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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Friday (2/24/12) 4:00pm - ... wherein Peter posts yet another Sketchwar thingie.

Some time ago, I participated in something called "Sketchwar".  Every Saturday, we'd pick a topic.  Then we'd all write a sketch that had to do with that topic, and post it the following Friday.  The next day, we'd have a new topic to work on, and so on.

I figured, now that I have time for such things, I'd start doing this again.  This week, I set myself the topic of "useless skills".  If anybody wants to join in the Sketchwar fray (Andrew Pish was participating for a while, but seems to have wussed outdisappeared), next week's topic is "women in peril".

          FADE IN:

          INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

          CODY (16) sits at a table in a nice suburban living room,
          working on math homework.

          UNCLE THOMAS (30s) enters, carrying a laptop computer.

                    Hey Uncle Thomas.

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    Oh, hey Cody.  If you see your mom,
                    tell her I returned her laptop.

          He sets the laptop on an endtable, and starts to head back

                    Uncle Thomas, have you ever used
                    trigonometry for anything ever?

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    Huh.  No, not really.  But I went
                    into programming, so --

                    Gawd.  This is totes useless.

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    Well -- no.  I mean, if you go on
                    to higher math, or physics, or --

                    I am so not doing that, Uncle

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    I dunno.  I liked math as a kid. 
                    Some people just think trig is cool
                    in and of itself.

                    You liked trigonometry?  Wha -- how
                    -- I hate it.  Everyone I know
                    hates it.

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    And it probably teaches you a
                    little about how to think, or how
                    to handle math in general --

                    No.  And even if it did, why can't
                    I "learn how to think" while doing
                    something that isn't useless?

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    Plus, it's not like it ever goes
                    out of date --

                    Why the hell are you taking
                    trigonometry's side?!

                              UNCLE THOMAS

          Uncle Thomas takes a seat.

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    You want to know what real
                    uselessness is?  The GVX-5 Time
                    Tracking System.

                    I don't know what that is.

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    Of course you don't.  It's possibly
                    the worst piece of time-tracking
                    software ever made.  Its interface
                    is non-intuitive, it's got a
                    hundred bugs you have to work
                    around, it has nothing in common
                    with any other software on the
                    planet --

                    Why are you talking about this?

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    Because my company put me on a
                    project that uses that for its
                    bureaucratic stuff, so I've spent
                    the last week learning how it
                    works.  And!  And, they're phasing
                    out the GVX-5 next month, so not
                    only am I learning about a useless
                    piece of software, but I'm learning
                    about a useless piece of software
                    I'm never going to use again.

                    Okay, that kind of sucks.

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    And!  And also, there's, like, a
                    90% chance that the whole project
                    will be scrapped.

                    Hmm.  So this is what being old is

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    All the time.  You're just mad
                    because you expect school to be


                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    Knowing how to use the GVX-5 system
                    is the most useless thing in the

                    Well, no --

                              UNCLE THOMAS

                    I mean, you're getting paid,
                    right?  Plus it's just you that's
                    putting up with it -- not, y'know,
                    everybody who's in my trig class. 
                    So it can't be the most useless
                    skill in the world.

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    The most useless skill would have
                    to be unpaid, and it would have to
                    involve a lot of people, and it
                    would have to be just
                    soul-deadening torpor.


                              UNCLE THOMAS & CODY

                    Yup, that wins.

                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    Joyless, pointless time vampire.


                              UNCLE THOMAS
                    Well, I feel better about my day

                    But worse about life.

          Uncle Thomas nods.


Bleh.  Never quite found a take on the topic that inspired me, so this'll have to do.

Mood: [mood icon] amused · Music: none
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