7 Useless Skills You Should Learn

Try to master these for your next party or to just amaze your friends.

While there are many noble ways to spend your time; curing diseases, serving soup to the homeless, etc., sometimes it’s fun to just learn a silly new trick or skill.

We’re all fascinated by the guy who can walk a quarter across his knuckles, or the person making balloon animals for kids at the wedding reception.

Most of us pick these up because we think, “cool, I’d like to do that.”

Below are several examples of these useless skills that you can learn, and be ready to impress your bar mates within the month.

With the advent of the Internet, especially sites like Youtube, you don’t have to search for instruction on how to learn these useless skills.

With this in mind, provided are just some examples that you may like to research.

Rather than provide the links, which will no doubt disappear anyway, all of these have ample resources on-line to review with a simple Google search.

The criteria I used to choose these are:

  • Relatively easy to master – They all take a lot of practice, but are able to be picked up with some work. If they were easy, your friends wouldn’t be impressed, right?
  • Not dangerous – While knife throwing and fire eating are no doubt learnable, let’s keep it safe.
  • Can be done in a small space – Perfect to impress your friends at the bar or at the office.
  • Minimal supplies needed – Most are inexpensive or totally free.

So here’s the list. Feel free to comment and provide your own ideas:

1.  Juggle three balls

Learning the simple ‘cascade’ juggling style is much simpler than you probably imagine, and once you’ve got it, you’ll never forget it.

While baseballs or tennis balls work just fine, I’d suggest buying some beaded juggling balls (think round beanbags).

These won’t bruise you or break anything, and will stay put when you drop them.

2.  Learn Hand Cooing (hand ocarina, hand cooing)

Another skill I learned when I was 10 or 11 was hand cooing. I honestly didn’t know what this was called until I started research for this article.

Cupping your hands together and blowing into them at the right angle will create a very pretty sound much like a Mourning Dove.

It’ll take time to get the angle right, but once you’ve made the sound once, you’ll never forget how.

3.  Twist a balloon animal

At a recent baseball game, long balloons were handed out to the crowed to wave around. I immediately fashioned mine into a poodle and handed it to the kid sitting next to me.

After that, I must have created another dozen or so for others that kept handing me their balloon.

While poodles are fun, they really liked my Dachshunds with no hind legs.

4.  Cut cards with one hand

You’ll probably want to avoid showing this one off in Vegas, but at the weekly poker game, nonchalantly cutting the cards one-handed may give you a psychological boost against the rest of the players.

As you research on YouTube, you’ll see a number of variations that also include one-handed shuffling.

5.  Fold an Origami crane

I understand from single friends that this is a great icebreaker at the bar. I can’t vouch for it, as I’m been married for 31 years as I’m writing this article…

This skill looks intimidating at first, and the advanced projects are way too difficult for most of us.

However, if you choose just one basic project, such as a crane, you’ll have the skill memorized and will be able to crank these out in just a few minutes.

6.  Learn a few shadow puppets

If you have a flashlight and open wall space, you have a great way to entertain children…at least until the commercial is over.

Learning shadow puppets is also great in boring staff meetings when a projector is available and the boss steps out of the room.

7.  Roll a coin across your knuckles

This particular skill is not only impressive to watch, but it’s one of the few that you can practice constantly while watching television. What could be better?



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