Put These In The Suck Column

Because I’m a big thieving thiever and entirely uninspired, I’m halfassedly stealing a post idea from Ms. Aussa Lorens of things I suck at doing.

I’m decent at a lot of things, excellent at a few and absolutely terrible at most. These are some things I’m terrible at. Don’t make me do them, please.


I have perfect pitch. I can tell when something is even slightly off key. You’d think this would make me musically talented, but nope. Take a sack of ferrets, light it on fire and swing it around your head helicopter-style while playing Biz Markie‘s Just A Friend on a boombox, and that’s not even half as off key as my singing voice.

The only thing having perfect pitch does for me is make it so that I can’t stand to hear my own voice. When I sing out loud, I turn the volume waaaay up to drown out my caterwauling. It’s fuckin’ awesome.


I am the world’s worst negotiator. If you try to sell me something and ask me to negotiate a price, I will end up paying twice as much for another item I don’t want because it came with a free thingamabobber and shiny, while not buying the thing I originally set out to get. If you make me bargain, I will hand you my bank card. “Just take what you think is fair. I need a nap.”

I don’t want to haggle. I’m not at a bazaar in Tashkent. I want a price tag with a price on it. I want to hand someone a card, sign something and have them hand me pretty stuff, preferably wrapped in tissue paper in a nice bag with those rope handles.


Oooh, colory!

This is the first world and I demand price tags, dammit.

Before you get any funny ideas about negotiating away all my money, you should know that I don’t have any and that my best friend is an excellent negotiator who is on call for all of my negotiating needs. So there.

Write poetry.

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, there is a species renown for bad poetry called the Vogons. I am at least half Vogon. My poetry might not kill you, but it will make your ears bleed. Here is some poetry that’s actually posted on this blog:

From An Amphigorical Admonition

Alumveth sleething glabben enray
Didst cushowee zow emprum
Enst yestrate cushaway
Twast brangen t’etul droolum

From I Don’t Write Poetry

Sacrébleu! She sighed, spying Sunday’s screwy scribing suggestion.
She suspected some suspiciously surreptitious significance.
Something so senseless surely shouldn’t stand.
Sadly, sacrificing sensibility, she surrendered.
Sanity scrapped, sagacity shunned, syntax subjugated;
Stupidity soared, surpassing sophistical syllogism.
She sophomorically sought statements solely spewing S’s.

See what I mean? Granted, the first one was a joke and the second one had to start every word with the letter S, so there were constraints… Eh, who am I kidding? Constraints or not, I suck.

I prefer expressing myself in complete sentences. And sentence fragments. Sorry for making your earballs bleed.

Spell the word “occasionally” and other double-letter monstrosities.

I have a mental block on polysyllabic words with double letters. I’m usually okay with gerunds (although, I just typed that as gerrunds), e.g. running. I know that if you turn “run” into “running,” you add another N. It’s all the other freak words that have double letters, which is almost all of them. I’m totally hopeless with words that have both double and single letters together, e.g. “occasionally.”

When I attempt typing the word occasionally, I will generally just mash my fingers against the keyboard in such a way that my very smart computer might be able to tell that I’m trying to spell the word occasionally instead of having a stroke.

“Did you mean occasionally?”
“Why, yes, I did.”

Use credit card swipers.

Those hieroglyphs on the front of the machine are absolutely no use. I tend not to even look at them since they just confuse me even more. If there is a salesperson, I will hand them my card and make them run it. (Don’t look at me like that. It’s their job.) If there isn’t a person, like at a gas pump, I’m totally fucked.


There are really only a handful of options for swiping a credit card and I will try all the fail ways before I get the right way. I’ll stand there for ten minutes, trying and retrying ways to put my card in that are completely wrong. In a fit of pique, sometimes, I try to shove the card in there like a robotic arm feeding Fritos to a plaster head, as if forcing it in the wrong way will make it right.

That simile only makes sense with this gif.

That simile only makes sense with this gif.

The pressure mounts with every wrong swipe until I get flustered and want to run away in a flurry of flailing arms and girlie WAAAAHs, but I can’t since I still have no gas in my car. Then, and only then, at peak embarrassment, do I manage to put it in the right way. Panic subsides and all is well until the next time. There will always be a next time.

Figure out which polite answer to use.

These are conversations I have every day:

Person: “Hi, how are you?”

Me: “Not much. You?”

 Or the opposite:

Person: “Hi, what’s up?”

Me: “Fine. You?”

I hate the “you too” conversation. Most of the time, “you too” is appropriate. For example:

Person: “Have a good weekend!”

