February 11, 2004

Useless Talents
Have I ever mentioned that I'm a Radio Psychic? Not one of those guys on the radio call-in shows that tell you "I see someone with an 'N' in your family who just had an operation..." No, that would be something useful, productive even. My talent is something far, far more useless. I can predict what song will come on the radio.

Now I know that predicting a song being played on top-40 radio can be a simple thing if you have a ClearChannel station, or Star94 in Atlanta, since they play most songs on a 1.5 hour rotation throughout the day. But that's not it. I wouldn't be much of a psychic if I predicted that Outkast's "Hey Ya" would be played within the next hour. Any frustrated listener can tell you that already. My ability lies in more obscure tuneage.

Here's how it usually happens. I wake up one morning and for no reason, I start humming "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden. I go through my morning routine as usual, but the second song on the radio after I start it up is, you guessed it, "Black Hole Sun." It works often when I'm away from a radio, like at home or work. I won't be able to get random a song out of my head all day, and then once I turn on the radio, it plays. Or I'll be listening to the radio and start singing a completely different song, and that will be the next song played.

The spirits of the cosmos decided to imbue me with a psychic gift: the power to see into the futute and predict... a radio set list. A totally useless ability. How completely fitting.

Something only slightly less pointless is my ability to predict when I'll get a call on my cell phone. I'll be going about my daily business, then have a sudden urge to take out my phone. Five seconds later, it rings in my hand. Maybe I'm able to pick up wireless frequencies because of the metal plate in my head. No, second thought, I don't have a metal plate in my head. That was the guy in "Airplane."

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