Thursday, November 25, 2021

Useless Skills


            In this computer age I am daily confronted by skills that I lack. It’s too depressing to list them here, but you know what I mean. On the other hand, there are a number of skills that I have that are now uselessly out of date, unless I get a job in some sort of museum.


Among them:


tying a necktie – It’s been years since I wore a necktie. I pretty much stopped wearing ties when I was teaching. I do have a few hanging in my closet, somewhere between belts and pajamas. I may have occasion to wear one in the future, so I probably should practice to keep my skills sharp.


coordinated independence – My drum teacher tried to teach me this so I could play half-note triplets with one hand and quarter notes with the other, while my feet did something else with the bass drum and high-hats. Now the only use I have for this skill is brushing my teeth at the same time I’m looking for dental floss. Like many men, I’m a mono-tasker.


adjusting rabbit ears – This was an important talent, though I sometimes got stuck holding them. Never again.


applying white-out – When I was teaching one of my students came into my office for help. He had to fill out his college application on a typewriter, but all he had was a computer. I let him use our English Department unit. He asked me where the delete key was, and I handed him a bottle of White Out. The stuff does not work well on my computer screen.


juggling – When in high school I thought juggling would help what was called then my “coordination.” I mastered juggling three balls (over my bed) and occasionally could do five. Now I have trouble juggling one.


driving stick shift – I’m pretty sure I can still do this. A few years ago I test-drove a vintage VW beetle, bringing back memories of my first bug, named The White Streak (not really white, nor did it streak). I did OK but did not buy the car.


throwing a curve ball – I never did this well, but I did teach David Eisenhower how to do it when he was on my club baseball team at Exeter. I have not had an occasion to throw a curve ball since then, and I do not see it happening in the future. Knowing how to do it is not the same as actually doing it.


making leather link belts (Kamp Kill Kare, 1956) – I doubt I’ll ever use this skill again, unless the belts come back into fashion. If it does, I’m ready . . ..

What are your useless skills?



1 comment:

  1. Spraying my Dad’s white shirts with starch and then ironing them, setting my hair in rollers or bobby pins, ironing my long hair, braiding my hair, polishing my saddle oxfords, boiling water to wash my hair. I still use skills I learned when I was young, ironing, sewing, washing clothes by hand, giving myself manicures, painting, cooking, writing cursive, tying my shoes, I don’t play hop scotch, jump rope, ice skate or put roller skates on with a key. I can still throw & bat a ball, and ride a bycycle and even a motor cycle. Angie