All That’s Left

Lefties of the world unite. Are you aware that August 13th is National Lefthanded Day? Now you righties might say “Who Cares?” or you might say “Move your freaking elbow,” if you happen to be sitting next to a lefty. But remember lefties have rights too.  Now I understand this may not be as important as say National Ice-cream Sandwich Day (Aug. 2nd) or International Beer Day (First Friday in August), or even Grab Some Nuts Day (Aug. 3rd). But hey, you can grab your nuts and have a beer anytime, right or left-handed. If you choose, you can even grab somebody else’s nuts, but you have to be a lot more careful. Enough said about that.

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The thing is, lefties need a day for themselves. I mean, for hundreds of years, the church persecuted lefties as being possessed by demons.  Now on a certain level I can understand this. My teenage son is a lefty and I can sorta relate to the whole demon thing. But this is disproved by his brother who is a righty and arguably worse. In fact, I once had a teacher who was ambidextrous. She told us that when she was in school writing, left-handed earned you a ruler across the knuckles. Consequently, she learned the other way. Smart girl.

It’s actually odd this problem even existed. Science has proven the lefties are truly the only people in their right mind. Truth. Because of a crap ton of technical and medical mumbo-jumbo, it is believed that your dominate hand will show which side of your brain is dominate. The brain is always opposite the hand. Consequently, all left-handed are controlled by there right mind. This makes me sad. I’m right-handed so I’m not controlled by my right brain. I’m controlled by the part on the brain that’s left. The question is; Left after what catastrophic event?

Could it be that in my mother’s womb, when my brain divided, they fought each other in a war. The victorious brain wanted nothing to do with me so I got whats left after the good parts were gone. This could explain my sense of humor, but doesn’t explain all the various right-handed geniuses through the years. It’s all very confusing.

The reason this all came up is my son recently did a report, in Health class, about being left-handed. It was actually very interesting. Did you know only ten percent of people are lefties? But if the cavemen never evolved the written word, it would have been much more like fifty percent. That is a shocking statistic. Imagine how many more times you would have been elbowed at the dinner table if half of everyone was left-handed. Another odd fact is that five of our last eight presidents are south paws. This could mean that lefties are smarter and more politically savvy. Actually, this observation is murkier than that. You see our current president is right-handed, and his abilities are in constant debate. He is both the best and worst leader we’ve ever had, depending who you talk to.

The worst part of this dominate hand thing is the simple fact that everything is harder to buy for a leftie. My son learned a bit of guitar in school. He wanted to pursue it. and frankly I thought it was a great idea. I am all for my children learning a musical instrument. So, I lined up some lessons. I went through three instructors before I found one who would teach him. It’s not that they couldn’t teach the fingerings, oh no. It’s just that, when you have two people sitting side by side with two guitars pointing in opposite directions it takes up a lot of room width. Their lesson rooms were just too small to accommodate that much distance.

I later found out that I am not the first person to discover this. Early rockers Jimi Hendrix, and Duane Allman are both left-handed guitarists who screamed “The Heck With It!!” They betrayed their dominate hand and learned to play as a righty. If they had to push through those kinds of obstacles, well, it’s no wonder there was so much illegal drug use in the sixties. Of course, another serious problem was the fact that left-handed-guitars weren’t invented until 1992, by a guy named Kevin. (No, not the minion, Kevin) I’ll bet this put a crimp in their noodles. Think about this; You’re destined to be the most famous guitarist of all time and your all set to learn, then you find out there are no instruments to play. I’m sure this is why so many budding musicians turn to accounting, and spend their lives in cubicles.

Purchasing said opposite instrument presented itself with hurdles of its own. I called my local music store and found they are twenty-five percent more costly than the regular ones. This news gave me pause. I mean my son was just thinking he might like to learn. Was I going to invest that much when he might not like it anymore in three weeks? No, I wasn’t.

As I wondered what to do, I was then told by a musician friend; I should look into used instruments. The thing with that was no one seems to know how much a used left-handed guitar costs. I called the store and spoke to a lady who said she was the manager. She informed me she had a nice one. It was a little beat up, but would be perfect for a new student. The best part was she could let me have it for a hundred dollars. Two days later I went to the store to look at the thing. It was a lot more beat up than she described. I asked the guy at the counter if this was the one, she mentioned. He informed me he was sure it was because it was the only one in the store. That was the last thing he said that made any sense.

The price on the thing was one-seventy-nine. I asked if this was right. He said no there was a fifteen percent discount, and he would throw in a carry bag. This made the price one-fifty-two. I was looking to pay less money because of the condition, not more. I told him what the manager had quoted me, and his eyes went wide. He couldn’t sell it for that. He offered to call the manager. When he did, the manager told him this was a road guitar with various bells and whistles and they couldn’t let it go for less that two-nineteen. My hundred-dollar guitar had just doubled in price. I was mad, and told the clerk to let me talk to her. I was then informed the manager was a guy. It was at that point I gave up and left just shaking my head.

Actually, it all worked out okay.  You see two days later my son decided he changed his mind and wanted to learn piano. I told him to ask his grandma. Let her do the leg work.

I have no idea what a left-handed piano looks like and I don’t want to know.


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