• Albury: Out in left field
    January 15,2013
     

    On Jan. 21 Barack Obama will be sworn in for his second term as president of the United States. During the campaign Mr. Obama told voters he still had a lot to do. I agree. Most importantly, he needs to work to stop the conspiracy against left-handers.

    There is a concerted effort by right-handed people in our society to do away with the southpaw population. Due to this situation we lefties feel it’s helpful to have someone at the highest level of government who will empathize with our plight and look out for us. Barack Obama, our eighth left-handed president, is the left-handers’ next great hope.

    When Bill Clinton, a lefty, was elected president, we thought we had a real advocate. Unfortunately, Bill lost legitimacy with our movement when we learned he couldn’t keep either one of his hands to himself. Then George W. Bush, a right-hander, got into the White House, and it was almost like having a left-handed president because he couldn’t seem to do anything right. But it wasn’t enough. Now, our best chance at real change has come with Barack Obama.

    The right’s attempts to purge the human race of lefties can be traced back to the caveman, as illustrated by ambidextrous actors in the following re-enactment:

    Caveman leader: Hey, Ugg, let’s take these spears and blunt rocks and hunt animals so we can survive.

    Left-handed caveman: Wait, guys, what about me?

    Leader: What’s your name?

    Left-handed caveman: Ugg. We’re all named Ugg.

    Leader: Aren’t you that guy who drags his hand when writing on the cave walls, and smears everything?

    Left-handed caveman: That’s me.

    Leader: Here, you take these right-handed scissors to do your hunting.

    Left-handed caveman: But these things are useless to me. I won’t be able to kill anything, and I’ll starve to death.

    Leader: Gee, Ugg, for a Neanderthal you’re pretty quick.

    Despite being singled out for being different, lefties have survived over the years. Of course, it hasn’t always been easy. We lost a large number from our ranks during the days of kings and royalty.

    King (to guard during banquet): What in the name if the queen’s crown is the court jester doing at the table down there?

    Guard: That is not the court jester. That is one of the left-handed guests, and he appears to be trying to use the butter knife.

    King: You down there!

    Lefty: Me?

    King: What are you doing?

    Lefty: Well, your Highness, I can’t seem to get the butter to stay on this stupid right-handed royal butter knife. Oops! Excuse me, Sire.

    King: That’s quite all right. Guard, off with his head.

    Our population was decreased even further in the Old West due to the many right-handed gun-slinging poker players. When a lefty fans out a hand of playing cards, the numbers appear upside down on the bottom of the cards. As a result of this poor design, scenarios such as the following were commonplace during the 1880s:

    Gang member: Cisco, why’d you shoot Lefty?

    Cisco: Cause that no-good, cheating scoundrel was trying to look under the table.

    Gang member: No, he wasn’t. He was just standing on his head so he could read his cards.

    Cisco: Oh, sorry about that. Hey, how about them Cowboys?

    Although we’ve progressed from the days of violence against lefties, right-handers still humiliate us to keep us in our place. When I was in school my teacher tried to appease me by offering me left-handed scissors, but use of the tool was at the expense of my pride and dignity.

    Teacher: Excuse me, class. Has anyone seen the blunt-ended green-handled kiddie scissors made especially for people like Mark who can’t even cut a little piece of paper with ordinary scissors? Here you are, Mark. And Mark, you’re in the 11th grade now — please don’t cower under your desk.

    When lefties are not being humiliated, they are frequently forced into situations of danger just because of their hand dominance. For example, when a left-handed person holds a chain saw so he can grip the pull cord with his left hand to start it, the spinning teeth of the tool are between his legs. Although this ergonomic phenomenon goes a long way toward explaining why there are a disproportionate number of male sopranos in logging community church choirs, it is yet another unfortunate instance of lefties having to risk their lives in this right-handed world.

    A researcher in France declared that lefties have survived over the years because they are such good fighters. “Right-handers are used to fighting with other right-handers,” explained Michael Raymond, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Montpellier. “Lefties, as long as they are rare, have the advantage of hitting from unexpected directions.”

    So be forewarned. The next person to offer me those green-handled kiddie scissors better be ready for a good fight.



    Mark S. Albury lives in Northfield Falls.

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