January 29, 2005
The Devil's Hand
I am left handed, which means that the world conspires against me. I am used to it. My drinks are always on the wrong side; my notebooks are laid out incorrectly; the shutter release on my camera is on the wrong side; can-openers are backwards; and don't get me started on those desk/chair combinations so prevalent at schools and universities. And now, just when I think I have reconciled myself to a right-biased world, a friend tells me that the left-handed live statistically shorter lives. Is there no justice at all?
I thought about this for a moment and feebly pointed out that the two left-handed Beatles have successfully outlived the two right-handed ones. So there. Unfortuately I am not sure that this is scientifically relevant. (It should be noted that Ringo was forced to adapt to right-handedness by a tyrannical and control-obsessed right-handed world. Despite this conversion, one can still detect signs of a latent southpaw in his subtly eccentric drumming style.)
The most egregious affront to all left-handed people, however, has to be left-handed safety scissors. You may remember them from grade school when supplies were being handed out. These blunt, dull instruments with thick gummy green rubber handles have little in common with actual working scissors. For one thing, they don't cut... they maul. At best they merely fold the paper where you wish to make a cut. Vigorous and strenuous machinations will eventually produce a limp jagged tear when your own sweat and tears, summoned by anger and frustration, compromise the integrity of the paper.
I always avoided the "safety scissors" ( as if left-handers can't be trusted with actual scissors) with great disdain whenever the supply box came around. But then there was always the over-zealous substitute teacher would ask that left handers identify themselves by raising their hands (oh, the irony! Judas hands!) and would then dispense the loathsome instruments accordingly. Oh, yes... I suppose I could have lied; pretended to be among the right-handed and take the risk that no one would rat me out or (gasp) notice that I was using right-hand scissors "incorrectly". I could have, but I would not. Deny my identity? Betray my brothers and sisters for the sake of comfort and a clean even cut? Never. So I learned to live with this and adapted to a point where I don't necessarily recognize when I am using a tool, instrument, etc the wrong way.
Now in the course of trying to find a photo online of those awful scissors I have come across all of the left-handed resources and products. Funny. I don't think I could use many of these things; I've become so accustomed to using the "right" ones the "wrong" way.