Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How Do They DO That?

I often tell people that I'm a two-trick pony, and as tricks go, they're not bad. I can do the music thing, and I can do the teaching thing. And I'm working on the writing thing, although I don't know if I dare count that as a 'trick' just yet. Maybe a "trick-ette". ("Tricklet"?)

But of course, I'm just being modest. I have loads and loads of tricks. Like the "going a full week without cooking a meal" trick. Or the"ignoring the laundry until it becomes sentient and drags itself out to the pool, beating itself clean against a deck chair" trick. Or, my personal favorite, the "making an entire bag of chocolate chips disappear while watching 'Law and Order: SVU'" trick. That one earned me my first Tony.

But in response to the absolute gaggle of inquisitors gushing in tones of unbridled admiration, "Gosh, DeNae, is there anything you can't do?" I humbly offer for your perusal the admittedly short list of jobs I could never master, no matter how much training or money or abuse you lobbed at me.

These aren't in the category of , "Eww, ick, I totally couldn't do that," which I've heard plenty of times in my illustrious career as a stay-at-home-mom, and to which I have found it best to just place my hand gently on the speaker's arm and say, "I know, dear. You really couldn't. Maybe if you took a class or something first?"

No, these jobs fall into the category of "Physiologically, Psychologically, or Gravitationally Impossible", and my hat's off to those folks who make it all look so easy.

Job #1: Working the drive-up window at McDonald's. For the life of me, I can't figure out how those kids manage to take an order, ring it into the machine, and tell you what you'll have to pay ("that will be everything in your wallet plus your dog at the first window, please") while simultaneously collecting the pay from the customer three cars ahead of you, making change, putting the coins on top of the bills so they all fall off onto the driveway in a merry cascade o' quarters, and instructing you to "pull forward to the second window" in case you had decided to claim squatter's rights to that little patch of pavement and settle down and raise a family. I just don't have the multi-tasking skills.

Job #2: Hairdresser. I am particularly mystified by a hairdresser's ability to do that thing with the round brush and the barrel of the hair dryer where she takes a patch of your hair and switches it back and forth between the brush and the dryer. Brush. Dryer. Brush. Dryer. And then she gently lays a perfectly dried, subtly curled lock against your shoulder and repeats the whole process with the next patch.

I tried this on my daughter. Once. This is filed in the annals of family lore under "The Time We Discovered the Air Intake Fan".

Job #3: Doing anything in a bank, including making a deposit or robbing the place. Now, if you read this post, you may have divined that at the time I faked a broken leg to get out of going to work, I was, in fact, working for a bank. Suffice to say, when the auditors came that year, they discovered that the only day in which all of the teller drawers and the vaults and even the HonoRac Self-Vending Candy Box were in complete balance was the day I was home tending to my 'injuries'. All I have to do is drive past a bank, and their systems lose their poor little computing minds and transfer all the assets on record to exiled Nigerian royalty. It's my super-power.

Job #4: Driving a mail truck. The problem here is twofold: First, I am notoriously bad at judging distances. "How far away is that mountain?" you may ask. And I'll squint my eyes and say, "Hmm....about....three and a half inches." So there isn't a mailbox on earth that would have a chance against my depth perception.

The second problem is, I'm pretty sure that driving with the steering wheel on the wrong side would have me speaking with a put-on British accent within a week, and I don't care who you are, that's just pretentious.

Finally, Job #5: Piano teacher. Hoo-boy, totally couldn't handle that gig! Anyone negligent enough to subject their child to thirty minutes of music instruction at my hands would just be asking for a kid probation officers call "nothin' but trouble". Between my tin ear and my tendency to nap or eat or, on at least one occasion, shave my legs during a lesson, there just isn't a worse job in the world for me than.....

.....hang on. I need to check something.

(Honey, c'mere. What's that thing I do for five hours every afternoon and have done for 28 count 'em twenty-eight years and even went to college to get all credentialled up and stuff? Really? You're sure I'm not an accountant or something?)

...heh, heh. Never mind.


M-Cat said...

I'm so with you on the bank thing I just don;t get it. Any of it. I can't even balance my own checkbook let alone be responsible for a till or vault or whatever the crap they call them

Hel said...

hehehe... I spat my cereal out when I read the hair drying incident. And my cereal tastes good today!! I am still trying to figure out how those hairdressers do it - I will not be beaten!

