The simplex ambidextrous?


I have mad respect for the ambidextrous. Where one hand would do, they trained themselves to be capable wielders of the world with both. Wielders of the world? Sounds like an American comic book reboot, or a bad British tabloid. Was prefacing the latter with “bad” redundant?

I bring it up, because a few months ago a nurse was asking me what my dominant hand was so she could give me a Covid shot in the opposite arm. I instinctively said I was right handed, but it turned out not to be as clear cut as I thought. Owies.

I use both hands, but not interchangeably as an ambidextrous person would. I write (the one to three times a year when I do), move a computer mouse, and use those tiny screwdrivers with my right hand. But for racquet sports, minigolf, and anything that requires strength like opening pickle jars, I have to defer to my left. I also wield a soldering iron and sew with my left, the latter owing to being taught by a left-handed person. I tend to thrust out my left hand first when freestyle swimming too.

Maybe years of using a computer mouse in my right hand has weakened it, or given it RSI, so my body compensates by using my left. All I know is unscrewing the top of my Aeropress this morning with my right hand (having bashed my left arm into a door handle) made me appreciate the situation again.

Ruben? Absentmindedly injuring himself? Say it isn’t so!

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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