Thursday, February 3, 2011

McSweeney's: I Dance Like I Have Two Left Feet

Today I got an essay published on McSweeney's, the literary and humor website! It's called "I Dance Like I Have Two Left Feet," and can be read here. It is based on a tragic true story.

If you're coming here after reading that, and you're curious about other humor essays I've written, you can find other humor essays that I've written here.

Don't have time to visit McSweeney's? Well then enjoy:

You think that you dance like you have two left feet? Consider yourself lucky. I dance like I have two left feet, except one of those left feet is backwards, and the other left foot is upside down. Both of my hands are like left feet too. If I had any other limbs, they would probably also have left feet at the ends of them.

Basically, I'm not very good at dancing.

I used to hope that all these feet would make me into a great soccer player, but I was wrong. You see, I kick like my legs are arms. This makes it difficult to play without getting assorted yellow cards and penalties. I can't even slide tackle without being accused of elbowing other players. Plus, if I get a case of athlete's foot, it can spread and quickly become a life-threatening condition.

As you can imagine, I stumble a lot when I'm on the go. In fact, I walk like I'm wearing two right shoes on my two left feet. I've got to stay vigilant for obstacles that might trip me up. That's usually not a problem, because I see like I have one lazy eye and one overly-ambitious eye—even if my lazy eye misses something, my other eye is a really energetic go-getter who's eager to please me. So that normally balances things out.

But if you spot a car about to run me over, don't bother yelling to get my attention. I hear like I have no ears.

However, I smell like I have two ears. I don't mean that my scent is similar to that of a person with two ears, I mean that I have the ability to detect odors as well as someone who... well, you know what I mean. If you have two ears, then I can smell things as well as you can.

I hope I don't sound like a whiner. I do have some talents. Like thumb wrestling. Even though my right hand is like my left foot, all of the finger-toes on that hand-foot are like thumbs. While most people play like they only have two thumbs, I play like I have ten. It's almost unfair. To put it bluntly, I thumb-wrestle like I play Scrabble.

Wait, did I not explain how good I am at Scrabble? I probably should have mentioned it earlier so that this analogy would make sense. Perhaps a comparison will help you understand: I play Scrabble like I thumb wrestle.

These activities are great for me because they're not very strenuous or physical. Anything that involves running is a challenge—I breathe like I have two left lungs. And, as we all know, the left lung is the far inferior of the two.

Even though I can't hold my breath underwater, I can still swim pretty well, since my back is like a regular back but with a dorsal fin. I just can't stay out at sea for very long, in case I have to go to the bathroom, which I do constantly because I pee like my left kidney is my right kidney. And vice versa.

I hope by now you have a clear understanding of my condition. It's kind of difficult to put into words, and I put things into words like I put the beautiful game of soccer into interpretive dance performances.

Which is to say, not very well.

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