5 Ways Lefties Have the Upper Hand
Pretty much every human has a dominant hand, with the exception of those weird ambidextrous freaks. They act like it’s cool, but to me, it reeks of indecision and possible extraterrestrial connections. You can write with both hands at the same time? Why don’t you head back to your own planet and stop freaking everybody out, E.T.?
Us salt-of-the-earth, honest, single-siders don’t get to choose. We’re dealt a literal hand at birth, and without an insistent nun who doesn’t mind dusting some knuckles, we’re probably not switching. Strangely enough, even though it might naturally seem like it would be more of a toss-up, the population is overwhelmingly right-hand dominant. If you’re part of lefty nation, you’re in for a life of less-than-ergonomic scissors, ink-covered palms and special-ordered musical instruments.
It’s not all bad, though. Here are five ways lefties actually have an advantage in life…
Throwing a Baseball — and Punches
For something that evolution seems overwhelmingly not to prefer, there are some situations where left-handers excel specifically because, well, they’re doing stuff kind of weird. Sports, especially ones based on quick-paced reactions, tend to have a disproportionate number of lefties at the elite level. For example, 30 percent of baseball’s top pitchers from 2009 to 2014 were left-handed, way above the population average of roughly 10 percent.
Boxing is another sport where a crushing left hand seems to give a disproportionate advantage. There are even studies that posit outright that if you’re a lefty, you’re going to win more physical fights. Again, it appears to be a product of familiarity. A left-handed boxer is surely used to fighting right-handed fighters, but a righty might be completely thrown off when short jabs are coming in from an unusual vantage point.
Getting Called A Southpaw
Reading that last entry, you may have been waiting for a certain word to pop up, and been almost disappointed that it didn’t. Allay your fears, because I simply had to separate it into another entry because of how fucking cool it is. That, of course, is the slang, especially used in reference to baseball and boxing, of lefties as “southpaws.” I legitimately remember hoping to teach myself to pitch left-handed in my Little League days just so I could someday hear an opposing coach mutter frustratedly, “They’ve got a southpaw pitcher?” It did not work.
As for the origin of the term, it’s something that’s been debated, with some saying it comes from a left-handed pitcher holding the ball to the south when on the mound. Given the variance in stadiums and the fact that it’s not always used for pitchers, though, there are some questions there. Others point to a mention in coverage of an 1860 bare-knuckle boxing match of a lefty “planting his south paw” with an uppercut to end a fight. Which is exactly as fucking sick as you’d expect. I don’t know why, but every time someone says southpaw, I see a bear on a motorcycle in my mind’s eye.
Disproportionately Likely to Become President
Now, I personally have no desire, and thankfully even less of a possibility, of ever becoming President of the United States. You have to shake everybody’s hands all the time, you can’t go to Taco Bell without it being a whole thing and your phone’s notification screen must be an absolute nightmare. Plus, the stress of being leader of the free world and knowing the nuclear codes or whatever, but honestly, more the small talk stuff for me.
But if you do want to be president, and you happen to be left-handed, your odds are strangely good. A shocking percentage, especially recently, of American presidents have been left-handed. In fact, between Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the U.S. had a left-handed president for 20 solid years from 1981 to 2001. Obama would add to the tally again when inaugurated in 2009. Looking further back reveals its own share of lefties, too, including Gerald Ford, Harry Truman, Herbert Hoover and James Garfield.
Less Chance of Arthritis
It turns out being left-handed may have some benefits to your overall health even outside of the UFC octagon. A study found that left-handed people were notably less likely to get arthritis and ulcers than right-handers. Now, this probably has less to do with how you’re holding your pen and more to do with genes that are connected to left-handedness in general, but it’s still a nice little bonus.
So, if you’ve got a left-handed kid, bawling their little eyes out over how they can’t use any of their school supplies, saying how the kids on the playground are calling them a weirdo, tell them there’s hope. Decades from now, those mean kids will be grunting like a stuck hog every time they get out of a deep armchair, their joints creaking like a haunted house. Meanwhile, they’ll be sitting in the Oval Office, with a perfectly intact stomach lining, giving approval to bomb somebody.
You Are Close to the Dark Lord
Or, we can do away with this whole silly charade of ulcers and politics and mean curveballs, and we can talk about what really matters: power. Pure, unadulterated control, over men, over time, over everything. The type of power no simple man or woman of any walk of life can provide, or imagine. The kind of power that’s only held in the clawed hand of the Great Deceiver, Baphomet. Perhaps those pearl-clutching pious freaks were right, and he left (pun unavoidable) his mark on your sinister hand as an indication of his favor.
Would it not be rude to refuse such an offer? If the world is to be laid out as your stepping stone, would it not be a shame to stay, scared, on the shoreline? Follow that hand to the sunken grove, beneath unfamiliar trees, and indulge in fruits no man has ever tasted.