Wednesday, 25 February 2015

"Like farting Annie Laurie through a keyhole...

...All very clever, but where does it get you?"

Some one once said this of a useless but interesting talent, and it was brought to my mind the other day while listening to a radio programme about people who whistle. Now, at the best of times, whistling is a very unmusical thing to listen to. For a start, few people manage to whistle in tune, and even when they do, it's not especially pleasant. Anyway, here were a father and daughter, each of whom could both hum and whistle at the same time. They performed a kind of quartet together. It was clever, but it sounded dreadful. Certainly, it's difficult (I tried it), but there's little point, even if it does get you onto Radio 4.

I can't do anything clever like this, although I can raise one eyebrow, touch the end of my nose with my tongue and waggle my ears (I don't do these things all at the same time. That would be a talent too  far). None of these abilities has aroused either envy or admiration (although the eyebrow thing can be useful), almost certainly because lots of people can also do them. My brother, a musician, can play the paino lying underneath it, sort of backwards and upside down. He does receive accolades for that (although his playing is better if he does it the usual way).

Do you have an special talents/abilities?


25 comments:

  1. I did however admire my Mum's ability to touch her nose with her tongue and my Godfather's ability to waggle his ears. So perhaps you have a hidden admirer.

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    1. I believe the tongue thing is hereditary, as is the ability to curl the tongue side to side. I can do both, but to no benefit.

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  2. Whistling is an ART! Go to youtube and look for "Ilse Werner", she was a German singer/dancer/actress in the 1930s and 40s, famous for her whistling.
    Interestingly, my Dad used to be able to whistle really well, but completely lost this ability when he had a stroke around 10 years ago. It has never come back.

    Like you, I can raise one eyebrow (the left one), but can't do any of the other impressive things you do. I can walk for hours without tiring, I am good at languages and with people, I can sing and dance a little bit, and used to be good at drawing comics - but nothing truly out of the ordinary, at least not enough to earn a living with any of it.

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    1. Meike, being good at languages is incredibly useful! I'm talking about useless talents, if you can call them that. I did look up that whistler on youtube, and while it is very clever, I still don't like the sound. Probably just me...

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  3. I do, unintentionally, put my foot in it occasionally! I'm not sure it's considered a talent though.

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    1. My poor sister is a genius at that, Angela. In fact, don't we all do it sometimes? I've just said to her that the human mouth is so constructed that on occasion, it can comfortably accommodate a foot. Sigh.

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  4. I once saw a man who had very stretchy skin and could pull up a huge flap from his neck to cover his face. Whether he made a good living from his obvious talent, I don't know. I hope he didn't.

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  5. I feel deprived. I can't do any of these things.

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    1. Because they are mainly useless, you're better off without them, Adrian.

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  6. I can turn my tongue upside down - not a lot of call for it though xx

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    1. I can roll mine back, Teresa. Is that the same thing?

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    2. No, Frances - I can't roll mine back - I just tried!

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  7. I can make chocolate vanish.

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    1. Me too. Even more clever, I can make chewing gum vanish if I eat it with chocolate (or could when I was a child). The chocolate seems to dissolve the gum. I must try it again.

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  8. I can make a nice squeaky sound with a blade of grass and a privet leaf. Sadly the grandchildren aren't as impressed as I am. Oh and I can hoola hoop for ages.

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    1. I used to be able to do both of those, but now can't do either ;(

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  9. Can raise one eyebrow and separate four fingers into two pairs (hope you know what I mean) but nothing else in particular!

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  10. No, nothing comes to mind... zilch!

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    1. Keep trying, Wendy. Everyone needs a useless talent.

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  11. I can actually do the whistling in tune thing as can my daughters, so we can do a whistling trio act. So far, though, Broadway hasn't been interested.

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    1. Ah, but can you hum at the same time, Fran?

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