I wasn’t aware I was bewitched until a visit to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival a few years ago.
I was signing my receipt with my left hand when a costumed festival
actor began pointing at me and yelling: “It’s the Curse! He has THE
It turns out that during the 1600s, people thought lefties were witches
or warlocks. The fact that my first wife was right-handed
blows this belief out of the water.
I pity my poor southpaw ancestors who were probably isolated
into “lefty colonies.”
Sinistrophobia is the morbid fear of left handedness. The word
sinister comes from a Latin word meaning, “on the left side, unlucky,
evil.” Now who in their right mind would fear me? (Think about this carefully
before you answer.)
In order to awaken public consciousness to the challenges and
bias faced by lefties, National Left-Handers Day was created on August
13, 1976. To me, the day is right up there with Christmas, Thanksgiving
and National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.
I celebrate the day heartily and wear a T-shirt that reads: “All people
are born left-handed. You become right-handed after you commit your
My wife, on the other hand, (pun intended), wears a button that reads:
“Hire the left-handed. They’re fun to watch.”
As lefties, our struggles start
early in life. Have you ever seen a
left-handed school desk? Didn’t
exist in my day. Nor did left-handed
scissors. Collectively, we lefties had
the most raggedy-edged artwork,
ink-smudged papers and ink-stained
hands in the classroom.
Righties, try writing from
right to left and you will
understand our pain.
Even into adulthood,
inequities exist. Using can
openers and shifting gears
in cars can be downright
dangerous. Novelty coffee
mugs with pictures or text
are designed for a righthanded
pick-up (and to
make us dribble).
But what we lack in penmanship and drip-free coffee mugs, we more
than make up for in intelligence, leadership and creativity. In my
favorite study, researchers found that there were more lefties than righties
in those with IQs of 140 or more.
Our camp boasts the likes of Einstein, Newton, Napoleon,
Aristotle, Darwin and da Vinci.
Even though we only compose about 10% of the world’s population,
we are well represented in the list of U.S. presidents. Of the 44 who
served, eight are southpaw positive.
So now that I think about it, we lefties are actually doing quite well,
Lefties: moc.liamg@omahthgirwcim ta thgirW leahciM tcatnoC
Righties: Contact Michael Wright at email@example.com