Me: “You too!”

But, sometimes, “you too” backfires. For instance, when dealing with customer service people:

Waitress: “Enjoy your meal.”

Me: “You too!”


Salesperson: “Thank you for shopping at Bob’s Wizbangs & Whirligigs.”

Me: “You too!”


What do you suck at?

There are 59 comments

  1. Doobster418

    I liked that every word begins with an “s” poem.

    Related to the last one, when I see someone I know or am acquainted with I will sometimes ask either “How you doing?” or “How’s it going?” More often than not, though, the words that come out of my mouth are either “How you going?” or “How’s it doing?” Then I walk away as quickly as I can, leaving the impression that it wasn’t me who misspoke but them who misheard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JackieP

    My goodness, we should be singing partners! hahaha. I have perfect pitch ear too, and can’t carry a tune. I sing terribly! But I can tell if someone is just slightly flat. It’s not fair.
    Don’t ask me to do math, I cringe and my mind goes blank and I just can’t do it. I’m terrible at math! Yet, I know to the penny how much change I should get before the cashier does. I’m strange. I worked retail for years and give change without the help of a computer, till or calculator. How is that even possible when I suck at math?? lol


    1. goldfish

      Someone else with the plight of perfect pitch! I thought it was my own personal hell, since everyone else I’ve ever met with perfect pitch is musically talented.

      I’m pretty bad at math in my head, too, except when playing blackjack. Go figure.


            1. goldfish

              Oh my. I used to have to design for our Dutch office. Someone would translate my design into Dutch and I’d have to plug it all in. The problem is, Dutch words are usually way longer than English and I don’t speak Dutch at all.


  3. kraftycatcreations

    You may not like your poetry, but you can write! Just bringing up Biz Markie – lol! He could not sing, but he sure made lots of money killing some eardrums.

    I have problems speaking languages – murder them all – including English! (What doctor are you seeing today? The astrogastroallengest?)


    1. goldfish

      If only I could figure out a way to make money by killing eardrums.

      Ugh, yes, I am absolute rubbish at pronouncing French words. I should have put that on the list.


  4. Paul

    Funny post Goldfish. Yes, I do the “you too” thingy as well – for instance when putiting gas in the car, the attendant will say; “Have a good trip” – pefectly sensible, since I’m driving away. And I will reply quite idiotically : “You too.” The attendant is going no where and she and everyone else knows it and yet I’m telling her to have a good trip as well. Nuts. As for credit/debit card swiping – now they’ve added a chip to some cards and they have to be inserted with the chip up and in. However the reading machines still have the swipe for some cards. So now I not only don’t know which way to put the card in, I also don’t know whether to insert or swipe. AARgh! Or have you ever pulled into a gas station when it is busy? There are never any open spots where you pull in, but of course, where everyone has finished , there are open spots on the other side. So, do you wait or do you drive around the station and back into the front fueling spot? If you do that you stand the chance of 1) the car leaving and someone pulling all the way through and blocking your spot so you have to go back around, 2) securing your spot just as the guy behind is finished and now he can’t leave because you are in his way and he is scowling. Other have pulled in behind him and he can’t back up and you have to endure his withering stare while you are fueling. 3) getting all settled finally, unhooking the hose and realizing that your stupid fill hatch is on the other side of the car. Do you try to stretch it? (Is that legal?) Do you sigh, put everything away and leave in disgrace? Do you sigh, put everything away, and go around and get back in the line (or try to back into another empty front spot on the proper side)? 4) As much as you know it would make things go so much faster for everyone, do you dare to pull out and park to go pay so someone else can be fueling while you’re inside? Or are you (like me) afraid that the attendant will breakout a machine gun as soon as your wheels move, and straff your car because he thinks you’re about to run without paying? Oh, the challenges of the busy gas station. I refuse to go in anymore when they are busy – too many unanswerable questions. Too many chances of being the target of disgust or derision and/or having to retreat in embarassment. (there aren’t enough “r”‘s in there are there?)


