11/18/2006

Helping hands

Handedness has always puzzled me. Why are we either right-handed or left-handed? I wonder what evolutionary force gave rise to handedness. Sometime during our ascent from the hominids, Mother Evolution said, “Here. I'm going to give you two hands. The right hand will be coordinated and useful. The left is basically for show, so don't count on it to do much. By the way, once man invents religion, Satan may take possession of your left hand to do his bidding. Be warned.”

My left hand is useless. It basically hangs around and waits for a chance to help my right hand do something productive. Here, let me lend a hand with that. No thanks, Lefty. I've already buttoned my shirt. Please try to stay out of the way. Maybe you can find a baseball mitt to slide into or something.

I almost feel sorry for left hands. On the other hand, at least they don't have to wipe butts or other unpleasant tasks of that nature. If ever there was a time to play the “non-dominant appendage” card, it's after a case of explosive diarrhea. Say, I'll tell you what, Righty. You wipe and I'll flush. Deal? Let's shake on it.

I suppose my left hand isn't completely useless. It makes a good vise. It can hold things that my right hand will then screw, tighten, pound, hammer, cut, file, slice, peel, mold or otherwise manipulate. Also, my left hand can help catch a football or hold a piece of paper while the right hand writes on it. Sometimes I'll let my left hand steer the car, but only when my right hand is engaged in a more important task like dialing a cell phone, holding a soda or flipping an inconsiderate driver the bird.

As long as Mother Nature gave us one good hand and one not-so-good hand, why didn't she throw a couple of extra fingers on the good hand and leave the left to fend for itself? I figure the right hand should get at least 7 or 8 of the ten fingers because it does most of the work. Five-and-five seems a misallocation of resources to me. Why waste a thumb on on a hand that can't butter a slice of toast?

Have you ever tried to throw a ball with your left hand? It's a mini catastrophe. If you try passing a football with your left hand, you'd better wear a helmet and a cup, my friend. Otherwise you risk serious injury. If you tried throwing a ball with your left hand to a chimpanzee, the chimp would think, “This is what 5 million years of evolution has done for you people? And why are we playing catch with this rubber sphere instead of our own poo, as God intended?”

Your left hand at work is like your right hand after you've slept on it for several hours and soaked it in an 80-proof margarita until it was frat-house drunk. And how about when you try writing with your left hand? No wonder people believed the devil worked through the left hand. One time I tried to sign my name lefty and the signature looked like something that kid from The Omen scrawled in blood stains. I didn't know whether to grab the White-Out or call on my local priest for an exorcism.

Ponder this. As helpless as our left hands are, we charge them with the task of playing musical instruments, including the guitar. The left hand gets the hard part: fretting the notes. As if playing the guitar weren't difficult enough. Putting your left hand on the fretboard is like putting the slow kid in charge of your physics homework.

Scientists claim handedness results from one hemisphere of the brain dominating the organism. So, if you're left-brained, you're right-handed. Already I'm confused. But forget about the left-right inversion. Whatever your handedness, why do your legs work equally well? I don't have to concentrate on balancing on my left leg. It doesn't wobble or collapse on me. It walks just as well as the right (and is equally sexy). Likewise, both my left eye and left ear perceive the world as well as their right-sided counterparts. If my left eye worked as poorly as my left hand, everything in my left field of vision would look like one of those jacked-up cubist paintings where you can see both sides of the faces at once. Maybe Picasso had a weird, left-handed eye like that. Poor bastard.

The whole handedness thing is weird and I hope that we can cure it with that stem cell pill they're working on. Hopefully the scientists' left hands won't fuck things up by spilling chemicals or crushing slides on the microscope or whatever.

33 comments:

blonde71274 said...

Wow! The thoughts some people have at 12AM!

I take boxing lessons and here is a curious thing. I'm right handed but when I throw a cross with my right hand, IT IS SO SLOW! My jabs with my left are great but, thank God, I'm not actually going to go in the ring. I'd be knocked out before my right hand knew what the hell happened. I mean it is fucking retarded!

NWJR said...

I masturbated with my left hand once just to "shake things up" (so to speak), but I felt like I was cheating on myself.

Phain said...

hmmmmm....i'm right handed, yet i pick my nose with my left hand so much better?!?!?

Anonymous said...

I guess I never really thought about it much before.

MIA said...

I'm really screwed. i right with my right hand, but everything else is done with the left.......

Jack K. said...

Now for the question all America is going to ask.

