We All Got Special Talents


I pay the rent and cable service and my sister takes care of the electric and water bills. We give extras to our mom for the groceries. That’s our agreement at home. It’s the first of September; another month has passed. I went to the nearby mall this afternoon to withdraw some cash for the rent.

We live close to the mall you can literally get there in less than 200 cartwheels. I cannot assure you though that you will still have everyone’s respect after doing it. Anyway, I got there carrying this blue umbrella that neither has that hook like handle nor that loop you can use to hang it. For a second or two I thought of how I could set my hands free of that umbrella to use the ATM. There was no place to put it and it was wet. Finally I decided to fasten it to the ATM’s body using my right knee and do my business. Problem solved.

Then while I was walking back home I realized I did it again. Getting out of a situation that challenges your ability to maximize the use of your limbs and the available resources within your reach. I actually thought I was getting so good at it I could write a book entitled “Doing So Much With Only Two Hands”. It would of course have my face in its cover flashing my stupidest smile. I wonder how much it would sell. I wonder if my readers could follow my tips and totally ignore people staring at them with  what-kind-of-alien-is-this looks.

I don’t know but I’ve always been so good at looking ridiculous in public. And the thing about it? You’d only realize the absurdity after some time. Here are some of the things I do ranging from just quite far from normal to utterly ridiculous.

  • If you got your hands full with a cup of coffee and a plate of food and nobody’s kind enough to hold the door, use your foot to do the job. It could get a lot more challenging at home. If you’re alone and a door is closed, use your foot to turn the knob, push or pull it (whichever applies), hold it, then pass.
  • It’s common in Filipino households to have a faucet below the shower. If you’re washing your hair or feeling lazy to reach the faucet, again, use your dominant foot to open it. Charles Darwin should thank me; I could qualify as a proof that we are indeed descendants of apes.
  • If you’re holding something that won’t fit in your pockets and you need to wash your hands, use your chin to hold it against your chest and wash your hands like a zombie that cannot get its head upright. You can alternatively use your lips or teeth but they might get the object wet as well.
  • If you’re wearing a backpack and you need to remove your jacket and you just don’t want to stop to put your backpack down, carry the bag on one shoulder, slide the other arm out of the jacket, transfer the backpack to the now free shoulder, slide out your other arm, and do whatever you want with the jacket.
  • If you’re looking for something inside your bag and you can’t seem to find it, use one of your knees to support its base. This will give you a better view of its contents. It should be easy. You’re good at kung-fu remember?
  • Consuming a McDonald’s burger meal standing inside a crowded bus while raining outside shouldn’t be much of a challenge. I remember this instance when I felt like everybody’s watching me waiting to see how I could consume my order in that seemingly miserable situation. I could have told them “Watch me do it.” Here’s what to do. Your order comes in a plastic bag and your wet umbrella has a loop, your bag should have enough loops itself where you can tie these two. If you don’t want to part with your music for a while, just keep you iPod, or phone, or MP3 player in your pocket. Wait for the conductor to ask for your fare before you start eating even if you’re already starving. Patience is a virtue. You should be wearing your backpack in front (does that make it a frontpack?) so you can always open it to get whatever you need. Imitate a surfer’s stance while facing any of the side windows or rest the base of your spine just above your butt on a nearby chair. Don’t forget to use a hand sanitizer.
  • Lastly, always ask for a plastic bag or a shopping bag. You got ten fingers to hang them in remember? Just pray that you’re joints don’t give way.

I remember two days ago the team planned a two hour badminton game. A friend asked the rest of us to go first for he was going to wait for another officemate. He asked me to just bring some of his things along with me, his racket and some bottles of water and sports drink. He was decent enough to put it in a plastic bag. I was already carrying my backpack, racket, and a tube of shuttlecocks then. That was another challenge. I just remember saying “Okay lang. Pangarap ko talagang maging Christmas tree nung bata ako.” (That’s okay. I always wanted to become a Christmas tree when I was a kid.)

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