#2. How Amazing They Are at Spotting Celebrities
The trouble with this ability is that it could actually be a useful talent if it wasn't being squandered on a completely worthless pursuit. Some people are so good at memorizing faces, body structure and mannerisms that they can tell who someone is from a hundred yards away, sometimes even from behind. If they nurtured that skill to hunt down missing persons and wanted criminals, they could be heroes. Instead they use their gift to point out a disguised Jake Gyllenhaal to everyone else in an airport terminal.
If you know people who pride themselves on being able to spot celebrities, it won't take much prodding for them to rattle off every star they've ever seen, and if you're particularly unlucky, they'll have one of those autograph books that make you retroactively embarrassed for everyone who was present during each signature.
"'To Barry' is fine. Big fan, by the way."
That's because celebrity spotters aren't accruing their autographs at junkets or conventions; no, they prefer to catch celebrities in the wild. They see Alex Trebek going the opposite direction on the freeway at 60 miles an hour and give chase. They'll glimpse Howie Mandel having dinner in a restaurant and pound on the window until he acknowledges them. Worst of all, they'll recount every exchange without any hint of humiliation. In fact, they're proud of their accomplishments; as far as they're concerned, celebrities are all complicit goals in a massive scavenger hunt, a scavenger hunt they happen to be winning. Naturally, they want you to know about the talent that leads them to success, because a conversation with you is the closest thing they will ever have to a post-game interview.
#1. How Often They Need to Shave
Ladies, you can just sit back and relax on this one because it's specific to men, unless there's a whole quadrant of women out there I don't know about who can't shut up about how quickly their body pockets grow another layer of Velcro after each shave.
For some men, though, their entire concept of masculinity is defined by facial hair. When they shave in the morning and a new crop has budded by mid-afternoon, they want you to know about it, goddammit. They want to talk about how many razors they go through in a month, and how some days they'll shave twice, and how lucky the rest of us are that we don't have to cope with such unbridled testosterone. Even men who don't brag out loud about it still brag silently with their stupid sandpaper chins.
"But Soren," you might say with your unnaturally deep voice, your pronounced Adam's apple, "I'm not bragging about my facial hair, I'm commiserating with other people who have to deal with it." To which I say:
This might be a good time to mention that I'm not jealous. Granted, the seeds of puberty could gain no purchase on my face, but I can see it in each of your eyes that you are boasting on the inside about all your facial hair potential. Well, I've got news for you -- that's not a power. It's not going to save babies from house fires or something. Come talk to me when you can jump into the back of a truck with both feet at the same time. Facial hair looks stupid anyway. I don't want this to sound resentful, but I hope your beard grows so long someday that your face gets sucked into a wind turbine.
A few more days ought to do it.
For more from Soren, check out Why 'Psychics' Need to Stop Pretending They Can Solve Crimes and 4 Steps to Staying Relevant as a Bully In the Modern World.