Today is officially—or apparently—International Left-Handers Day and, as one of the chosen few, I feel I must join in the celebrations (such as they are…).
Although sources differ, it seems that around ten per cent of the population is left-handed—and the reward is to supposedly be better than right-handers at maths, language, music, competitive sports, as well as being more likely to suffer from schizophrenia (er… no we’re not) and have an average life span of nine years less than right-handed people. You pay a heavy price for talent.
Obviously, most of these “facts” are, to a greater or lesser extent “generalisations”, but I agree we’re better at maths—ten per cent of the
world can’t be wrong, even if the other ninety-five per cent disagree.
And here is some more curious lefty-related trivia: most left-handers draw figures facing to the right, there is a high tendency in twins for one to be left-handed (viz. Mary-Kate Olsen, pictured), left-handers adjust better to seeing underwater (although I suppose having decent eyesight is just as important) and one in four of the Apollo astronauts was left-handed—including Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell.
Stuttering and dyslexia seemingly occur more often in left-handers—King George VI is a notable example of the former. His wife, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was also left-handed, as was Queen Victoria and, of the modern Royals, Prince William is very much part of our gang.
I’ve had a look at a website that is dedicated to all things sinister—as in the Latin—to see who is on the list of famous people who were (or still are) left-handed. Their list—ie not mine, in case of any errors—randomly includes: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, both Everly Brothers, Churchill, Einstein, Pelé, Barack Obama, Hitchcock favourites Tippi Hedren and Kim Novak and, best of all, Kermit the Frog (whose creator Jim Henson was another leftie).
So to all my left-handed readers—and if the proportion remains at one in ten, I reckon that should be about two of
you—I send cordial greetings and I hope that you enjoy (and celebrate with copious amounts of wine) our special day.