For several years now I have been of an age that qualifies as old. I am not feeble as yet—at least not for very long at a stretch—and my health is generally good. But I am definitely in my dotage.
Among the things that often happen at this time of life is an accounting of what you have accomplished. My list is short. But among my accomplishments are a few things I was—or still am—good at that are completely useless outside of the possibility of providing fleeting enjoyment for those easily entertained.
1. Jump in the air and click my heels three times.
This one may have left me, but it remains a point of pride for someone (me) whose coordination and physical abilities are generally lacking.
2. Recite the alphabet backwards.
Although assembling the twenty-six letters of the alphabet has earned my daily bread throughout my adult life, I have seldom, if ever, been called upon to recite it in reverse. But I could if asked.
3. Flip a rope into a bow knot.
It takes no more than the blink of an eye. You would think this skill might come in handy for tying shoes, but I do not remember owning a pair of shoes with laces.
4. Hypnotize a chicken.
I have done this. I can do this. Don’t ask me why.
There you have it. Four things I can do that matter not a whit. (It is, as they say, a slow news day.)