"Prior to lefty, shaking with righty and just before the flush, did righty wash?"

We want to know. The suspense is killing us.

LMAO

Oh great One said...

You must be a treat to live with! Loved the post!

Anonymous said...

I always thought that the word "handedness" not only sounded weird, but looked weird, too.

Summer said...

I've got 2 boys, the right handed one does anything sports related with his left hand, the left handed one does any sports thing with his right. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

In a lot of Third World countries, especially where clean water is not plentiful, it is customary to use the left hand for toilet functions, and the right hand for everything else. Its a real social faux pas to be caught eating with your left hand.

Miss Cellania said...

I dont know why I showed up as anonymous. Its me, Miss Cellania.

Jack K. said...

The social faux pas is especially bad because the food is served "family style". Everyone takes food from the common bowl/plate.

Thanks for reminding me Miss C.

mist1 said...

I don't really prefer one hand over another. I prefer to write with my left, but I can use my right as well. I prefer to use scissors with my right, but the left can get the job done.

I am equally uncoordinated on either song.

mist1 said...

Either side. Where did song come from?

phlegmfatale said...

You didn't mention the other handed terms, so does that mean you have dismissed them out-of-hand? Isn't that a little under-handed? Wouldn't a more even-handed approach be more fair? Hmm?

phlegmfatale said...

why is there a "single-handed and not "double-handed?" Strange.

tornwordo said...

I know the equally sexy line was for me. (wink)

WanderingGirl said...

I like to distract people with my ineffectual left fist, then rain down the pain with the right Iron Maiden. Gets 'em every time.

jules said...

"And why are we playing catch with this rubber sphere instead of our own poo, as God intended?"...knowing you, you're still playing with the poo in secret!

C said...

My sister is left handed - wonder if this has anything to do with the horrific nightmares she claims to have.

Fathairybastard said...

I'm told I was left handed as a little kid, but was taught to be right handed. I don't remember.

Anonymous said...

10 points for originality on the subject.

you, my friend, are one of the great thinkers of our time.

*thumbs up*

Gav

Anonymous said...

My mom was left-handed but would get clocked in the head if she used it, so she became angry and dyslexic. I am left-handed, but was raised in the 70s. Left-handers die, on average, five years earlier than right-handers, incidentally. I could complain about discrimination, but there are so many other people complaining, nobody'd hear me anyhow.

Scottsdale Girl said...

I don't know LBB: You and I are entirely too much alike. Although, you are able to write wittily on subjects, that, if I were to write about, not so funny. I have said more than 100 times. "My left hand is only here to help my right hand with the tough projects Otherwise useless"

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Another excellent post!

Anonymous said...

i think this is one of those mysteries that we aren't supposed to think about, kind of like wondering what the purpose is of men having nipples.

panthergirl said...

LOL... I just noticed that you and I are both "Tension Tamers" on Tense Teacher's sidebar (well, my Adventures in Cyberia blog anyway). So I thought I'd pop over. How freakin' hilarious is this post?

Yep, that hilarious.

Miss Sassy said...

A left handed eye as the dawn of cubeism.
That explains it!
Lost my giggle today, thought I'd come over and let you know I tagged you, and damn if my giggle wasn't waiting here...
Its fun to laugh about you saps who can't use your left hand to find your right while I have mastered the delicacies of life with my left - the trouble is I do all the heavy lifting with the right so it's freakishly stronger, leaving me totally lopsided in a completely different but equally retarded way.

It's Me, Maven... said...

I feel that way about my right hand:)

Yet another qualitay post!

Ari said...

You've got a whole lotta points there. Lefty just isn't up to snuff in a whole lot of areas. Still, I wouldn't be without her.

Memphis Steve said...

My left hand is pretty good, but it's lazy. It isn't so much incapable of doing the shit my right hand does, as it just doesn't want to. My left leg, though, is definitely not as accurate with the soccer ball to the face kick, although it's better with a roundhouse kick. I think my whole left side is just sandbagging so my right side will have to do most of the work. Seriously, you should try getting a motivational speaker to yell at your left and see if that doesn't help out.

Shoshana said...

Did you ever wonder why people eat Turkey? If you are what you eat...then I'd avoid Turkey. They drown if left out in the rain. Now, why would we stuff ourselves with a creature who doesn't know to avoid drowning?

Also, they're so big! I like my turkey in thin slices from the deli.

Rocky Mountain Rat Girl said...

LMAO @ "left handed eye."

You are just nutty! Gotta love it!