What are your hidden talents?

On a recent vacation, I had the opportunity to go to an indoor shooting range and rent a handgun for an hour or so, along with fifty rounds of ammunition. I normally have no access to firearms whatsoever, so I was quite looking forward to firing a real gun with real bullets.

Just imagine my delight when I found out that I was GOOD. Not just competent, mind you, but REALLY GOOD. Scarily good. I would load a clip with five rounds, take five shots at an unmarked target, then reload, take five more shots, then bring the target in to have a look and change it for a fresh one. Ten rounds per target, five targets overall.

ALL of my shots were bullseyes, all in the center ten-ring. One of my friends had come along with me and was watching from behind some safety glass. He later told me that at one point, I had three of the range instructors standing in a group behind me, checking out my progress, and intermittently looking at each other and nodding appreciatively. I was so intent on making the bullets go where I wanted, that I din’t notice anyone behind me, so I’ll have to take his word for it.

Bear in mind that this was only the third in my life that I’d ever fired a handgun, with no training whatsoever. Moreover, I’m naturally a very laid-back, easy-going, gentle kinda guy with no secret gun fetishes or violent tendencies, so I was amazed at my apparently natural ability to mete out leaden death with such accuracy

Forgive me for bragging, but it’s so rare that I’m any good at anything, that I just had to tell someone about it. I realise that this will seem pretty small potatoes to some of the accomplished shooters out there, but I reckon that if I had some training, I could go from scarily good, to “Assassin-for-hire” good.

So, fellow Dopers, what hidden talents have you recently discovered? What were you surprisingly good at, how did you find out, and how surprised were you?

Share the good news, feel free to brag, and generally sing your praises about how good you are…

Wow, that’s an unusual thing to be good at for the first time. When I lived in the land of guns - Arizona - I got pretty good with my Glok. But that was raw desert shoot’in.

My hidden talent lay in my ability to design rooms for people to make them more comfortable. I design everything from hospital rooms, elderly housing units, daycare center’s and just about any room in a modern domicile.
I got my masters from Arizona State University in Environmental Psychology. Which is basically the study of humans in their habitat and work place, with a heavy concentration on architecture and Urban design. So I basically subcontract what I know about human behaviour out to architects and interior designers… My most recent was a trip to L.A to work on a childs room for a wealthy couple from the Netherlands. The room included everything from indoor tree houses, to hidden passageways to escape from the parents. The hidden rooms had to be equipped with bookshelves, to accomodate their childs love for Jan Bret.
My day job is not a designer however, I am an instructor at a small liberal arts college in New England.
Anyone need a design plan???

My only innate talent appears to be makeup. Yes, how horribly feminine of me…but not really.
Not only fashion makeup, glamour makeup, everyday makeup, but also stage makeup and special effects.
I’ve taken some classes and read a lot of books, but just about everything I’ve actually tried has turned out incredible.
I’ve made myself up to look like an old Jewish man, a cat, and a pixie. On others, I’ve done a wolf, another woman-to-man change over (even fooled my SO with this one and he’s known her longer than I have), a whole bunch of fairies for Midsummer Night’s Dream, turned a 22 yr old into an 80 yr old, Demoness (with foam latex appliance), and much more.

I am actually good at something! But I do not in any way want to do it professionally. I enjoy my current job in e-commerce. I enjoy my community theatre side projects, but I just cannot see myself doing makeup professionally. I couldn’t deal with the egos.

I suppose my talent will pale in comparison to other talents that either are or will be listed on this thread, but here goes:

I am a kick-ass candlepin bowler

This is the bowling with the smaller bowling balls. Not every area has this particular type of bowling available.

Not sure if this counts - since its not so much hidden from me but is something that shocked the hell out of my co-workers when they found out a couple of months ago.

Basically I’m a city dwellin’ techie - i work in Central London, i live in London, i’m definitely “city folk”. Add to that the fact that i am pretty much a stereotypical geek (although i do have a girlfriend and occasionally socialise with people :wink: ).

