Preposterous products: Men's underwear for lefties


50.6% of the American population is female, and around 90% of the remaining male population is right-handed. Only the remaining 14 million of us that are southpaws are even aware of a long-standing problem in the design of men's trunk and jockey shorts underwear; the holster is designed for a right-handed draw.

Now the British men's underthings retailer Hom is bringing to market a new line of trunk shorts with a horizontal, centrally-placed access portal instead of the right-side vertical slit that has bedeviled bladderful lefties for decades. The company claims the new design will help shave three precious seconds off access time for the lefthanded. Frankly, however, after 75,000 or so iterations, I'm probably already as time efficient as I'm ever going to get.

Right-handers will automatically write this off as a minor annoyance, while lefties will shake their heads knowingly.

Handedness is hardwired, and people (right-handed people, that is) become oblivious to the clumsiness of accommodating actions and devices that don't fit our category. Try tying your shoelaces with the other string over instead. Apply your mascara left-handed. Hold the phone to your other ear.

Hom's newest line of louie-loving underwear is not just a blow for equality but a wise business move. The number of products adapted for the lefthander continue to grow, demonstrating that there is a strong sinister market.

Among the products offered by are tape measures, playing cards, computer mice, sharpening stones, can openers, notebooks. Anythinglefthanded offers a left-handed corkscrew, a sickle (speaking from experience, using a right-handed one left-handed is dangerous), wristwatches, and golf clubs.