What’s your unique skill?

I’m doing a school project?” announces my teen son. “I need to ask you some questions.”

Fire away,” I reply.

Do you have a unique skill?”

No, but your Uncle James does.”

What is it?”

He always wins a prize on those arcade grabbing machines. Every time. It’s unnatural.”

Does he?”

Yes. Where do you think your Christmas presents come from?”

It may seem like a redundant skill, but come the End of Days, when the world is on fire and the seas boil, we’re going to need someone who can grab unofficial Bart Simpson toys. He puts his success down to having flat feet, apparently it improves his balance, making it easier to kick the machine.

A woman overcome with emotion after finally winning a prize from the claw machine.

My wife waltzes in…

Mum, I’ve got a school project…”

Not now,” she says. “I’m busy.”


Not listening.”

I just need to know if you have a special skill.”

Yes. Parenting.”


Go and clean your room,” she orders. “See, it’s easy.”

My wife waltzes out laughing, throwing grapes into her mouth.

Most people buy fruit for health reasons, but I’m starting to suspect that my wife buys grapes just to make her exits more dramatic.

My son looks a little deflated. “We can do the project later, if you want?” he says.

We can do it now. It’s fine,” I reply.

Are you sure?” 

Yes, why?” I ask.

“Don’t you have to go and clean your room?”


Have a look at what you could have won.

This is my favourite claw toy. It’s an unofficial Hulk, which was obviously made by the arcade owner’s Aunty Lynn. I particularly love his startled hair, and you have to admire the amount of effort Aunty Lynn has taken to make sure his teeth look like piano keys.

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