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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Being a southpaw can have its advantages, but not when playing cards

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  • Unlike some left-handers who use their right hand to perform some tasks, Capt. Kevin Norris, Ardmore's interim police chief, says he's "strictly" a southpaw.
    "[Using my right hand] is just real uncomfortable to me. When I was younger I did learn to play the guitar with my right hand. I don't play anymore," he says, describing his one and only attempt to add being ambidexterous to his list of skills.
    Fortunately, being left-handed wasn't a deterrent when he choose law enforcement as a career. In fact, in some situations, being left-handed means Norris definitely has the upper hand.
    "There are some advantages as far as tactics are concerned," Norris says, adding those advantages even extend to his role as a member of the APD SWAT. "There are times — certain instances and approaches — when it's important to have someone whose strong hand is the left hand rather than the right hand."
    The fact that most firearms are manufactured for right-hand use hasn't been a real problem.
    "I've adapted," he says. "The only time I really have to think about it is when I'm loading a shotgun."
    Norris doesn't come from a long line of left-handers. There's only one uncle and his son who "writes right-handed, but bats left-handed." And he's been lucky. Even as a child, no one ever attempted to force him to change what comes natural for him.
    Of course, being left-handed means a few idiosyncrasies.
    "Crystal (Norris' wife) and I have learned I don't sit on her left side when we eat," he says. "Whenever I flip through a magazine, I flip from back to front. I don't write in cursive, because I never learned to do it without smearing the ink, and using a side-bound spiral notebook really stinks, because I always end up with metal marks on my hand."
    And then there's Norris' unusual way of playing cards. Since he holds his cards in his left hand, he naturally fans the cards to the left. The problem with that? The suits and denominations which appear in the upper right-hand corner are covered.
    Norris' solution? He determines what suits and denominations he was dealt and which card he will play by looking at the bottom left corner.
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