I couldn't be a teacher (full stop). It makes me break out in hives when I am called as a teacher - particularly to little children.

aunt dyanne said...

well... sad to say... i can do the bank thing. can't do much of anything else... and fail by complete comparison to you my dear friend... so, you can do all that cool stuff for me, and i'll take care of balancing your books.

Momza said...

Well here I was, wondering when you're gonna be translated and come to find out, I've done something you haven't--I've been a "bean counter" aka bank teller.
And, really, it's just counting all day long...beans in, beans out.
But, I really wish I could play piano better than I do.
So you still win.

Linda said...

Love your blog makeover. Did Ty Pennington come with a megaphone to do that? No you could not work a drive-thru here in Las Vegas because you have more than 30 IQ points. (was that mean? don't tell them or they will spit in my Shamrock Shake today). You asked on my blog who my kids are. Promise if I tell you, you will still visit my blog? At Cumorah you taught Tanner- blonde spikey hair, sarcastic mouth. Sorry about that by the way. Cassidy was also there- cute brunette. In LVMYC was red-headed Makenzie, during the first two years of the choir. There you go. If you come visit my blog I know you have forgiven me for Tanner!

Theresa Rodriguez said...

I tried piano lessons once. i gave up because eating the bags of chocolate chips was more my style. And for the record...I am a hair dresser. I can do the wonder that is tossing the hair over the brush and back onto the dryer, sometimes i feel like a magician. I cannot however do it to myself no matter how hard I try. Maybe Im not that great of a hair dresser after all. I admire you ability to shave and teach at the same time. Ill trade you skills anyday.

Rebecca said...

I have worked a drive-through window, because it was the only job I could find on quick notice. I preferred the main counter; I could never get quite quick enough for the window. Yes, the window. As in one. As in, I had to take the order, take the money, and give out food while being careful not to spill the drinks out the window. Though I entertained people by being the vegetarian who worked at Burger King. At least it was only for one summer!

I so love your stay-at-home mom reply. That was the best!

I hope I get to meet you at Storymakers. You are absolutely hilarious here, I bet you are amazing in real life!

Rebecca said...

Or that is, if you're going to Storymakers. I thought I saw somewhere that you were going--but I may very well be mistaken.

My apologies if I am.

Sher said...

I still stand by my opinion that you are the most amaxing woman who can do like everything and to whom I look up to as an example in pretty much EVERY endeavor in my life.
Love you!

Amber Lynae said...

I don't know what all you can and can't do... But I do know you can sure make the blogosphere laugh.

28 years..... I haven't done anything for 28 years. Living on this earth included.

rachel said...

Coming out of lurkdom to tell you that of the 70 or so blogs on my reader, yours is the only one that makes me laugh out loud every time I read it. Now my husband says "What are you laughing at? Oh, that funny lady, huh?" That's your name: Funny Lady. Just thought you'd want to know.

Garden of Egan said...

Well, I'd do your daughter's hair with the round brush/blow dryer thing (cuz I can and do...past life experiences) if you'll use that tin ear of yours and teach me how to play the pianer!

Katherine said...

Have to agree with you about the drive-through thing. There is no way I could do that job. But mostly because I'm pretty sure my husband would think it a total waste of my degree.

Lara said...

All I know is that I wish you were my piano teacher growing up. Mine was horrid. It's a wonder I can play the instrument, really.

I can't crochet, no matter how hard I try to learn. It is really upsetting.

AS Amber said...

I can totally do the hair dryer/brush thing! On me & Avery. And I learned at the young age of 16 when I was a cashier that putting the coins on the bills was a bad idea & told everyone I worked with to stop it! When I worked at First Security Bank I was a freakin' genious! I could spot a cointerfeit bill from 20 paces. Allow me to brag a little: the Secret Service would bring these big suitcase looking things with genuine & counterfeit bills lines next to each other. There was a button under each one & you had to push the button of the one you thought was fake. I was the ONLY one (incuding the dept mgr AND the SS guys) that got them all right. Boo yah! So I can do the bank thing too. And the laundry thing and the not cooking a meal thing.

I laughed right out loud when the last one was piano teacher. Haha! Silly girl!

MommyJ said...

