I have been asked a million questions in my lifetime. The most frequent one is, “What’s wrong with your arm?” When I’m in my usual good mood, I smile and say, “I was born with one arm.” When I’m in a particularly ornery mood, I have to restrain myself from responding, “What’s wrong with your nose?” I’ve never done that, but I chuckle thinking about it. Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t mind inquiries from family and friends. And I don’t mind inquiries from kids—after all, I was a kids’ pastor for twenty years. However, when a total stranger walks up to me in Walmart and asks me a very personal question, I have to admit, it agitates me a bit.
Then there’s the “How Do You __________?” question. Just fill in the blank with anything you’d like; I’m sure I’ve heard it. On one occasion I was at the airport with my daughter Cassie who was five at the time. A little boy about the same age struck up a conversation with us. It went something like this: “How do you drive? How do you cook? How do you take a shower? How do you tie your shoes? How do you swim? How do you carry stuff?” It was like talking to Dennis the Menace. He hardly took a breath between segments of the interrogation. With each additional question, Cassie grew noticeably more aggravated. Finally, after Question #6, she grabbed my right elbow, pulling my real hand out of my pocket. She shoved my hand about four inches from the boy’s face and gave him the “duh” look.
But of all the questions I’ve ever been asked, this one is ultimately and eternally the dumbest: “Are you left-handed or right-handed?” When someone inquires that, all I can do is stare at them for a few seconds with my head cocked to one side and my mouth slightly open. I mean, if I was left-handed, how would I know? I work really hard to get out the words “right-handed” without making a funny face. I just flat gave up when one woman replied, “Well, it’s a good thing!”
No matter how many times I am presented with “the dumbest question” (and you’d be surprised at the number), it always catches me off-guard. So I decided to come up with a creative, pre-determined answer. I discussed it with my brother-in-law Phillip and he thought of the perfect retort. To the next person who asks, “Are you left-handed or right-handed?” I am going to respond, “I’m ambidextrous!”
“Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Matthew 6:3 (NIV)