Friday, March 31, 2017

"Two Things I Can Do"

“Everybody’s unique.”

An encouraging sentiment generally expressed by somebody who has in one way or another been recognized as unique to somebody or a group of low self-esteem somebodies who are concerned they might not be.

We are all unique.  We’re individual snowflakes – no two exactly alike.  Except for identical twins, for which there may be no snowflakal analogy, though it’s possible, I am no expert on snow beyond the kind that seeped into my boots and made me go to Los Angeles – although come to think of it, even with identical twins, there are subtle distinguishers, don’t ask me what they are, I am no expert on identical twins either.

(I am no expert on almost everything.  Write that down, so I do not have to mention it again.)

The thing is, some areas of uniqueness are demonstrably beneficial to their possessors, while others are entirely useless.  I shall now provide – using myself as a random “Test Sample”, as I am the closest experimental subject at hand, and I enjoy endlessly talking about myself – one example of each.

The Beneficial Uniqueness:

I can write. 

Consistently and reasonably effectively.  Hold on.  I have to check something.


I just referenced a statistic on my blog “dashboard” and…  You know, just typing that last sentence fragment, I have already forgotten the statistic I looked up.  Hold on again... just for a second…

Okay, I got it.

During my tenure at this address, I have written… well this right now is my 2368th blog post.  (Applause entirely unnecessary, but thank you.)  A small number of posts were “reprises”, but safe to say, I have provided more than two thousand original and distinct literary entries.

When that statistic is mentioned – admittedly sometimes by me – I have, more than “occasionally” but less than “frequentl”, been asked,

“How do you do that?”

My unequivocal response:

“I have no idea.”

And frankly, I do not like thinking about it, concerned that the mere mention of that accomplishment would tempt the “Powers That Be” to “turn off the spigot”, inducing immediate “Writer’s Block.”  (For that reason, I have deliberately restricted myself from placing an adulatory adjective before “accomplishment”, such as “impressive” or “prodigious”, which may arguably be appropriate, fearing a retaliatory backlash.  Hopefully, the “Powers That Be” are too busy ruining other people’s lives to take time for these brackets.)

I don’t know how I do what I do.  I never did.  But it’s a unique talent.  I am not bragging, “Powers That Be”, simply using the official categorization of the American Immigration and Naturalization Service, “Unique Talent” being among a handful of criteria granting “Green Card” “Permanent Resident” status in this country. (Although things may possibly have changed.)

I myself deliberately did not apply for my “Green Card” under the “Unique Talent” category in order to avoid the crushing anxiety of having a uniformed Immigration and Naturalization Officer with a gun going, “Unique Talent, huh?  Okay, ‘Mr. Funny Man’, make me laugh.”  And if I didn’t, it was back to Canada, and possibly Law School. 

(An attorney I hired advised me to apply for “Permanent Resident” status under an alternate category of “Small Business” owner, so if the guy with the gun said, “Okay, ‘Mr. Money Bags’, where’s you ‘Small Business” license?” I could say “Here”.  Oddly enough, the actual guy with the gun said, “How come you didn’t apply under ‘Unique Talent’?”)

Anyway, I can write. 

I can’t draw.  I can’t dance.  I can’t consistently drain baskets from beyond the “Three-point” range… and many other things, literally not figuratively, too numerous to mention.

I do one thing that is measurably valuable, and that’s writing.  I have no idea how I do it but I can, and that was thankfully enough.

On the other side of the ledger – the entirely useless “unique ability”…

I can do this.

Wait, I won’t show it to you yet.  (And I am proud to announce that I took, emailed and transferred the accompanying photograph myself.  It feels good in the 21st Century.)

People can do unique things with their bodies.  Some people can touch the tip of their nose with the tip of their tongue.  Some people can wiggle their ears.  Staying with the face, my stepdaughter Rachel has the ability to tie a knot in a cherry stem inside her mouth.   It is actually quite impressive.

Others can make their “pec” and/or abdominal muscles do a “flex-and-relaxing” synchronized dance.  Still others can deliver “America The Beautiful” in burps.  There are all kinds of useless abilities.

I myself can do this one.

I don’t know how (or why) I developed this ability.  It’s not like someone else said, “Can you do this?” and I tried it and I could.  I just spontaneously “went for it” one day and there it was.  Not that it made me “popular a parties”, or anything.  It’s just a personal attribute.

And now, without further stalling – which is what I’ve been doing the last half-dozen or so paragraphs – and please note, I will not be offering this again.  So call your friends and alert them to this historic “Opening” and “Closing” Night.

Okay… drumroll or no drumroll… okay, drumroll.

Presenting my unique talent besides writing...

I know.

But it's what I can do. 

1 comment:

Boyd said...

Can you remember, what made you attempt such a thing in the first place?