Wednesday, October 19, 2005

left hand-icapped

And now for something completely trivial...or not.

Fact of the day about me: I am very left handed. Or right-brained, however you want to look at it. About the only things I do right handed are bowling and archery, and since I haven't done either for a long time, I am pretty much 100% lefty. My political tendencies are maybe not 100% but they do lean that way. My brother and dad are also left handed, as is The Hermit, although not to the degree that I am. I thought it was a genetic thing, but so far all three of my offspring favor their right hands.

For the most part, it's not a problem in a world that is predominantly right handed. By the time I went to grade school, fortunately teachers had gotten past the urge to "correct" left handedness. It may take some minor mental adjustments when learning a task, but for the most part I can adapt. I learned how to play guitar the "normal" way, and I could never understand why Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix, both lefties, set up their guitars the opposite way. After all, it takes two hands to play guitar, and both are equally important.

The other day, however, I was stymied by, of all things, a kitchen tool. A vegetable peeler, to be exact. My old vegetable peeler, which I had been using with my left hand for at least as long as I've been married (13 years), finally broke, so The Hermit bought a similar-looking one to replace it. On Sunday I was going to peel potatoes for a pot roast. Normally I wouldn't bother peeling them, I think they're more nutritious with the peelings on, but these homegrown potatoes had scab that wouldn't wash off. So I picked up the peeler in my left hand, potato in my right and...nothing happened. The peeler slid over the skin without digging in or slicing. I was feeling rather clumsy in the kitchen that day to begin with, so at first I thought it was just me. I tried it with a carrot. Same thing. Then I did something different; I tried drawing the peeler towards myself instead of away. A nice slice of potato skin came off. Then I tried holding the peeler in my right hand. It worked, but it didn't feel right. I was completely disoriented, and I ended up cutting the potatoes into chunks and cutting off the scabby parts with a knife.

How simple would it be to make a vegetable peeler with blades on both sides of the little groove in the middle? Obviously they did it years ago when my old peeler was made. I hope I can find one like my old one somewhere, because I'm a bit too set in my ways to relearn something as basic as peeling potatoes. :)


Jim said...


I'm a lefty too, who also plays guitar right handed, and I had that same damned experience with a new potato peeler not long ago!

What are they thinking, us lefties aren't going away, and we need to peel now & then like everyone else?

When lefties are no longer allowed to peel, I'd say the powermongering control of the conservative right has gotten completely out of hand!

Comes The Revolution!!!


pablo said...

I know there are stores that sell lefty merchandise. I'll bet there is at least one online, and I'll bet it has potato peelers.

Deb said...

jim- Let The Revolution Begin! Of course you know the senior George Bush was left handed, as was Ronald Reagan...go figure. But they probably didn't peel their own potatoe's ;) .

pablo-your comment prompted a quick Google search; apparently there are proportionally more lefties in the UK, or ones willing to part with their money , because that is where the first two or three were located. But one of them had this to say about potato peelers:

"Left-handed peelers The best motion for peeling vegetables is to move the peeler towards the body. This is not possible with a right-handed peeler held in the left hand as the cutting edge is facing the wrong way. For this reason, many left-handers have developed a technique for peeling vegetables moving the peeler away from the body, and have the scraped knuckles to prove it! Our peelers are either fully left-handed or double-edged so they can be used in either direction."

Apparently I've been doing it all wrong to begin with, and my new peeler is, in fact, left-handed! But I still refuse to change my ways.

Floridacracker said...

I was going to say Google it, but Pablo beat me too it. Drat!