My sister went to grad school with a former mortician. He told her that his particular gift in that line of work was that he was really good at restoring noses. It made me wonder about all the gifts people have that they will never learn about. I mean, for all I know I'd be really good at restoring the noses of dead people, or speaking Farsi, or plumbing, or any of a literally infinite number of things I'll probably never try. A few years after she got her graduate degree my sister got me a deck of cards with brainteasers on them, among which were some names of world capitals with the vowels taken out and the consonants scrambled. To our surprise I turned out to be almost eerily good at figuring these out. SRBLS was Brussels, obviously, LS was Oslo, and so on, almost instantly. Now, what were the odds that I'd ever discover this talent? Virtually nil. It's not just that we are large and contain multitudes, it's also that the multitudes are so multitudinous that we'll never even meet most of them.
This came to my mind as I put this stix together, because it turns out that another of my previously unsuspected talents is coming up with necrophilia jokes. I feel certain I speak for my sister as well when I say I like the scrambled-capitals talent better.
Last night I was suddenly struck with remorse over these stix that I still owe people for their Bread Loaf contributions. I promise I have not forgotten!