I saw a statistic recently saying that approximately 10 percent of the world's population is left-handed. Who knew we were that special?

With kids going back to school, it creates mostly fond memories of my own days at a desk and writing with my left hand. There was a time when parents might put a spoon or a pencil in a child's right hand rather than have that child eat or write with the left. My parents never tried that approach. There were some corrective measures taken, however, when it came to writing.

Ever seen the bottom side of a left hand after a lefty has written a couple paragraphs with a No. 2 pencil? The smudge marks call to mind a mud wrestler. My mother and teachers always encouraged me to write with the left hand straight up instead of curved in upside down. Finding a desk in a classroom that was built for a lefty was more challenging.

Lefthanders are accustomed to adapting, if nothing else. But I'm still not very proficient with scissors.

We lefties can tell you all about adjusting to everyday minor moments that require us to re-jigger the normal approaches.

Left, right, left, right, left

In most cars, where's the cup holder? When sitting at a computer, where's the mouse? Ever tried to write in a three-ring binder? When swiping a credit card, which side of the gizmo do you slide the card? Some schoolchildren turn their spiral notepads upside down to avoid interference. It seems the right thing to do, for a lefty.

Filling out a crossword puzzle can be messy.

There are a few theories on what makes some of us wired a little differently. Most think it's nothing but genetics. I've come to believe we're just the chosen ones.

I do appreciate that the fork is always on the left in a table setting. Maybe that's why I'm never late for supper?

The only time I really ever think about my left-handedness is when I notice somebody else who also is a lefty. For us to barely be 10 percent of the population, we sure seem to have an impact.

Did you know that four of the last seven presidents were left-handed? Is that why those on the right can't seem to work with those on the left? Sorry, we lefties are also easily distracted.

Listing lefties

A search for famous left-handers is quite impressive. If we eliminate gangster John Dillinger, there are plenty to admire. In no particular order, here's a quick rundown of folks who also might have been challenged in this mostly right world.

Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Napoleon were left-handed. Add to those Henry Ford, Peter Benchley, James Baldwin, Natalie Cole and Judy Garland. Both Jay Leno and David Letterman are lefties. Check out the list of actors: Robert DeNiro, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Whoopie Goldberg, Cary Grant and Carol Burnett.

And even though guitars are strung backward if you're left-handed, Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix figured it out.

And thank goodness when Leonardo Da Vinci was painting on his back, nobody suggested his work would be better if he switched the brush to his right hand.

I wear my watch on my right wrist and usually take a seat at a restaurant that's on the outside of the booth.

Being a lefty is all right in my book. Just try not to leave smudge marks if you write in it.

Reach Warren Peper at 937-5577 or wpeper@post

andcourier.com