The travelling lefties


A number of years ago, when I was travelling by airplane more often than I am now, a bag like the one pictured above just wasn’t seen in airports. The four-wheeled travel bag seems to be a newer thing, and you can call me a curmudgeon but I don’t like them.

Last night, I decided to do a bit of informal research on the matter while I was at O’Hare airport in Chicago. I sat on a seat in the middle of a random concourse and started counting bags. I decided that the next hundred bags to pass by, in either direction, would tell me what the breakdown of two-wheeled bags–which I’m more familiar with– and four-wheeled bags is. And what I found was encouraging: 87 out of the 100 bags I counted were of the two-wheeled variety.

So it’s still a two-wheeled world out there, but the other variety has carved out a niche for itself in the past few years. Think of these bags as the left-handers in the right-handed world of traveling; they are a small but noticeable minority. The difference is that nobody chooses to be left handed, while the four-wheeled travelers make a decision to be as they are. I like that analogy, somehow. So vive la difference, right?


Coming at life from the left

Yes, I have already written something about Dave Roberts and The Steal here. There’s not much I can say about him here, except to point out that he played for four teams other than the Red Sox, but I imagine that nobody knows this. And even though he’s the Red Sox’ 2004 hero, you’ll likely never find a Red Sox baseball card for him, either. Funny how that works out sometime.

The purpose of this post is to point out something that I’ve always been able to spot. Being a left -hander is strange, because you’re forever seeking out others who are like you. At least, that’s how it is for me. And it’s only when I see someone wielding a pen–as Dave Roberts is here–that I can tell what someone’s dominant hand usage is.

Being left-handed forever sets me apart from the majority of the people in the world. Right-handedness is the rule, and left-handedness is the unusual exception. If you took 20 people and put them all in a room, three leftys is about the most you could expect to find.

Sometimes I think about fellow left-handers like Benjamin Franklin, or Jimi Hendrix, or even Babe Ruth. Our current president is another example. We all have to find our way in a world that’s made for right-handers at every step. If you don’t believe me, try this: take a pencil or pen with text on it, and put it in your left hand. Can’t read the writing on it, can you? That’s just one example, but there are others (pencil sharpeners, fold-out desks, the computer mouse I’m using at the moment).

There’s lots of  horror stories about people who were born left-handed and were forced to change to being right-handed. The King’s Speech was about the issue, in the most indirect manner possible. Since Prince George was forced to become right-handed, the stuttering ensued as a result. Fortunately, this never happened to me. My left-handedness has guided me throughout my life, even if that does predispose me to all sorts of health issues. I never asked to be born left-handed; Nobody ever does. But you have to play the hand you’re dealt in life (no pun intended?), and it’s something I wouldn’t trade if I could.