Life is unfair, and I know I have gifts that others envy. I had a friend in high school who was completely tone-deaf–he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, as the saying goes–and who was desperately jealous of my musical talent. I wouldn’t trade my musicality for anything (though I’d hate to have to choose between going deaf and going blind). But what would I give to be able to speak and read French fluently? A year off my life? The little finger of my right hand? Probably neither, but certainly something of value, were the Devil to drop by one evening and suggest a little deal. I might, for instance, agree never to read The Great Gatsby again in return for the ability to read Proust in the original. Maybe.
One thing’s sure, though: I wouldn’t give up anything at all in order to be able to play competition-level Scrabble….
Read the whole thing here.