anything. Some services are made up entirely of silence. Quakers like shutting up.) People dread a lull in the conversation. They crack. I would be a swell interrogator. Let them do all the talking. Others might think I am a great listener. Between you and me? It is more that I am an excellent not-talker. Mwa ha ha ha!
One of the reasons I hate mice so much (see above), is that my fingers are so suited to keyboards. I can reach from alt to alt (across the space bar) with finger and pinky. Or, for you musical types, I can reach an octave. (Can I play like that? Again, not the point. Rude.) Does it leave the middle three fingers feeling useless and left out? Sure. However we include them in the fun of the coin flipping and shelf-reaching, so they will get over it with minimal emotional scarring. This is the area where the pinky and thumb get to shine.
You want a baby put to sleep? I am your guy. With most babies, once they are in my arm, they slip into a solid state of unconsciousness. There is a trick. A trick I will not share because I will lose my niche. With this little piece of knowledge, I would say that I have about a 90% effectiveness rate. Even my best friend was shocked. “You’re really good with babies!” Yes, I know. Way to pay attention, friend of twenty years! Crikey. Where was I… oh yes. If you have a kid that is capable of walking or talking, I am afraid I am not much help to you. But newborns? I’m like walking chloroform. Cheaper too.
Are any of these practical? Nope. But neither is throwing a ball halfway across a court and into a little basket. And there are millions to be made there. That means there is hope for the rest of us and our freakish skills. Hoorah!