Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm in the Minority, for once!
...and I'm actually surprised I've never written about this...

I'm a fat, middle-aged guy, and from what I've seen, there are thousands and millions like me, and we're all lumped together in one huge, unexceptional, boring, mindless sort of quasi-majority, but hold on, thar...wait a minute...I Am In The Minority. Yes, I Am Oppressed. And it's time to rise up and be counted!!! For, I belong to the 10% of humanity that is left-handed. At least, that's what I read on a blogsite I visit occasionally. Being lefty, I guess I'm supposed to be creative and all that. Although I play guitar right-handed. The same dexterity that allows me to hold a fork in my left hand, I 'spose, allows me to play chords with the left hand. I've tried strumming the guitar left-handed, like Paul McCartney, but my right hand can't make a chord to save its life. And the left hand drops the guitar pick. Go figure...

I tend to feel imprisoned and restricted whenever I encounter mindless, numbing stalwart logic. I stunk at math in school. Well, that must be the lefty-right-brained-thing. You know, where it's said that Left-Brained people (Right-handers) are supposed to be more proficient at assimilating ultra-logical and technological things. Nope, I don't possess either quality, so I guess they're right. They're right and I'm left. I imagine Star-Trek's Mr. Spock was right-handed. He was ultra-logical, after all. Come to think of it, my Dad was right-handed. And he was Logical Beyond Belief. I imagine most people who've tried to brainwash me over the years have been right-handed. Ninety-percent of them, according to statistics.

It is said that left-handers tend to be more ambidextrous than 'righties'; whether that comes naturally or out of necessity (a bit of both, probably), I'm not sure. I remember the twinge of excitement I felt upon actually finding a left-handed desk in my freshman year at college. Heart, be still thyself! For ages before that, I sat at right-handed desks, trying to get comfortable, but never quite doing so. Or maybe I was just uncomfortable with the concept of School, which is entirely possible. Penmanship class was always a struggle...everybody, regardless of 'handedness', had to write with the same slant (which this italic type is supposed to simulate), but in order to do so, I had to hold out my left hand, and then bend my left wrist at a painful 85% angle and sort-of 'push' the pen along. A lot of good that did, for as my left hand slid over what I'd just written, it would smear the ink. Sometimes Ya Just Can't Win...

I remember going to a jam session where the drummer was left-handed; for once, I didn't have to switch the drums around to play. I made a lot of right-handed drummers mad at me when I had to re-arrange their drums so I could play. The very first nite I ever played drums, waay-long ago, I sat behind a right-handed players' kit. The song started, and immediately Something Was Very, Very Wrong. Everything in the drum kit was situated on the wrong side. And I've tried to drum right-handed...and I can't. It's my left hand which keeps time on the hi-hat. Although, a left-handed drummer uses his left foot on the bass drum. But I'm right-footed. But, my left foot was a slave to my left hand. So I managed to play drums okay, although my foot-pedal action always came out kinda backwards. Huh?



When I played baseball as a kid, I swung the bat in right-handed fashion. I was an awful hitter. One day, the bright idea struck me, "well, I'm left handed, so why don't I bat lefty?" Yeah, a lot of good that did me. Couldn't hit that way, either. I got to be good at throwing a Frisbee, though. Although, right-handed people tended to drop the disc when they tried to catch it...why? Because, throwing it left-handed makes it spin the opposite way. But if I'm left-handed, why, then, did I kick the football with my right foot, and serve the volleyball right-handed? Maybe I'm A Very Confused Human Being, maybe? Being the only lefty in my family could be difficult at times. I'd sit at the dinner table next to my right-handed sister and continually bump elbows with her. I'd complain, but because I was the oldest, I had to be more "understanding" according to my folks, so my complaints fell on deaf ears.

In spite of my left-handed-ness, whenever I see someone else doing something left-handed, It Just Looks Weird. That night when I saw the guy playing drums left-handed at the jam session, it just looked strange. Phil Collins, formerly of "Genesis" and a Star in his own right, plays drums left-handed. Whenever I see Paul McCartney strumming beautiful little melodies on his turned-upside-down guitar, it looks weird. Jimi Hendrix, who put a whole different spin on rock music, was also left-handed. So was Kurt Cobain, and We All Know Where He Is. Ack. One of my favorite drummers, Ian Paice of Deep Purple, is left-handed, and definitely has an individual approach to timekeeping. (A guy named "Paice" being a time-keeper; how cool is that?) Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath is a left-handed guitarist. I thot that was cool, too. Deep Purple and Black Sabbath are STILL two of my favorite groups.

So it's said that left-handed people are supposed to be artistic? I can't draw a portrait to save my life. Really. I can cartoon and doodle a little, but that's about all. I used to doodle all over the notes I took in class. I'd have to print or write very, very small, so that my notes could fit around all the doodles. I guess Leonardo DaVinci was left-handed, but that's all I have in common with him. He was a genius, after all. Ah, but get this: Mr. DaVinci wrote a lot of his notes Backwards. And I can do that. After all, when a lefty writes backwards, he PULLS the pen along, just like a right-handed person who's writing the 'right' way. Although...in order to read my left-handed writing, I have to use a mirror. Otherwise, it takes me Ages To Read It. Can't quite figure that one out.

I've often wondered if being left-handed makes me view the world just a bit differently, in terms of outlook, philosophy, flexibility, understanding and just being a Human Being in General. I've always just kinda been on the "outside" of everything, really. If I didn't try to be so damned tactful all the time, I'd be a "my way or the highway" type of person. I tend to chart my own course; I've never worked well in a 'group' setting; just Leave Me The Hell Alone and I'll Do The Job, thank you very much. I'm probably sensitive to an unhealthy degree, but I can't help it. And I really can't believe I've written so much about this topic. I suppose that it's...the only thing I had "left", to "right" about...

But hold on, Wait A Minute. After all, President Obama is Left-Handed. Do you suppose he'd be a proponent of Left-Handed "Rights?" It would be something to frame an Agenda around. "More left-handed desks in our schools!" (exclaims of surprise, mingled with scattered applause...) "We encourage all ink-makers around the country to invest in chemicals which will make Ink Dry Faster for Left-Handers Everywhere!" (The Crowd begins to applaud and scream in excitement...) "Let's have more Left-Handed people in Government; we need a fresher approach to Politics!" (insane crowd applause, mixed with whoops and hollers...) "Let's urge the Automotive Insurance Companies to give a special break to Left-Handed drivers, who are forced to navigate on the right side of the road!" (Thunderous Applause, stamping of feet...) "And furthermore, I urge all Republicans who are Left-Handed to seriously re-examine their political priorities!!!" (at this point, Political commentators on MSNBC fall all over themselves, praising our new President's Creativity as a "brilliant new idea from the LEFT!!!!!".)
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Thanks to the Spokesman-Review newspaper, "Huckleberries Online" division, for inspiring this diatribe. I'd send 'em a bill for giving 'em credit, but you know how things are with newspaper finances these days...

2 Comments:

Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

I use to be left handed as a child, my father called me a freak and everytime he saw me using me left hand he would belt me, he even stomped on my fingers once, breaking a few of them..... I soon learnt to do things with my right hand, but even now as an adult I so many many things left handed or back to front as my friends say LOL

x

11:13 AM  
Blogger some guy who blogs said...

My parents really did try to MAKE me use the right hand, but they told me that back when I was a little 'nipper' (as you might say) I resisted all their efforts. I'm not surprised you were/are? left-handed; it shows up in your writing. Now I know why you're the way you are! Don'tcha ever change...

8:57 PM  

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