Things I Can’t Do (A Partial List)

Posted on May 11, 2010


This is my response to those positive thinkers who keep telling me there’s no such word as can’t. Yes, there is, and if you keep saying it, I’ll come up with another list. That I’m sure I can do.

I can’t run faster than a cheetah. I can’t lift the space shuttle. I can’t iron a shirt (not a T-shirt, the other kind with a real collar and buttons on the cuffs). I can’t shave with my feet. I can’t amputate my own arms (one maybe, but not both). I can’t see through lead. I can’t leap tall buildings. I can’t move furniture with my mind (I’ve tried; it doesn’t work). I can’t reach the frisbee on the roof. I can’t eat with my ears. I can’t beat Jack Dempsey in a boxing match. I can’t bring Jack Dempsey back from the dead so I can challenge him to a boxing match. I can’t walk to the Philippines. I can’t fool any of the people any of the time. I can’t think about one song while listening to another. I can’t whistle, raise one eyebrow, or do any of those weird things people do with their tongues. I can’t cut with scissors in my left hand (I don’t know why, but I can’t). I can’t make it rain. I can’t cause a lunar eclipse. I can’t remember something I thought of five minutes ago, but didn’t write down because I was sure I’d remember it. I can’t travel faster than the speed of light (and to be honest, it isn’t even close). I can’t perform a root canal. I can’t swallow broccoli and keep it down. I can’t get my pants on over my boots. I can’t get my pants off after trying to get them on over my boots. I can’t sing Italian opera, or much of anything else for that matter. I can’t get my cat to help with the dishes. I can’t get the pope to return my phone calls. I can’t get the ATM at my bank to give me Australian dollars or Japanese yen. I can’t borrow all of the books at the library at the same time. I can’t fit my entire body into an empty milk carton. I can’t tune a piano. I can’t build an actual-size replica of Mount Rushmore out of lint. I can’t rename other countries. (Well, I could, but no one would listen.) I can’t memorize the Houston yellow pages. I can’t get rid of dandelions. I can’t overturn decisions by the Lithuanian Supreme Court. I can’t find any receipt that I need. I can’t run through a brick wall. I can’t drive a bus around a sharp corner, even in my mind. I can’t solve my Rubik’s Cube (the one I’ve had since 1980). I can’t communicate telepathically with a horse. I can’t knit a sweater, at least one that anybody would wear. I can’t put up wallpaper. I can’t change the outcome of the Hungarian Civil War of 1526. I can’t find Amelia Earhart. I can’t find Jimmy Hoffa. I can’t even find my wallet, and it was just here.