Saturday, March 17, 2007

Crazy Fingers

I would give my right hand to be ambidextrous.

Throughout my life, I have had the worst ability to use my hands for small motor skills. Can't thread a needle, repair a watch, use a tweezers, pick up little stuff off the floor. Often I will suddenly drop something that I am holding. Usually it is a glass item filled with hot liquid in the area of my pants.

I have individual fingers on both hands that have their personal and separate problems. The wedding ring finger got bent playing basketball about 45 years ago. I remember yanking it straight and going on with the game. That was probably a mistake. Most likely, that foolish maneuver kept me from a career in the NBA.

The right hand ring finger sometimes locks up and refuses to bend properly. People usually have to avert their gaze in horror because it looks kind of freaky.

The "up yours" right hand one has a long scar from the time from when I nearly cut it off by doing something stupid as a teenager. That is another story altogether. But be assured it involved blood and fainting and a visit to the hospital.

Also a bit of arthritis seeping into all of them which is only a little pain and numbness. Not worthy of complaints yet.

My mother wanted me to be an orthodontist when I got my first set of braces. She thought it was clean work for a Jewish boy and based on what we were paying, figured I could make a lot of money.
It would have ended up being one long string of lawsuits from me cutting palates and tongues and gums with sharp instruments. Trust me, you don't want a clumsy guy like me getting near your mouth with a pointy pliers.

There can be serious trouble when I get near my own mouth. I have tried flossing and wound up punching myself in the nose so hard that I woke up on the bathroom floor in a puddle of blood.

Eating can be a real problem. Hamburgers are easy, finger foods are tougher. Popcorn..usually all over the floor and lap.

Using the left hand for anything involving food will result in starvation.

When we go to a Chinese place where they have chopsticks...I always ask for modern utensils.

Why the hell did they still use those things after the fork was invented? Think about it; did you ever see a fat Chinaman? They burn more calories during the meal than they take in.

In addition, cold has been affecting my finger work of late. If I grab for some ice cubes from the freezer, I will likely drop them all over the kitchen floor and then be unable to pick them up until they liquefy. Then I use a towel and drag my foot over the water. I can use my feet better than my hands. But not my left foot.

This is sad, but I have managed to get through life rather unnoticed regarding my hands and fingers.

Until just recently... and this is where Kimberly comes in.

Here's the latest situation:

In New Zealand, she has noticed that people eat "European Style".

They hold both the knife and fork at the same time, knife in the right hand and fork in the left. They do not move the fork from hand to hand after cutting food, like Americans. This means they bring food to the mouth with the left. The fork is also in an upside down position and always stays like that.

I never noticed any of this. But when she pointed it out, of course, I saw that everyone eats like that here with no problem.

You can spot an American just by the way they eat. For some reason or other, We ex-pats are trying to disguise ourselves and hide our past in every way possible.

Kimberly, as is her style, has decided to change the manner in which she cuts food and puts it into her mouth.

She has been practicing and practicing and can now even do pasta, salad, and eggs lefty style with extreme perfection.

She is a true pioneer.

This is even done if she is eating alone at home when no one is looking at her passport or anything.

Far be it from me to be left behind. So I have tried it too.

You can only imagine how this is not working well for me. I can hold the fork upside down and cut with the knife. But the meal better include only very solid items which can be stabbed with the prongs and quickly shoveled down. I haven't had rice in weeks and I like rice..dammit!

You try eating rice with the curved end of an upside down fork while using a shaky useless left hand.

A lot more time is now spent cleaning up the area around the outside of my dinner plate.

The only saving grace is that I think I have lost 5 pounds from lack of nourishment.
But I really have a special finger that will tell you how I feel about "European Style Dining".. Just this once, I will let this guy below speak for me.


At 3:06 AM, Anonymous robin said...

Very funny and informative as usual. I had no idea you had such issues with your fingers...not so nimble as we find. Yes, I thought everyone knew about the European way of eating. That is how they could tell if you were a spy back in the good ole WWII. I will be placing myself cautiously at the dinner table next time we all sit. In the past I made sure I was outside the vicinity if daddy was eating corn on the cob...I am sure you all know what I am talking about; now I will be watching for falling peas from you. Keep forking :) love robin

At 6:37 PM, Blogger Eyal said...

I thought you were doing great with the thinly chopped salad... however if you have noticed the teas were switched, we could never tell. That's very European I believe.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Head Monkey said...

I like to spoon after I fork...
Wild Bill

At 3:22 AM, Anonymous Debby said...

Do left-handed Europeans hold the knife in their left hand and fork in their right hand?


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home