As a child I had immense difficulties with telling the time (or, more precisely, learning to tell the time. This was in the years just before every child had a Casio digital watch and when, tragedy of tragedies, calculators weren’t allowed to be used in school, even if you were showing all the signs of your head exploding and your trousers going sodden from numeracy-induced-fear). Thing is, just picking one thing which I had trouble with as a child feels a bit unfair on all the other things. So, to be completely fair to all the things I was terrible at while growing up, here is a short but comprehensive list of all the ones I can remember (yes, my memory was about as good as my adding up…):
1) Anything to do with numbers, which, when you’re anywhere between 2 and 12 years old feels like just about everything (and, really thinking about it, probably is).
2) Lots of things to do with logic. I won’t list them here; just think of all the things the average dog struggles with and you should be on about the right track.
3) The dreaded times-tables. Yes, I know I’ve already mentioned numbers, but my attempts at learning the times-tables were so utterly disastrous — thank you Mrs Brown for making it even harder by being nine feet tall and a smorgasbord of pure evil — that it’s only right I make it a point on its own.
4) Understanding why the hell the entire world needs to revolve around numbers. (something I am still highly uncertain about; if/when I procreate, I hope to pass this natural healthy skepticism onto my off-spring, so as to ensure that they do not become that most dreaded of things: du-du-duuuuu…an academic! Only messing! Nothing against academics, it’s just that it really wouldn’t be fair to give an academic severe problems with maths, would it?)
Now, you’d think that as someone with such a hideous mis-grasp of numbers – something that has, if anything, evolved into an ever-worse black-hole of inescapable un-knowledge, thanks to my Dyscalculia – there would be no chance in HELL that I would ever be in a position to dispense any kind of financial advice.
BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG! For today was the day that I did that very thing. Such is the life of a freelance writer. What could I do? Turn it down by saying “sorry, I’m abysmal at maths, I had better not”? I don’t think so. Part of being a successful freelance writer is also being able to lie as well as a con-man, don’t you know.
Note: seriously, don’t worry! There’s no need to tell everyone you know that there’s a totally inept freelance writer on the loose! I wasn’t allowed to roam free and use my own brain to compute the information for the article. All I had to do was re-write something someone else who has a clue had already written. And seriously, I am pleased about that…