Sinisterly Dexterious

August 27, 2009

I read a story in Newsweek saying that people “associate the side of space where we’re clumsier with bad, stupid, dishonest, unhappy and other negative qualities,” according to a recent study.  This means if you’re right-handed you equate things situated on the righthand side of things more positively than the things on the lefthand side.

This poses an interesting dilemma for me because I’m a half-breed of sorts when it comes to handedness.

I throw lefthanded.  I bat lefthanded.  I kick soccer balls left-footed.  I hold my hockey stick lefthanded.  I golf left-handed.  My natural fighting stance is lefty.  If I played guitar I’d do it lefthanded.

But I write righthanded.  I use utensils like spoons and forks with my right hand.  My forehand is on the right side in tennis.  I shoot guns and wield knives righthanded (the world of Portuguese Intelligence is a hard one).

It’s seems as if anything I need to do that require strength and power comes from my left, while things that require precision are home on my right.  So what would I be considered?  Lefthanded or righthanded?

I say lefthanded.  Used to be in America if you were 1/8th black you were considered black, and I’m more than 1/8 lefthanded in a righthanded dominated world.  I’m like the Barack Obama of handedness.  He had a white momma and black daddy.  In my case, a righthanded egg and a lefthanded sperm collided in a petri dish and I was the result (because I don’t have parents, I was born in a lab, and the people who say they’ve met my parents and they’re wonderful people are dirty fucking liars).

The study says righthanded people are more likely to order items on the right side of the menu,while lefties are more likely to order from the left side.  Now I’m not sure what I’m inclined to do when faced with a menu, but I do know that if I’m out and about and someone’s walking right at me I will usually break to my left to avoid running into the person.  But usually that person is righthanded and so he’s breaking to his right and we’re still in front of each other and we do that stupid little dance of trying to get around each other.  Most of the time it ends with me doing a headfake and jumping around the person before his part in the dance puts him in my path again.  Other times it ends with a thrown elbow and a split eyebrow because damn it I’m a busy man with places to go.

So I guess if you put two girls in front of me I’m more likely to pick the one on my left.  Well not if the one on my left isn’t wearing shoes, because directional preference does not trump my disdain for flip-flops or any sandal anchored around something wedged between toes.  That shit is just nasty.





  1. “…thrown elbow and a split eyebrow because damn it I’m a busy man with places to go.”

    channeling mr. larkin, are we?

    and c’mon… i’ve got a pair of strappy sandals, 3″ spiked heel, that to not have the ‘between the toe’ device. i think you’d like ’em…

    • Those I’m okay with, and I’m sure I would love them, and I’m sure you look smokin’ in them. If they got heels, they ain’t lazy, and that means they’re fine with me.

      But flip-flops and toe-ring sandals and anything else that’s held in place between the toes… icky.

  2. My natural fighting stance was always lefty, but I trained my self to be ambifooterous. You want to watch someone’s whole strategy go to shit, just switch feet on them.

    But I write right handed, shoot left handed (depending on the gas-mask, of course) and generally pimp with my right.

    It gets complicated.

    • New blood! Hi Casey. How’d you find us and how long have you been lurking here?

      I switch my stance a lot while sparring, depending on what I want to do. If I’m feeling aggressive, I go lefty. When I feel defensive I go righty. Also going righty make it easier for me to kick my opponent in the balls, seeing how my strong left leg is in the front ready to spring up and quickly strike. That’s very fun.

  3. Hi rf. I’m the same way you are. Write and throw right handed but swing left. I can use either eye for shooting, and I have trained myself to be pretty good at writing with my left hand. I think playing piano and strings have sort of evened out the handedness thing. Nurture overcoming nature.

    • But what’s your go-to hand in massage when it comes to getting out a particularly tough muscle knot on a client? That’s probably going to be the decider in our binary world.

  4. Rf do you hang to the left or the right? I’m ambidextrous when it comes to those things :-)

  5. You know, you just sort of showed up in my reader. I notice a couple familiar (scandalous) faces on your comments, so it must have been a recommend.

    I circle more effective goofy foot, but charge faster regular foot. The nice thing about goofy is that no one expects a jab like I can throw with my right. It’s a motherfucker.

  6. First, my great aunt was a natural southpaw but had a teacher in primary school who believed left handedness was unnatural. This teacher, who I must disclaim is not a nun, would beat my aunt’s knuckles with a ruler every time she’d try to write with her left.

    Consequently, now in her 80’s she does everything by leading with the left but writes with her right.

    As far as what way one goes to avoid hitting another person, that generally has to do with which side of the road people drive on in their native country. Americans tend to step to the right, Brits to the left, for instance.

    • The Catholic nuns were infamous for beating the shit out of the knuckles of left-handers.

      Lefthandeness: it’s not a choice, it’s a way of life.

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