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What is Your Useless Skill?

By Petr Knava | Comment Diversions | October 24, 2017 |

By Petr Knava | Comment Diversions | October 24, 2017 |

I was born in Prague and grew up in London, so more than anything else I am a city-raised sorta person. As a result I have very much absorbed that environment’s habits and many of its values. I walk quickly, am instantly distrustful of people being friendly, and of course I absolutely bristle with indignation every time someone dares question why I might want to be haemorrhaging money just to pay for the privilege of barely eking out at living in a miserable capitalist hell hole made day by day more and more suitable only for a swaggering, besuited banking class and parasitic supranational capital.

But despite that overwhelming city-ness to my being, I retain a bit of the contrasting country-ness. You see, my family has a little house in the arse-end of nowhere countryside of the Czech Republic. Growing up, I spent my summers there, and I still visit every year, albeit for much shorter periods now. It was during those long, endless childhood months that some country rhythms soaked themselves into me, deeply and inextricably. Days spent wandering around underneath an unending blue sky, phone-less and carefree, I picked up a lot of habits that I’m just now deciding to re-brand as ‘skills’. Skills specific to that time, and especially that place. Skills like knowing how to start a fire, or how to use a knife properly—

But you know what, those are real skills, boring and useful. I was talking about those other ones, the ‘skills’.

My favourite ‘skill’, picked up and honed to perfection during those days, is spitting.

But I don’t mean just like a lazy gob from the side of the mouth. A Jabba-like drool that falls passively to meet the ground, a slave to gravity. Nah, I’m talking projectiles here. Well-formed, mass-calculated projectiles, propelled from between the lips in precise arcs. I’m talking about knowing what kind of food and what kind of drink will lead to what kind of consistency. I’m talking about being able to be riding a bicycle at speed, to see a garbage receptacle coming up on the side of the road, with just a narrow slot on its side for an opening, and to be able to calculate, in barely any time at all, meticulously accurate vectors, and to instantly construct perfect globules in order to get that spit exactly where it needs to be.

I mean, yeah, I could just swallow the damn thing.

But where’s the fun in that? Much better to utilise and to be proud of this immensely useless skill.

What say you, Pajibans?

I challenge you to a spit-off! Globules at dawn.

Or to a whatever-your-useless-skill-is-off…


Petr Knava lives in London and plays music

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.