Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Left-Handed Birthday

It's my birthday today! I turn 43.

On the way up to my daily regimen at the Gym***, my daughter informed me, "Dad, did you know that left-handed people live 9 years less than right-handed people?"


"Oh, and they are likely to die from using a right-handed tool"


Thank you, dear daughter, for that gift of knowledge ;-)

The rest of the drive I spent calculating that, now at 43, I am most likely well past my 1/2 way point in this crazy life...at least according to my daughter...who says I will most likely kick off this earth from a fatal usage of something like my right-handed iPhone.

I started to wonder: What specific tool will cause my demise?

...and then I started to think of all that I do the 'right-handed-way', and how much better it actually works for left-handers (or 'liberal-handers' as my uncle says).

I now give you three examples of why being left-handed is better. I'll admit that these may hasten my death, but maybe it's worth it to have a happier life than all these poor right-handers?

Shaking Hands
Did you know that it is not natural for me to shake with my right hand? But now that I've mastered it, I noticed that while your dominant hand is locked in a squeeze-to-show-I'm-important contest with me, my dominant hand is free to do many things:
  • Poke your eyes
  • Karate chop your neck
  • Twirl your mustache like a villain would
  • Answer my iPhone (who am I kidding...check Facebook)
  • Cover my yawn
  • Shake another's hand (because let's face it...right-handers are not used to performing with their sub-dominant hand while using their dominant hand)

Possible Death: Someday I will come across my match and when my stooges-inspired eye-poke begins, his free dominant hand deftly performs the in-between-the-eye wall block maneuver, then hurtles his princess-bride-sword-dueling-quotes at me...and before I know it, I'll be looking down at my carcass as "He's only 'mostly' dead" echos through my freshly quiesced, but hopeful brain.

Playing Guitar
I was an awesome left-handed air guitarist. Throughout my aughts, I could rock the mirror better than anyone! When it came time to actually pick up a guitar at 16, I held it in a way that felt natural...until I saw three life-altering things: The strings were upside-down, it looked weird to others, and the price was double the 'normal' guitars.

I quickly became a right-handed-guitar guitar player.

And you know what? It's awesome! After the initial awkward stage, I spent my time teaching my dominant hand to do all the intricate fingering, scaling, and chording skills...while my sad right-hander friends taught their dominant hand to...strum and pick...OOO, that must have been challenging for your dominant hand...up, down, up down.

Possible Death: While many guitarists die from drowning in their own vomit (I know...ick), I will die from a rock-to-the-death match. While my dominant hand is performing 32nd note hammer-on and pull-offs up and down the neck, my nemesis, "Dr. Screecher" will play a series of harmonics that are so dissonant my sub-dominant hand will not have the deftness to plug both ears...and my brain will literally melt out of my ears. And, if I happen to survive that, his dominant hand will have just flicked his razor-edged pick squarely into my temple. My sub-dominant hand didn't have a chance to block it. Although it's not all bad: because of all the training, my dominant hand used muscle-memory to keep the 32nd note hammer-on/pull-off fest going a good 5 minutes after my brain stopped...thereby winning the match!

Reading Books
You see, while you spend your day forcefully pushing pages from right to left like Sisyphus endlessly pushing up hill, I gently coax the pages from a two-pronged technique combining a gentle tug on the ear of the page with my forefinger and thumb, along with a three-finger flitter that creates enough airflow beneath the page to make it WANT to turn over...to submit willingly and lay flat exposing the goodness of the next page for my eyes to see.

Possible Death: Unfortunately, that gentle tugging will one day turn into a full-on pull after getting a vintage copy of Herman Wouk's "Don't Stop The Carnival" and just when I think he has to sell the hotel, the excitement of the book is paused by a small spatter of dried margarita sticking the next pages together. My attempt to pull the pages apart will make my dominant hand slip and an enormous paper cut emerges. Now, people don't die from paper cuts, but the fact that I was reading it on my retirement boat in the middle of the carribean resulted in me falling overboard and puncturing said dominant hand with sharp coral, pinning me in the ocean. My subdominant hand could not release the coral's hold, and let's just say the sharks got their fill. Although it's not all bad, because the next day while still mourning her loss (on the boat...with margarita in hand), my wife sees a yacht approach. It's a go-jillion-aire and after 2 weeks they marry...and release my songs posthumously on a 10 disc retrospective...and I get a grammy for best new, yet dead, artist. Awesome!

So it really comes down to this: Do you want to live a better life for 9 years less as a left-hander, or wander aimlessly for 9 extra years with your sad right-hander quasi-adventures?

I choose to live a better life.

Long-Live, er, Long-live-but-not-as-long-as-right-handers-yet-get-more-out-of-life-anyway-during-our-9-less-years Left-Handers!!!

Oh, and happy birthday to all left-handers out there!

*** Editors note: With this being an SEC sanctioned blog, I must fully disclosure that while impressive sounding, "daily regimen at the Gym" actually consists of overlooking my girls train gymnastics for 2 hours whilst sitting on a hard stool and working on my computer...sipping tea. I know. Impressive.

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