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
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. CODY 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 out. CODY Uncle Thomas, have you ever used trigonometry for anything ever? UNCLE THOMAS Huh. No, not really. But I went into programming, so -- CODY Gawd. This is totes useless. UNCLE THOMAS Well -- no. I mean, if you go on to higher math, or physics, or -- CODY I am so not doing that, Uncle Thomas. UNCLE THOMAS I dunno. I liked math as a kid. Some people just think trig is cool in and of itself. CODY 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 -- CODY 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 UNCLE THOMAS Plus, it's not like it ever goes out of date -- CODY Why the hell are you taking trigonometry's side?! UNCLE THOMAS Look. Uncle Thomas takes a seat. UNCLE THOMAS You want to know what real uselessness is? The GVX-5 Time Tracking System. CODY 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 -- CODY 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. CODY Okay, that kind of sucks. UNCLE THOMAS And! And also, there's, like, a 90% chance that the whole project will be scrapped. CODY Hmm. So this is what being old is like? UNCLE THOMAS (nodding) All the time. You're just mad because you expect school to be useful. CODY Hmm. UNCLE THOMAS Knowing how to use the GVX-5 system is the most useless thing in the world. CODY Well, no -- UNCLE THOMAS What? CODY 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 (nodding) 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. Beat. UNCLE THOMAS & CODY Farmville. CODY Yup, that wins. UNCLE THOMAS Joyless, pointless time vampire. Beat. UNCLE THOMAS Well, I feel better about my day now. CODY But worse about life. Uncle Thomas nods. BLACKOUT.
Bleh. Never quite found a take on the topic that inspired me, so this'll have to do.