Mechanics

Day thirteen of the ‘Blogging from A-Z Challenge’.  I’ve struggled with many of those gadgets that have been designed to make our lives easier yet I should not have worried.  I’d heard of tools that were designed specifically for left-handed people but until now have never had the requirement to investigate further.  A quick entry into your favourite search engine shows that there is a plethora of support and assistance available from stores with names such as ‘Anything left-handed’, ‘Lefty’s the left-handed store’ and ‘RU-lefthanded’.

These shops stock everything that you could possible imagine, as well as some you can’t, to help those that lead with the other hand.  I have got off lightly with my small foray into left-handedness.  When I have come across something that is impossible to do with my left I’ve always got the option to use my preferred hand.  It’s going to do a better job anyway.  It is not so with natural left handers.  They have Hobson’s choice which is either to make the best of it or shut up.  (In case you are interested this phrase originated from a Thomas Hobson, a stable owner who made sure his horses were rotated properly by offering his customers the first horse they came to or none at all.)

The left-hand devices cover many of the utensils that we use on a daily basis.  Some are fairly obvious and others just wouldn’t appear to be an issue until you think about them.  Many of the gadgets are for the kitchen.  Some of the more obvious are can-openers, scissors (I’m working on a whole blog just on these alone) and peelers.  In most cases the design is fully reversed allowing the user to do whatever the right-handed version would offer only on the left.  With the peeler, for example, the left-handed person can use the right-handed peeler to skin an apple but they have to push the blade away from them rather than pull it towards them. Who would have thought it?

There are less obvious utensils as well such as knives.  Why can’t a left-handed person use an ordinary knife?  A left handed knife has the blade serrated or bevelled on the right, rather than the left side, which counters the natural twisting motion of the left hand and gives a clean, straight cut.  Corkscrews, spatulas, scoops and butter knives all fall into this category as do measuring jugs with the more popular measurements on the right side so they can be read more easily when picked up by the left hand.

Tools are also available.  OK, so you can’t get a left-handed screwdriver or hammer, unless it’s the first day in your new job (along the lines of being sent for a long stand) but you can get left handed tape measures and all sorts of gardening and cutting devices.

What about all those other things we righties use and don’t consider?  Watches for example have the bevel on the right which means you have to put your left hand over the face to adjust it at which point you have hidden the dial.  Cameras always have the shutter release on the right and as for musical instruments the image of Jimi Hendrix playing his guitar upside down says it all.

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