Tuesday 10 March 2009

Darn Socks?

What are we to make of this? Seems to me there are a lot of people out there with a whole lot more skills than me. Of that list, I can only do three for sure (not including claiming benefits or darning socks), perhaps another couple at a pinch. As Brian Wilson said, I guess I just wasn't made for these times...


  1. "Separate a pair of fighting dogs" used to figure in lists like this, if I recall, together with removing a stone from a horse's hoof and the correct procedure for striking a lucifer. Hmmn. There are two I definitely can't do, one of which is knitting. But a lot of others come under "Can do in extremis but almost anything else is preferable". Opening a bottle of champagne with a sabre should surely be one item on any list.

  2. Indeed - and tying a cravat with one hand. My grandmother (barely 5ft tall but a formidable woman) was a dab hand at breaking up dog fights - wouldn't care to try it myself.

  3. Yes, along with:

    - safely chaperoning the beautiful but strong-willed daughter of a visiting Tsar around the fleshpots of old London

    - making the perfect Eggs Benedict after six bottles of port and no sleep

    - fighting a duel with hot air balloons and blunderbusses.

  4. I've always rather liked, and been intimidated by, this list of essential accomplishments by someone called Robert A. Heinlein:

    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

    On a good day I might score eight or nine out of twenty there. It's a pleasing list, if a bit macho; if I had to add anything I think it would be i) fly a kite ii) sing in tune and iii) speak a foreign language -- and I can't do all of those either.

  5. My mother could start a fight in an empty room and scatter Jehovah's Witnesses like straw in the wind and play the Dream Of Olwin on an out of tune upright, darn socks ? nope.

  6. Dream of Olwin? I played that in high school 40 years ago.