I used to wonder how the mcdonalds people did it... when they have two drive thru lines but only one window and they still manage to charge people the right amount and then give them the right food. So one day I asked... who knew they had a fancy shmancy computer thing that takes pictures of our cars and then recycles them on the screen right next to what we ordered and how much we owe?

Not me, said the cat.

I've never worked in a bank, but I think I'd like it if i did. I love balancing my checkbook... to the penny. Lost money makes me totally insane.

Kazzy said...

I might be psycho, but I have always had a secret wish to be a banker. Can we still be friends?

And for me, the job I could never imagine is doctorin'. Blood, guts, wounds? I'll pass.

Qait said...

hahahah! :D You shaved your legs during a lesson? Please tell me you weren't kidding. That's awesome.
I wish I could take piano lessons from you (not just so could show off your sexy legs...)

That potato bag trick? I'm a pro.

Beka said...

hahaha! You're awesome. The hair dryer... thanks for making me smile!

BTW- I may live in a box or something, but it never occurred to me that working at the drive-thru window was so compliated. Never.

Debbie said...

I don't think any country where folks drive on the wrong side of the road should ever let me in. I can't imagine the havoc I could create.

Braden said...

I'm loving the bank story--especially the HonoRac. My grandparents had one in their office growing up and I realize I just owe the Lion's Club or some charity somewhere about $500.

I teach voice lessons and am inspired to try some of the things you mentioned. I usually blog, but I may try some of those other activities. Probably not the leg shaving ,though.

Brooke said...

I actually had some sort of witty comment to leave, but after reading MommyJ's comment I'm too freaked out to remember what I was going to say. I guess I better stop picking my nose while ordering my fast food from now on. Maybe that's why all the McD's employees are always crowding around the window and smirking at me when I pull up to pay . . .

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I bet you are the only person in the whole wide world who could teach me how to play piano and succeed. Especially if we served refreshments at every lesson.

And I totally agree about roundbrushing. It's more likely that I could master chinese calligraphy than that.

The Woolsey's said...

lol you make me laugh. I love reading your blog. You always put a smile on my face

lori said...

I just found you and really like your blog (I'm emotionally unavailable so its hard for me to say "love"). Anyhoo, totally agree with you on the hairdryer thing - never could figure that out. Waitressing is something I couldn't do. Well, I could, but I would do it badly. I couldn't remember all those orders.

Oh, and I'm a Vegan too!

Kathy said...

Outards? "outards" totally cracked me up. You are a stitch!

And incidentally, the only time I have thrown a knife in my marriage was in the first year. I didn't throw it at him but he did inspire the throwing of it! Thanks for the laughs!

L.T. Elliot said...

I watch Law & Order SVU, I can't round brush my hair (or anyone else's) to save my life, and I have NO depth-perception. YOU are ME, only better looking!! =P

p.s. I'm not here. I'm unplugged. This evil twin?

wendy said...

Youve taught music lessons for 28 years!!!!! twenty-freaking-eight. WOW

I can not, refuse to learn, and even if you hold a gun to my head....will not drive a stick shift.
so there.

Lisa Loo said...

I'm voting for "Tricklet"

I may or may not have had to look up the word,"sentient".

I am absolutely sure you are the new queen of adjectives.

The last time I visited the bank I got a phone call from my favorite teller after I got home. She wanted to know how much money I withdrew. WHA?! I'm supposed to remember that? Apparently I was feeling generous and left a fiver behind.

I am fascinated by this thing about the hairdresser.. I am going to ask my daughter about it.

I was the drive through queen before they even THOUGHT about having computers AND I teach piano lessons to unsuspecting souls WITHOUT so much as 1 degree in music.

Yes, I live on the edge..........................................................................of nowhere Montana

Karen said...

I've always thought I could handle being a doctor. Even a surgeon. Blood and guts don't bother me in the least and I'm way more fascinated by internal organs than anyone outside the medical field or the torture business should be.

But I draw the line at being an orderly. I cannot and WILL NOT clean out a bed pan.

Annette Lyon said...

Holy hannah, I so needed to laugh my head off tonight. I've missed reading your blog!

Gma Lores said...

I feel left out that I just found you. I needed the laughs and the heads-up. BTW, I sent my daughter to beauty school and I still don't understand how they do the whole round brush thing. I watch her and still don't get it. Is there a secret handshake or password we need to know?