Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Three Strikes, You're Out

I'm left-handed. Not only does this mean I had the privilege of sitting at a wonk-ass desk and using funky scissors in elementary school, but I'm also allegedly creative, which comes most in handy when figuring out seating arrangements so I'm not bumping elbows with all the right-handers at the table. This usually involves me being crammed at the back of a booth next to a wall. I said allegedly creative. That's the best I can come up with, which makes me a complete embarrassment to all southpaws, and just tell me where to send my membership card for destruction. Or I can shred it myself. Whichever you prefer.

Sometimes if my left-handed sister is around, I can arrange to have her jammed against the wall instead. That's sort of creative, because it involves tricking her, which is really hard sometimes. Coming up with excuses for Why Something Isn't Logistically Possible and Thus Can't Be Done was a sport in our house when we were growing up, my dad and stepmom playing the part of referees and bullshit detectors. Karen usually won.

Truth be told, I usually only eat and write left, everything else is done with my right hand. Or it would be, if I golfed or played baseball.

I guess I should be grateful that I was spared the most common and embarrassing affliction of the left-handed writer: crappy penmanship. I've got lefty friends who hold their papers at a 90-degree angle, then angle in their hand another 90 degress and, then, commence chicken scratch. I don't know why I'm one of the lucky ones. Maybe I was the Patron Saint of Lefties in a past life. But if that's so, why can't I come up with a decent seating arrangement? We all have our crosses to bear.

Anyway, strike one. My next strike could very well have me banished from the human race: I don't like beer.

Oh, I did once. That was a nice day. Many moons ago, I had five Budweisers at a club, followed by a very long morning of playing Sweet Jesus, Keep It Down. When you've showered while simultaneously leaning over a toilet, you know you've hit new lows. I'm a little mad at myself that I didn't at least have a good brand of beer and go out with a bang. The Mr. drinks Sam Adams. Maybe I would have chosen that had I known I was just going to ruin it for myself for the rest of my life.

Nobody likes to accept that there are some people (five of us) who just don't like beer. "You don't like beer?!" they shriek. Everyone else's eyes widen and they back away, pretending not to know me, maybe a little afraid that I'll snap because I don't partake of the beer. They slam their steins down, look deep into my eyes and demand, "WHY NOT?" Then they grab their torches and run me out of the saloon and right past Old Man Johnson's farm. "If you show your face in these parts again, we'll hang you by your dadgum toenails!"

Life has gotten easier for beer haters, though. Cider is all over the place now. And I've grown to love red wine. But every once in awhile I'm still reminded of what an abnormal freak I am. Last week, some friends and I went to a place that has like 8,000 brands of beer. You would think they'd have a bottle of cider somewhere, because it's almost like beer. It counts! Why? Because I say so.

I asked if they had any in a bottle or on tap. "I don't drink beer," I said to the bartender. "Um, I had too much one night, and...yeah..." She looked bored. "I can see that you don't care." She didn't argue with me.
"Hey," the bored bartender called out to the other bartender. "What's our most cider-like beer?"
Oh no. Cider-like? People have tried this with me many a time. It doesn't work. But I decided to keep an open mind and give it a shot. The bartender brought over a sample of cider-like beer. I did detect some apple, but I also detected the faintest scent of Hops Of Barf. I didn't want to see my Lean Cuisine again, so I told the bartender no thanks and had some wine instead.

Hell, I'm just glad I found a beer drinker who accepts me for my sad non-beer loving self. It's a cold, unfeeling world out there.