Lefty Confronts a Right-Leaning World


Jim Washburn at the SoCal urban living site FourStory has a sweetly ironic piece about being diagnosed with tennis elbow, even though Washburn doesn't play tennis. His diagnosis and the attendant advice he received from friends forced the southpaw Washburn to suddenly realize how much he relies on his left hand -- and how much it's made him feel like an outsider:

"I am trying to learn to do common household tasks with my right hand,

making me realize how determinedly left-handed I am. In school, they

tried forcing me to write right-handed, getting me so screwed up I went

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the wrong way on the Maypole dance. When I got a guitar at age 12, my

parents made me take lessons, where the teacher insisted I learn

right-handed."

Washburn manages to put quotidian adversity into humble perspective, noting how petty his travails are compared to most of humanity:

"We're still better off than four-fifths of the poor saps on the planet--the ones who make our tennis shoes for pennies; or who live where our bombs land; or don't have potable water, food or a roof over their heads; or who forage in a dump or fish toxic waters to scrape through the day; or whose crops wither and children die in the dust; or all of the above. Those guys."

It's an enlightening ramble that covers a lot of road -- with even includes a stop to appreciate Jimi Hendrix.


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