Sunday, January 24, 2010

Get Your "Freak" On!!

It's three o'clock in the afternoon at the orthopedic surgeon's office in Syracuse, NY. With great anticipation, we co-workers reach for the radios on our desks and carefully turn the "volume" knobs a click to the right. Judie, our office manager and expert phone dialer, picks up her receiver and punches in all but the last digit of the radio station's number, finger poised over the remaining button. Finally, the car dealership commercial ends and the D.J.'s voice is heard. "Ok, everybody. It's three o'clock, time for our 'Movie Madness Trivia' contest. Here's how it works: we're about to play a short, five second clip from a movie. The first caller who can accurately name that movie will be our winner!" We girls all make the rolling "get on with it" gesture with our hands, we know the rules. We play this game every day. My coworkers turn to me, I lean into my radio as the clip begins. I identify the voice immediately as that of Sam Shepard. "Do all men make your nervous, or is it just me?"

"BABY BOOM!!" I shout to Judie, even before the clip has finished. She presses the final button on her phone and, as always, immediately gets through to the station. "Baby Boom!" she tells the D.J. I don't wait to hear his response, I already know I'm right. We won this contest many, many times, thanks to Judie's dialing and my freakish talent for identifying movies after hearing only a short clip played. In fact, we won so often, we had to start passing the phone to other girls once we got through, so the station wouldn't realize it was the same office that was collecting all of the "bling." Honestly, I have no recollection of the prizes we won, only of the supreme pleasure I gained from realizing there was something at which I was really good, without even trying! I never subscribed to People magazine nor watched Entertainment Tonight, I just have this weird ability to identify the actor's voice, then name the movie within seconds. My coworkers were in awe, I just shrugged.

So, it is with my bizarre talent in mind that I offer-up today's blog topic. I can't believe I didn't do this long, long ago. Are you ready? Here goes: I proclaim today officially "BONDING QUESTION DAY (Hold for gasps of disbelief followed by thunderous applause)!!" Those of you who've been with me since the beginning of this, my first blogging venture, might remember my entry entitled "Tubsy." In it, I explained how much I have LOVED to ask "bonding questions" at my places of employment through the years. These questions can be anything from "What was your BEST day, EVER?" to "Whom from history would you most love to have dinner with?" I have deeply enjoyed the responses I've received, once everyone stops groaning and eye-rolling and realizes I'm unrelenting. The answers always manage to stir-up a mixture of heartwarming and fun stories, to say the least!

So let's do this! I'm going to present you, my readers, with a bonding question and ask you to respond in the "comment section" at the end of the page. You can be anonymous if you like, but I promise if you tell me who you are, I won't hunt you down or stalk your children. Really, I promise!

OK, ready? Like my "movie identification" talent, what special, weird "Rain Man"-like gift do you posses that stuns and amazes others? Is there something silly for which you've had no training, no lessons, but you just do really well naturally? Tell us!

Need some help identifying your talent? I posed this question to my family recently. Some responded with things I never knew, others I remembered from our shared past together. Here's what we came up with:

My Husband, Alan: Alan has been nicknamed "The Human Calculator" by his co-workers. He can accurately add, multiply, and divide any number in his head, including percentages. No paper needed, his freakish noggin is the only tool he requires.

My Brother, Jack: Jack says he can hear a song once, then, upon hearing it played the second time through, can sing along, word for word, EVERY lyric. He says he doesn't try to memorize the words or anything, he just seems to "know" them the second time through. Cool, huh?

My Sister, Kathy: I've actually seen this one for myself. You can drop Kathy in the middle of the city, country, or suburbs, anyplace she's never been before, and she will immediately know her way around. We've nicknamed her "The Homing Pigeon." It's amazing. She has some kind of grid in her head that expertly guides her along. When she visits me, she navigates her way through my new hometown of York FAR better than I. It's awesome, astounding, and GROSSLY unfair!

My Mother, Sandy: Mom taught all her girls to knit, crochet, embroider and sew, all from a very young age. Although we became fairly good at all of these crafts, you can imagine the trials and errors that occurred during the learning process. I remember coming to Mom with two knitting needles and a pile of knots that was supposed to be the first row of a scarf I was making. I handed Mom the mess in a fit of frustration, then plopped down in front of a Looney Tunes episode on TV to ease my stress. In the time it took for the Roadrunner to elude the Coyote's only second murder attempt, my mother returned, perfectly stitched knitting in hand. Mom can fix ANY snarl. The Gordian knot would've trembled in her presence. No matter how tight or tangled they are, knots are no match for my mother's nimble, excruciatingly patient fingers.

