There are some skills in life that are just impossible to master in one lifetime. For me, figuring out how to fold maps is one of those skills.
I can unfold maps with a great deal of skill, poise, and grace. But ask me to fold a map and my fingers fumble furiously.
Whenever I try folding a map I can never quite get the folds right. The end result is that the map always bulges in the most embarrassing way.
When no one is looking, I have tried sitting on these bulging maps to flatten out the flaws. I've tried putting the maps under a steaming iron.
I once even tried sneaking a folded map under a bulldozer that was working on my street.But no luck. Not only am I genetically incapable of folding a map correctly, I also have no skill at covering up my mistakes.
So I've made it one of my lifetime goals to see if I can discover any special secrets on how to fold maps. I ask people I meet on the street, "Any tips or suggestions for folding maps?" I've asked reference librarians, telephone operators, government officials, visiting tourists, map selling stores, map making companies, and professional map makers.
None of them could offer me help in how to fold maps. Then the other day, at wits end, I decided to try something different.
When I opened a map I happened to be casually using, I rearranged my thinking process and paid careful attention to how the map unfolded. I told my hands to move in slow motion so I wouldn't miss a single step.
I tried folding the map back the way it was supposed to be folded. Lo and behold, the map folded right up. It seemed miraculous, but my technique really did work.
My next lifetime goal is to learn how to jiggle a key to open a sticky lock. Anyone have any suggestions?
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