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DeVos: Feeling left out

Jon DeVos
The Friday Report
Jon DeVos
Staff Photo |

Yesterday was National Left-Handers Day. My heart goes out to left-handers because they get such a bad rap, when so often they’re actually quite nice people.

Well, Ted Bundy was left-handed, of course, but that certainly isn’t a condemnation of left-handers as a class, although lefties are pretty doggone obnoxious to sit next to at dinner. And scissors, ha-ha, ever watch a leftie struggle with scissors?

“Desegregated stewardesses wear sweet sweaterdresses” just happens to be the longest sentence I could think of that is typed using only the left hand. Why anyone cares or would do that is beyond me.

About 10 percent of the population is left-handed. Curiously, left-handers may be among the most discriminated against group throughout history.

The world’s languages are replete with examples of that left-handed discrimination. Left in Italian is mancino, which also means dishonest. In Spanish, left is a’zurdas and also means the wrong way. In Old English lyft meant worthless. Linkisch in German means left and also clumsy. In France, a gauche person is left-handed and awkward. In ancient Rome, a sinister person was left-handed while a dexterous person was right-handed. The word adroit today means physically or mentally skillful. In Latin it means “on the right.”

The Bible refers to the right hand in positive terms over 100 times whereas the 25 mentions of the left hand are all negative.

“Public display” of the left hand is against the law in Saudi Arabia.

Oh sure. A left-handed batter is two steps closer to first base. Big deal. If you believe 500 year-old Germans, they’re also so clumsy they’ll tangle their feet and nose-dive halfway there.

A left-handed marriage in Medieval Europe meant a marriage amongst a royal person and someone so inferior that they could not inherit any worldly goods upon their spouse’s death. If you pay someone a left-handed compliment, you have insulted them. A leftist is a bomb-throwing radical. Again, the Bible tells us we should be sitting at the right hand of God on judgment day.

Left-handed people are forbidden to enter arm-wrestling contests or engage in polo. Not really because they’re clumsy or anything, but because it’s against the rules. If you can envision a right-handed polo player facing a left-handed opponent, you can probably understand why that rule exists.

When you spill salt, you’re supposed to throw some over your left shoulder into the eyes of the devil who just happens to be sitting there. On the left side.

Have you ever seen a package marked “Left Side Up?” Don’t you want to surround yourself with forthright people? We all know the music of the Righteous Brothers. Where would they have been as the Lefteous Brothers? Uphill traffic in Colorado has the right of way. Schoolboys struggle to come up with the right answer.

Tipped turtles are turned upright. Are leftovers looked upon with relish? Isn’t all geometry based on right triangles? Spike Lee’s movie was titled, “Do the Right Thing”.

On the other hand, famous lefties include Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker, Scarlett Johansson and Ashley Tisdale.

So back off, haters!


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