I have an amazing talent.

I have an amazing talent. In the dorm cafeteria, there is an automatic hot cocoa machine. You have probably seen this type of apparatus before. You place your empty mug beneath a spout, then press and hold a button. The machine mixes the hot cocoa contents in appropriate proportion, and delivers fully prepared hot cocoa to your mug.

This machine seems very simple, an excellent application of modern technology. But it has its complexity because you cannot merely release the button when the mug is full. No, there is a large label below the button which reads "Release button when two-thirds full", because hot cocoa continues to flow from the spout for a few seconds after the button is released. Newbies who are not privy to this warning often embarrass themselves in front of the line of hot cocoa aficionados with an overflowing mug of cocoa.

But I have mastered this device. I operate this device with certain finesse, a gifted touch. There is a slight tingling in my finger at the exact moment for the proper release of the button. The two thirds estimate is ludicrously conservative, and leaves a depressing 10% of the cup unfilled. When I see this, I can only think, "the mug is 10% empty," rather than, "the mug is 90% full." Yes, to account for this fractional truncation, I release the button when my mug is 76.66667% full. Then, the hot cocoa, with a higher viscosity than water, leaves a pleasing meniscus that reaches precisely to the brim of the mug. It is perfection, and I can do it every time.

Always the humble one, I turn those behind me waiting for hot cocoa and, pointing to my exactly full mug say, "Look at that," then ask rhetorically, "that's pretty skilled, huh?"

They respond with half smiles and passive nods. They avoid eye contact. I can tell they are in awe.

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