So as far as everyone here at work was concerned, i was the kind of person who would start freaking the moment i couldn’t recharge my Laptop and wouldn’t know a tree if i walked into one.

Then one day, by order of headOfDiv we all had to go on a “teambuilding” exercise.

this involved a week in the middle of the woods divided into teams (Each with an “instructor” to help) sleeping in tents cooking our own food over open fires etc.

The whole thing was a contest between the various teams with a variety of exercises - such as hiking, pioneering challenges, survival skills, and “war games” (some during the day some at night).

The whole thing was rigged - the boss and the other 3 senior managers had spent weeks fighting over who would have who in their teams. The team i was in was made up of the “rejects” that none of them wanted - me and the two other resident techies here, and a bunch of young females (including the bosses secretary) who were certainly keen but were definitely “city folk”.

and at the end of it all…

We won :slight_smile:

in fact more than that, we trounced the other teams big time.

The reason?

what none of them knew (because they’d never asked) was that i grew up in the country and was (still am in fact) a big-time camper/hiker

it was only 5 years ago (when i came to Uni in london) that i fell in love with the city “went native” and started to pick up the london drawl of an accent.

After it all, our headOfDiv (a real “must win” type who had deliberately loaded his team with the best, brightest and fittest) took us all out for a drink - and when the other senior managers started mocking him and asking him why he hadn’t won, he replied loudly in an “annoyed but amused” way:

“Because no-one told me that Garius turned into f*cking Aragorn the moment you got him away from his bloody computer.”

Which, i think, pretty much sums up my “hidden talent” :slight_smile:

Well Garius - I’d say you deserve a tip from my glass! Rock on!!

This coming from a very outdoorsy Yank - :wink:

My ability to bluff at poker and confuse people I am playing with has served me well many a time. The funny thing is that I am not a great liar by any means. But somehow, once the cards are dealt I become more difficult to read than a Thoreau book.

Yep - i get the best of both words - i’m a townie who can still tie a “sheep shank” and say it without giggling.

You’d have though the fact that i wear well worn and weathered hiking boats to work would have been a clue. :slight_smile:

Now that is a skill i’d kill for.

boots :smack:

My hidden talent is that I can do a spot-on impression of the coroner munchkin from the movie The Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately there are very few ways that this could actually be useful.

People tell my their troubles, and I can “read” the person. Nothing psychic or anything like that. But I can tell you what is really bothering you by us just having a normal conversation.

I’m an environmental scientist. Didn’t take any psychology in college. I don’t ask leading questions, at least not consciously.

I don’t even realize I’m doing it. But “Would you please stop reading my soul!” tends to pop up in family discussions.

What are my secret talents? Heh, heh, heh…:wink:

Garius, that is so funny! “F*cking Aragorn” hee hee hee!

Talents hidden from me:

cake decorating. If you had told me a year before I started working at a bakery (part time gig to during training in a career I turned out not to like and didn’t pursue) that I would have a natural knack for cake decorating and take great pride in my creations, I would’ve responded with a derisive snort and a contemptuous “cake decorating?!!” Today, I can make you an ivory confection of lace and roses for your wedding or render Superman flying in for your birthday.

Talents not suspected by others:

tightrope walking
juggling
rock climbing

these just don’t spring to mind when you see a chubby, frumpy stay-at-home mom

Beats me, they are hidden.

Oral sex.

I can make my eyes “shimmy” back and forth very fast.

(Pause for astonished applause.) Babies and small children are endlessly amused by it.

I also have an astonishing memory for anything I have ever read. I may not be able to quote word-for-word, but I remember every book I have ever read, and can give a detailed over-view of it if asked. This talent comes in quite handy, because I read a lot of history, and work in a museum. Unfortunately, it apparently uses up all of my memory capabilities, because most of the time, I have no idea where I left my keys, when my doctor’s appointment was, or what day of the week it is.