My Nephew, Brett: Brett's talent may be my favorite of all. I've seen this one first hand, as well. We'll be watching the Browns game together (Brett is an INTENSE sports fan) and there will be only two minutes left, with the Browns losing by three touchdowns (surprise!). Hopeless, right? In these instances, I would turn to Brett and ask, "Can we still win this?" Brett's optimistic response was ALWAYS the same, "Absolutely! This is DEFINITELY not over!" He'd then proceed to tell me how all that had to happen was a Browns drive for a touchdown, followed by a recovered onside kick, returned for a touchdown, followed by an interception and "hail-mary" pass, caught in the end zone, then going for two instead of the extra point and BOOM, Browns win!! I really love that boy!!

My Brother-in-Law, Bryan: Bryan was the hit of his Sunday school classes growing up because he could tell you not only what hymn was on what page in the hymnal, but also the composer and the year it was written! His classmates would take turns quizzing him, yelling in delight at his (always!) accurate response!

See, wasn't that fun? OK, now it's your turn! Tell me what talent you posses that makes others gasp in amazement! Click on the comment button below and brag to the cyber world about your awesome "Rain Man" ability! I can't wait to applaud you!

Thanks for Reading!!


CentFla said...

I read this post in 97.3 seconds.

You could also have added a paragraph about Trixie's unnatural accuracy for jumping into your arms and always finding a way to stomp your nipple. Or her ability to jump into my lap and always find my...

Nah, I like yours better.

The Dogged Pursuit said...

I was intriguied yet hopelessly lost on this one. I sat here and tried and tried to think of something I'm wacky-talented with and keep coming up with nuthin'. So I asked Mike and, sad to report, he came up with nuthin' too. I'm so sorry, I have no special talents that make anyone gasp with anything other than "She said what?!"

That pitiful fact aside, Mike has one and I think it's incredibly cool -- he's an idiot savant about World War II aircraft. He can hear an engine and not only tell you how much torque it has but what planes it was in, when and where it was manufactured, where it was manufactured, by who, when they stopped manufacturing it, and on and on. He can identify almost every WWII plane by silhouette, he can tell you the name, rank and serial number of the men and boys who flew them. He knows which battles they fought in, who won, and why. He knows how much ordinance they carried and if there was a flaw in the design that the pilots had to overcome with skill and daring. It doesn't end. He is, in short, a-freakin'-mazing!

Anonymous said...

I have no such talent, but my husband Trevor (who you have yet to meet) is a political junky! I'm betting that if you showed him a picture of Congress, he could name 80% of them - their state and party. I know for a fact that he can name every presidential candidate, their running mate and probably the name of their dog! Of course he can't find milk right in front of him - but then, what man can?

Laura S. said...

Well, my husband thinks it's amazing that I can sing every lyric to songs I learned in Girl Scouts and Brownies when I was 8 or 10, but he doesn't realize that we all sang these about a thousand times during our childhood.

Perhaps my special talent is the ability to believe that friends (and sometimes mere acquaintences) actually want to HEAR these songs. Last spring I led a group of people I'd known only 2 days through the entire Bear Song.

Anonymous said...

Well I asked Mike because I couldn't think of anything and he told me that I have the ablilty of making complete strangers feel so comfortable that they tell me things...about themselves their families, friends and some of it I really do NOT want to know, but I'm talking the check-out lady at the market, the person standing next to me in line in the ladies room, it does not matter, people just talk to me, Mike says it's a double edged sword....

Mikes neato thing is that he knows just about every song from the 80's the song title and artist just by hearing the first 10 seconds of the tune...amazes and irritates me, I have lost a few bets that way, but have since learned my lesson

Mia said...

I have the amazing ability to spend hours online when I should be doing other things.

I guess that's not so unique.

Kylez..aka...Mrs.P! said...

I too have the ability to find my way around wherever I go, it's like I have built in GPS. And once I've been somewhere I almost never forget how to get there again. And song lyrics. I know the words to so many songs, and songs I've only heard a few times, they just stick in my head. But ask me who the artist is or the name of the song...can't tell ya, even for popular songs. Weird.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Erin said...

I know EXACTLY when to take the popcorn out of the microwave. Seriously, no one pops better microwave corn then me. My friends call me the "popcorn whisperer" because I wait by the door listening to the pops and I just instinctively know when it's all popped, but nothing is burnt. There's rarely any upopped kernels. It's not an extremely useful talent, but it's definitely appreciated when the girls come over for some wine, gossip and popcorn!

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