It’s a great thing, isn’t it? It’s one of my favourite qualities that we have as humans and I think we should celebrate our talents at all times – you know, those little things that we’re able to do just that bit better than anyone else.
Whether it’s singing a note, kicking a football, writing a sonnet or anything inbetween.
Yet, how often do you really make the most out of your talents? How often do you use them to your full benefit?
There are a lot of people out there who are really talented, but they just never pursue it. I guess sometimes they think their talents are too obscure or too useless to really help them in the world.
But, for anyone who thinks that their talent isn’t worthwhile…let me tell you about a man called Tarrare.
A chap who well and truly had one of the ‘worst’ talents you can imagine.
Tarrare was born into a relatively poor family in late 16th century France. But, before he was really into his teenage years, his parents had to kick him out.
Not because they didn’t love him. But because he was, quite literally, eating them out of house and home.
You see Tarrare had an insatiable appetite for food. There’s no other way to describe it. Live animals, loaves of bread and even furniture – he’d eat nearly everything in sight, yet it still wouldn’t cure the great hunger within him.
Tarrare ended up travelling with a bunch of circus performers and made something of a living by eating random objects in front of a crowd. Whether it be animal refuse, blocks of wood or shards of glass.
The military even tried to use his talents by getting him to swallow important instructions and take them through enemy lines. He wasn’t suited to this line of employment though and gave the secrets away to the enemy without too much questioning.
Perhaps it just took one laxative…
Legend has it that he once ate enough for fifteen people in one sitting. Including portions of puppy, snake and lizard. Yet, even after all that grub, he still wasn’t full.
Those who knew him described him as normal size and said that, asides from being weirdly apathetic, he didn’t seem to have any unusual character traits…asides from his appetite.
Eventually Tarrare was admitted to hospital with exhaustation because, try as he might, he just couldn’t top off his hunger.
He didn’t last too long in hospital. They ejected him after he (apparently) started eating corpses…some even say that he was responsible for eating a toddler!
Whether these tales are true…I do not know. But he was thrown out of the hospital. Which is fair enough. I’d hate to be in hospital with someone who might try to eat me…
After that, Tarrare disappeared from the records for a few years.
Only to resurface a few years later and ultimately die of tuberculosis. An autopsy revealed that he had an abnormally large gullet and stomach…but you probably guessed that, I’m sure.
So as you can see, there are talents more unfortunate than yours…now, if you tried, what could you really do with your talent?