Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Top Ten Things Everyone Can Do--Except Me

Everywhere we look, there are “Top 10” lists, so I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon yet try to come up with something that’s unique. So, while I often make lists on my blog, I’ve yet to have a scientifically provable “Top 10.” Here’s my first effort—the top 10 things that apparently are easy for everyone but me (told you it was scientific).

1.    North, south, east, west directions. I’m in a building and someone says that the help desk is in the southwest corner or a car in the east parking lot has its lights on. Uh, I’m inside. I can’t see the sun. I don’t have a magnetized needle or moss on a tree to help me. How am I supposed to know where the northeast exit is? Yet, you could blindfold my wife, lead her inside a building, spin her around until she’s dizzy, and ask which way’s north, and she’d know.
2.    Touch my toes with my legs straight. My son once took the Presidential Fitness Test. I don’t know…it seemed like there were about a hundred things to do, all of which he exceeded easily. But he had to stretch beyond his toes, and he couldn’t, so that disqualified him from the award (because stretching like a gymnast is the end-all to physical fitness). Well, he comes across it honestly. His dad can barely stretch beyond his knees. And apparently, a person’s tight hamstrings are responsible for every back, knee, groin, and foot pain, so because I can’t reach my ankles, I’m destined to inhale ibuprofen like they’re M & M’s .
3.    Change a door knob. Don’t you dare laugh. This is what happens to me. First, I can’t remove the old one without a hacksaw. Second, the first time through takes twenty minutes to line up the holes, hold the pieces without spinning or falling, lose a screw or two, dent or scratch something, and re-adjust everything. Third, the latch is always going to be in the wrong direction when I finish, so I have to start over. There are two indisputable truths to my home fix-ups. One, I will never ever get it right the first time, or two, I will break whatever I’m “fixing”—door knobs included.
4.    Cook chicken so it’s not too dry to swallow. Colonel Sanders can hire anyone in the universe to make his chicken juicy and edible. Ya Ya’s, Chick-fil-A, Church’s, Popeye’s, and every sit-down restaurant in the world can make moist chicken. Every grandmother in the history of mankind can do it. Heck, Medieval wanderers always have juice running down their chins as they eat their poultry, cooked over an open fire while skewered on a stick, but I could boil my chicken in broth, and when I eat it, it’s dry as sawdust.
5.    Remember jokes. I can remember details from games I played in from junior high. I can remember baseball statistics, names, and records over a century old. But if you tell me a joke, it flies out of my head forever. I can’t seem to quote a single funny joke or tell it right if I try. That part of my head that seems to get speared by a nail every time I venture into my garage attic must be the part that remembers jokes.
6.    Wind a rope or hose or Christmas lights. First of all, I’m nearly phobic of all string-like objects because experience has told me that they’re unquestionably alive. No matter if I manage to wind them perfectly, they’ll be in knot that only Maniac McGee could untie when I go to use it again. So I’m just as sure that those objects fight me when I try to wind them carefully. Right…simply wrap it around my thumb and elbow…turning the object into a twisted pile of unrecognizable crap that’ll be impossible to untangle when it wiggles into a permanent mega-knot while in its safe storage place.
   It would "imply" that strings are alive, which they clearly are.
7.    Use a pipe wrench. My father-in-law blessed me with pipe wrenches for a Christmas present early in my marriage. I can say without hesitation that not one time I’ve attempted to use them have they worked. Well, they’ve scratched up and scarred everything I’ve tried to tighten or loosen, but they’ve never tightened or loosened one single thing. The guy who invented them couldn’t have been thinking correctly when he made those sharp teeth that sit at an angle instead of being flat to fit all the bolts and pipes that they’re meant to turn. And that little knob to tighten the wrench—with my fingers—has yet to tighten it beyond the point of slipping off and scratching anything it touches.
8.   Tread water. Right, I’ll just lean back and lightly wave my arms and lightly kick my feet and I’ll float the day away. For me, it’s more like flailing my arms like I’m trying to fly instead of float and kicking my feet like I’m trying to rid them of spider webs by the force of my panicked motion. What I’m much better at is sinking and drowning than I am at floating. I can tread water for exactly fourteen point three seconds before I’m so tired I start fearing for my life. I couldn’t tread water in the Dead Sea…with an inflatable tube around my stomach. I’m of the opinion if I was supposed to float at the top of the water, my body should be duck-shaped and my arms and feet should be propellers.
9.    Spell rendezvous…or lingerie, hors d'oeuvres, khakis, diarrhea, fuchsia, hemorrhage, lieutenant, or zucchini. Okay, hardly anyone can spell them, but it bugs me that I can’t either, and my spell checker doesn’t even know what I wrote. You know those times when it gives you a different word choice not even in the same ballpark, or it says “no suggestions”? I’m an English major, for crying out loud. I ought to be close enough to get a suggestion.
10. Understand the guy (or gal) who talks at the end of every radio advertisement. Oh, you know what I’m talking about. The guy who talks so fast that in ten seconds he says more than the rest of the commercial said in fifty. The guy who doesn’t ever breathe and says words at such an alarming rate I vow to never purchase anything from the company for fear the fine print he’s spewing at the speed of neurons might rob me of my entire net worth. I feel stupid I can’t hear fast enough to keep up with what he’s saying, and I’ll never purchase anything with fine print so fast it breaks the sound barrier. You can understand him though, right?

As I wrote this, I came to realize I’m pretty pathetic. The list could have gone well beyond ten. What are things you can’t do that seemingly are easy for everyone else?