Posted by: okathleen | January 29, 2009

Gauche, moi?



All Hail St Joan – Patron Saint of the Cack-Handed


Watching a new American President being sworn-in was spectacle enough.

Watching a new American President being sworn-in and awkwardly pulling his pen across the manuscript was fantastic.


I bet it smudged.

Fountain pens always smudge for the left handed. It’s a challenge, but surmountable. It’s all in the timing.

Pace the writing, let it follow the nib leisurely and gently.

Actually, forget that.

Just invest in a quick drying roller ball. It’s impossible not to make a bloody mess when the script flows left to right, and the ink flows left to right and the heel of the hand, the heel of the left hand tries desperately not to get involved, not to interfere pushing, left to right.

What to do?

One choice/Two alternatives:

1) Turn the paper round 90 degrees.

2) Arrange your left arm in a crook around the paper and pull the nib across the sheet. (See OB last Tuesday)

c) Be at school pre 1965 and tie your left hand behind your back or sit on it.

d) Adopt Hebrew or Arabic script.

Who cares anyway? Four out of the last five US Presidents have been south paws. It didn’t do them much harm, or Winston Churchill, or Alexander the Great or

George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, Benjamin Franklin,  James A. Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Thomas Jefferson, Ronald Reagan, Nelson D. Rockefeller, Harry S. Truman, Julius Caesar, F.W. de Klerk, Benjamin Netanyahu, Tiberius, Napoleon Bonaparte, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, Douglas Adams, Hans Christian Andersen, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, Eminem, Ludwig van Beethoven, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Natalie Cole, Phil Collins, Billy Ray Cyrus, 50 Cent, Art Garfunkel, Judy Garland, Bob Geldof, Jimi Hendrix, Faith Hill, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Wolfgang , Amadeus Mozart, Robert Plant, Lou Rawls, Seal, Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, Pierce ,Brosnan, George Burns, Charlie Chaplin, Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, Richard Dreyfuss, Greta Garbo, Whoopi Goldberg, Rex Harrison, Goldie ,Hawn, Benny Hill, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Lisa Kudrow, Shirley MacLaine, Steve McQueen, Anthony Perkins, Richard Pryor, Keanu Reeves , Julia Roberts, Jerry Seinfeld, Christian Slater, Jon Stewart, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, Dick Van Dyke, Bruce Willis, Oprah Winfrey, Marvin Hagler, Oscar de la Hoya, Reggie Johnson, Mike Tyson, Jenson Button, Johnny Herbert, Jimmy Connors , Guy Forget, Goran Ivanisevic, Rod Laver, Henri Leconte, John McEnroe, Thomas Muster, Martina Navratilova… ad nauseum

 Wonder if they have left handed scissors and cheque books in The White House?

I have.

A letter will be smudged to BO to suggest ways of improving the lives of our sinister 10%. He has to listen, he is one of the afflicted.

a) Change all the turnstiles at all the London Underground stations to left handed ticket slots. 

b) All universities and libraries to have a cluster of pc’s for lefties only, with mouse mats on the left, not to be moved.

c) Left handed hockey sticks.

d) Continental kissing, mwah, mwah, from left to right, by law, to end all embarrassing head butting scenarios.

e) Corkscrews, cameras, pianos, boomerangs to be freely available – left handed ones that is.

 f) Magazines and books to start at the end, ie. back to front.

This is a serious matter.

The left handed lifespan is 9 years less than the right handed lifespan.

This is due to the accidents we encounter in our clumsy, wrong way round world, having to adjust to righthanded living. (Harris, LJ (1993). “Do left-handers die sooner than right-handers? Commentary on Coren and Halpern’s (1991) “Left-handedness: a marker for decreased survival fitness””. Psychological Bulletin 114 (2): 203–234. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.114.2.203. PMID 8416031.)

 It’s all very well being more intelligent, more musical, and  more creative, but the price to pay is less of life in the fast lane, which is on the right, if you drive on the left.

The last nine years, lefties unite.

 This is sinster. St Joan of Arc, pray for us.

Meeting with Eric and Clive. Much more clued up on where I am going and what I am doing. Suggested reading from E, poets, and choose 3 for a case study. And think about aesthetics, the link between the object and observer. Start to write re objects etc. C suggested using alternative voice in blogs, will try: academic v poetic. E confused me re blog is sloppy and casual, and should be edited and then re edited. So will try this, against the advice of NC, who would have me writing in my own voice, whatever that is?








  1. I never knew I could be so entertained by the trials and tribulations of the left handed! Well done, great research.

  2. Great post. It really made me think. I’m left handed and every major injury to my body over the years has been on my right side except for one.

    Right side: broken arm, fractured pinky, strained ligament in my knee, bone fragments on my knee, burns on my ankle and forearm, gash over my right eye.

    Left side: injured wrist and elbow from tripping… with my right foot.

    Then again, maybe I’m just accident prone.

  3. great post!my wife is left handed…i am ten years older than her,but she will die 9 years ealier than an average woman’s life span?lol we might make it in the ground around the same time after all.oh wait don’t women out live men?wonder what the stats are on that?

  4. Love it! I am the only rightie in a family of lefties… for me, being a rightie is a challenge…

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