  5. LAMarcom

    I am tone deaf. When I was a junior in HS, the director of the Choral Class (Yes I was in it because most of my friends were in it and I knew I could just lip sync anyhow), decided we (the class) should tackle “The Sound of Music.” Fine, I thought. I will audition for one of the non-singing parts, say one of the Nazis who shoot Max or something like that. You know a bit part.
    Au contraire!
    I was drafted into playing Captain Von Trapp!
    Whoa! I said. I cannot sing my way out of a bucket.
    Ridiculous! Everyone can sing.
    Trust me. I cannot
    So he sat me down at the piano and had me belt out a few verses of Edelweiss. Did not take long to convince him.
    I still had to play the part, but I did the Rex Harrison thing: I spoke the lines of the songs.
    My step-sister played Maria (awkward), and I let her drown me out during the duets.
    I still have nightmares…


  6. List of X

    I can relate to the last one. I keep responding to “Hi, how are you?” greeting with exactly the same “hi, how are you?”, which sounds like my response to “how are you?” is is that I am high.


  7. starfish

    I suck at understanding very specific social rules if they aren’t spelled out for me – just yesterday I had an appointment with my professor. I was on time, knocked on her door, got no answer, kept waiting. (Our university’s doors are pretty thick, so you never know if they answered or even heard your knock.). After a while she came out of her office and told me that in university and everywhere else there is the rule that after knocking and hearing no answer one should wait some seconds and then try if the door is locked. Duh? It took 25 years for someone to tell me that explicitly. I’ve seen people do it and did it myself before, but mostly with people who don’t get mad easily or who don’t know me, while in many cases I wait and then knock again, harder. Why is there no big book of social rules, with everything tagged for occasion, register, hierachy, and other important factors?


  8. E.

    That robot-arm gif cracks me up EVERY time I see it. :D I had to stop reading so I could catch my breath.
    Small talk. I absolutely cannot small talk. Or spell “recommend” correctly on the first try (reccommend? reccomend? fuck it). Or remember what “lugubrious” means, and not confuse it with “egregious”. I can sing though, somehow. Just don’t ask me to do it.


    1. goldfish

      Oh, yes. Recommend is another double-letter monstrosity that I can’t spell at all. I can’t remember at all how to say certain words like Goethe. My mouth just doesn’t move that way.


  9. Aussa Lorens

    Hahaha I am so right there with you on the credit card swiping and the “you too” conversations. It’s so bad. I think the worst is when you’re getting on a flight and some airline employee tells you to enjoy it. “You too!” facepalm

    And I really don’t like negotiating. I can BS my way through it when I’m in a foreign country because I go into death con haggle mode but here in America… nope.


  10. Sarah

    Haha I, too, have issues with the “you too” conversations.I think I shall thieve from the thief and do a post like this. I have PLENTY of things I am terrible at.


  11. evilsquirrel13

    I suck right along with you on negotiating, poetry, and small talk (to the point of seeming very antisocial… heck, who am I kidding, I am antisocial!)

    I can’t use a smartphone to save my life. When someone hands me theirs to show me a picture or something else they have on it, the screen immediately goes blank or switches to something else. No matter how much I try to mimic the pawing everyone else does to navigate their phones, the stupid thing just mocks me when I try to direct it with my magic hands. As good a reason as any to never upgrade my old classic…


    1. goldfish

      I’m not very good at small talk either, but it’s totally dependent on the situation. I can small talk at the dog park because there’s always something to small talk about there. But put me in a room full of strangers without dogs and I clam up.

      I’m generally alright with smartphones, but if I have to get a new phone, I’m just like you are. It takes me forever to figure out all the buttons.


  12. dhonour

    I’m a terrible speller. Terrible. And I slightly freak out if an person over the age of five wants to high five me for whatever reason. I’m constantly, accidentally hanging up on people as well.


  13. 1jaded1

    I’m horrible at the “you too” thing.
    Lady in cafeteria: Have a good lunch. Me: You too.

    When I sing, male cats come running.

    Be careful swiping cards at the pump. Badguys “skim” numbers and sell them.


  14. draliman

    Cool, I suck at all these things too!
    I don’t even use things like self-service tills at supermarkets because of the hopeless mess I’ll make of it. Our local supermarket even has machines to carry round so you can scan your own shopping! Jog on. I’d probably mis-scan half of it, get chosen for random inspection and end up explaining my ineptitude to the cops.


  15. Deborah

    I mess up the polite words thing all the time. “You, too!” gets me into so much trouble. But then I just smile and walk away and pretend like I “meant” to do that. I don’t think I’m fooling anyone, but I hold my head high anyway. ;-)


  16. alexp01

    You know what polysyllabic double-letter word gets me all the time (well, other than “polysyllabic”)? “Unnecessary.” I always want to double up on the Cs to make it “unneccessary” or even drop an extra R in there to make it “unneccessarry.” Why does it need two Ns and two Ss but not two Cs or two Rs? I’ll give it all the unnecessary consonants it wants; is a little consistency too much to ask?


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