Does anyone else have a useless power?

Since my High School years (I’m 40 now) I’ve had a strange ESP-like power that is almost completely useless. It’s a little convoluted, but it has happened so often that I can predict it now. I will be someplace, usually around a good number of people, and I will think I see somebody I know. I will get a closer look and realize that it’s not anyone I know. Then, within a short time (less than an hour) I will run into someone I DO know (not the person I thought I saw.) The thing that makes this odd is that it happens in places where I would not expect to run into these people. It’s not like I live in a small town with a limited sphere of possibilities. It has even happened to me in Spain, where I thought I saw someone I worked with, and then ran into an old girlfriend who I hadn’t spoken to in years.

The first few times it happened were far enough apart that I didn’t think anything of it. But after a few more times I started to realize I had a weird thing going on. After I was married a few years I told my wife about it, and she was appropriately skeptical. Then it happened twice while I was with her and she now believes me.

As far as I can tell, it’s completely useless other than as an interesting story.

So, do any other Dopers have odd “powers”?

I have a power to find someone I know or knows me, almost anywhere I go. It happens locally, of course, but even far from home. My wife is astounded every time it happens.
We live in Texas and have never been to Washington state or Oregon, but several years ago my oldest son was up there and found 2 people who knew me, and he wasn’t trying. Maybe he has that “gift” also.
Then again, what if I want to be incognito? Won’t happen, I guess.

I’ve had that happen also.
Or I will hear a song that reminds me of a certain person or time frame in my life and within a day or so I will run in to that person.
And it happens with people I haven’t seen or thought of in years. Something will happen that will put me in mind of them and I’ll hear from them.
It just happened two years ago with a long time friend I had lost contact with for the past 15 years.
Never thought of it as a power but it kind of makes me feel cool now! Thanks Southern Yankee! :smiley:

I am Directions Man. People stop me on the street all the time and ask directions, and I will always be able to tell them the correct way. The freaky thing is that people even stop me in strange cities and foreign countries from New York to Tokyo, and somehow I always know how to find the requested destination even if I just got there yesterday.

You know how when you become disoriented like when you’re in a store at a mall or on the street and when you come out north is south and south is north, and when you finally grasp where you are your surroundings instantaneously spin 180 degrees to reorient themselves?
Well I can take any surroundings I’m in and mentally rotate them into the disoriented position. And I can actually do it in 90 degree increments.
So if I’m in an enclosed room in a building and the door faces south and I wonder “hmm, what would this room feel like if we rotated it and the door faced east, west, or north” I can rotate it mentally. Not just rooms but entire cities.

Pretty useless.

Let’s see.
I’m a dancer and this is my 11th year doing it so I can put my feet behind my head.
I can identify almost any popular song, as long as it was created after 1965.
I can type extremely fast (160 wpm) but using the hunt n’ peck method.
I can usually tell what my cat is trying to say to me when she meows at me.

VERY useless.

When I was about 14-17, I used to get old pop songs trapped in my head for no discernible reason and then within a day I would hear them played on the radio. Sometimes, these were classic records but would sometimes be extremely obscure. Doesn’t happen these days, so my “gift” has apparently left me, although hand on heart, my mum says she had the same experience at approx the same age. She too has long lost her mighty powers.

If I listen to a song 3-4 times, I’ve got the lyrics memorized. Even if it’s in a foreign (to me) language I can imitate the sounds. What I can’t do is sing with any skill.

We need to introduce you to SurrenderDorothy .

Not sure about now, but for years I’ve had the power to be wanted as a really good “friend” among the female population.

That was pretty useless (for a teen / young man who wanted to get laid at least).

Cool, I’m not the only one!

:eek: :dubious: :eek: :dubious:

That’s darn near impossible for even a touch typist. WPM = Words Per Minute. Are you sure you don’t mean CPM (Characters Per Minute)? I myself type at about 100 wpm, which I understand is in or near the 99th percentile for typing speed. I have seen faster typists in action, but not often.

On the other hand, 170 CPM would come out to about 35-ish WPM, which would indeed be pretty darn fast for hunt-and-peck typing – about equivalent to the low end for a touch typist.

As for any “odd powers” I have or used to have – I could tell, with 80%+ percent accuracy, where the subway doors would end up on a NYC subway platform, even at unfamiliar stations. This used to be a very valuable skill at rush hour, where I could arrive to an already crowded platform, worm my way to the platform edge at a likely spot, then have it end up being right next to where a pair of doors would end up when the train pulled in. This in turn meant I would definitely get on the next incoming train instead of having to wait for 2 or 3 trains to pass by.

Nowadays they often have painted boxes/lines on the platform edge identifying where the doors will end up, so this “power” is no longer the advantage it once was.

I’m also the “directions” person. People stop me everywhere, even out of town, to ask how to get to places. I guess I both look like I know where I’m going and also look like I am not going to kill anyone. Little do they know…

Now that’s a useful power. All I got is the power of “presenting bullshit so that it sounds plausible to most people.” Useful for politics, maybe. It’s just too bad that I have a soul.

Reminds me of that SNL parody of Christopher Walken’s The Dead Zone (Chris parodied himself) where he gives psychic impressions of the most mundane things, replete with a dramatic cue when he touches someone: “You ate a bagel with lime jelly for breakfast this morning.”

I have the power to know what everybody else is doing wrong. It’s been pretty useless to me.

I write power pop songs that are perfectly good but have only been heard (and likely won’t be) by maybe a few hundred people. Now I’m too old (44) to be a “popstar” or even a cult favorite. Just another dude in a band. You’d have to give somebody a dime to take a dozen off your hands these days.

Useless as tits on a boar hog, but at least I like doing it. :stuck_out_tongue:
I can also name the highest point and elevation of all 50 states highest peaks.

I can catch small furry animals quickly and bare-handed. (Mice, hamsters, rats, kittens and puppies.)

I can get lost anywhere. Its a power I can do without.

I can turn reasonable people into playground bullies. I haven’t figured out how to run this power in reverse, though.

I have called into work, in the middle of the day or night, on enough occasions to have a reputation for it, and asked how <client’s name> is. In every case, they are not doing all that well, just left for the Emergency room, how did you hear about it so soon? In one case I asked the night nurse to go check him, please, I think he is having trouble breathing. Seconds later she hung up after saying, “They were just calling 911.” (He was fine, within a few minutes. Cyanotic from seizure activity.)

How do I know? I don’t know how I know. Ten times in thirty years, or there abouts. That doesn’t count the times I am there and decide to go look at someone, and end up phoning the nurse. Those don’t count. It’s my job to check. Once I awoke from a very bad dream, in which people were telling me, over and over, “John’s in the well!” John was on a ventilator, in the emergency room. (He got better too.)

Even spookier, when one of my clients died, I was approached by a coworker. “Tris, can I ask you something?” “About, <client’s name>?” “Oh, you heard?” “No, but I knew.” “How come you didn’t call? You always call.” “He was already dead.” That one almost got me shunned.

I have never saved anyone’s life by premonition. I have done so without premonitions. So, it is basically useless. Very spooky, though. I tend to just not think about it meaning anything, since I don’t think examination will help it at all. And, heck, it just might actually matter some day.