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See ya tomorrow (Tuesday.) I'm going to post Tuesday and then again Wednesday. As much as I'd love (not really) to push the story back more days, I need to keep it on a semi-schedule. I really need 3 strips per week at this point to fit in what I need, so you'll still get 3 posts. =) Short answer: This weekend ended up being Christmas lights decorating extravaganza. A bit early, right? But hell... Walmart gets away with it. In relation to Anise, I'm left handed. I guess. Writing and drawing are the only things I do with my left hand. Everything else in the word is with my right. Even on the rare occasions I draw on the computer using the mouse, it's with my right hand. Scissor cutting, throwing, shooting, whatever... all with my right. This is obviously because I naturally learned with my left, then went to grade school and had teachers correcting me, and forcing me to use my right hand. My parent's later raised hell over this. Now I HAVE to be realistic with Friday. I have relatives coming down Thursday that I see pretty rarely. And I can't respectfully excuse myself on their first night in for 8 hours to finish the comic. So, again, I'll have to see you all on Monday.

132 thoughts on “Ambidexterity

      1. gross gross gross, me too, except the water had been flushed just as the damn thing leaped from my pocket in some sick sense in an attempt to escape my overuse of underarm (non AXE) deodorant.

    1. If Anise played the drums, I’d be on the first flight down there.

      Besides, I’m going to bet that if she ever has to have any removal, that’s going to be the most painful of all.

      But then, I’m going to guess that she’s wait a second. . . They have to use ink to do tattoos. And not the Herve kind. That would lend itself to reason that she didn’t have any paper. . . I suppose the dork getting the Hamtaro is lucky that she didn’t use him for paper.

  1. Love your work Rusche, but I gotta be honest with ya; I didn’t pick up that the last panel was her right hand at first. It looked like it should be, but it’s so zoomed in that I couldn’t see that we’re behind her now and I thought the arm was still coming from her left side. I eventually noticed the table in the background, but it took me a bit. Still love it, though ^^

        1. Well now I’m just going to assume she has tattoos everywhere but her shoulders, wrists, ears, eyeballs (that’s a thing) and left side of her face.
          Wait… I can only see one of her eyes.

        2. ah! so that’s why all the sisters and some of the cousins got those weird symbols on their faces!

        3. A wise man once said, “never get a tattoo the judge can see when you wear a suit.” (I’m paraphrasing slightly) The same logic also applies to job interviews.

        4. “Does anyone know Tarra’s new number?”

          “Sure, she gave it to me yesterday. It’s…wait a minute, I have to use the bathroom. Back in a moment!”

      1. “Lucky charms”. FOR EVERY MEAL FOR FOREVER.

        Also, not sure where the confusion on what hand it is could come from… the thumb is pretty obvious, yes?

      1. Anise did good.

        Though while I see the value of the shopping list and awesome pac man doodle I’m not quite as sure that the “turn left” tattoo will always be useful.

        But not to worry, Leonard Shelby approves.

        1. Do that, then watch Memento.

          I liked Memento very much but if you truly want to enjoy it don’t spoil the plot by reading about it first and don’t watch it a second time. Unless you get amnesia it’s one of those things you can never experience the way it’s intended more than once.

        2. Have to disagree on one point:

          Watch is again, to pick up on the minor details. But TheLastOutlaw is right: you can never expeirence that movie the way it is intended more than once.

          Still, a quality movie

  2. Always wondered how you could draw and color so many strips per week Rusche. Now it strikes me you’ve been dual-wielding this whole time!

      1. The avvy randomizer is keyed to not just spelling but case as well, try all caps, or lowercase or some other pattern to see what you get.

      2. You could change the capitalization of one of your letters there, or switch in a number instead for an eye con to another icon, eh?

        Allow me to demonstrate.

        1. Well, like TLO just said, but for the most part, he just seems to work on the full name with the six variations on the TLO with the complete spell out, and crazy stuff with just the individual letters. He even started with a hyphen. Crazy bastard.

        2. The hyphen came about because one of my internet friends I’ve met in real life would call me Tee-Low to cut out that extra syllable that just using initials caused. I sort of liked it.

  3. And *~now~* we know why Anise wears those gloves all the time… to hide the fact all the important information she’s tattooed on her hands! It all makes sense, now!

    And Rusche, no worries about Friday’s comic! Your family is the most important thing in the world, so spend time with them. We’ll all be happily waiting for the next installment of: “Ellie’s sisters are crazy…”, er, I mean “Shotgun Shuffle”.

    1. “Crazy” is such a non-descriptive word to describe the vibrant possibilities of mental deviation available to humanity.

  4. To be completely fair. Milk bread and eggs should almost always be on a shopping list. Also the face on panel two is priceless. “Look look look!. I have your number here so now I will always have it!”

  5. You know, I’m thinking that she’s been writing on her hands for a while, especially in high school. If she can’t remember what seems to be one of the sisters that she’s that eager to please, then what did she do for tests in subjects that she was not all that well to do in?

    However, if she were to make fun of it, she could always put 2+2=4?

    1. That makes me wonder if her boyfriend tattoo (wherever she put it) is a stick figure with a beard.

      “Of course this is you, honey!”

  6. Wait a sec – some school was STILL trying to force the right hand thing when you were in grade school? I figured they stopped that a LLLOOOONG time ago! I hope some folks aren’t still doing that now.

      1. I self taught myself to be ambidextrous at a young age because I had read in the comical type books that it was good enough for Batman.

        But yea, even in the 80’s there were still some teachers who railed against lefties but by that point they were in the severe minority, at least where I went to school.

        1. Now you’re reminding me of the college class that had an awful professor that several of us dropped and took the next year with a WAY easier professor. Several of us sat in the back and practiced taking notes for the class with our non-dominant hand. I remember wondering what the people who were newer and found it more difficult thought of the occasional exclamation from the back of the auditorium, “Damn this ‘Q’!”

      2. Wow yeah, see I thought it would have stopped even further back! Figured even the 80’s was too close for folks to still be doing that. Then again, I was too young to remember most of the 80’s, so what am I surprised about?

        1. I could regale you with tales of the “teachers who should have retired long ago” I dealt with in my ridiculous school system including teacher’s who discouraged lefties from being lefties, teachers who struck children, teachers who claimed students property as their own domain, teachers who used threats as “encouragement,” teachers who openly mocked or ridiculed students, teachers who were ridiculous hypocrites and teachers who openly played favorites. Not to say that they were all horrible but most of my negative opinions of people in positions of power started some pretty strong roots early in my school career.

        2. HA try this one on for size my mom talked to the school where I was going to see if they could do something about my crapy spelling (yes its still crapy as hell) but they gave her the “he is good in Math and Science and people that excell in that area are just natualy poor spellers and there is nothing we can do to change it.” Tho I use to make it a sport to see how confused I could get the spellcheckers that came along later in the 90’s.

        3. They kind of had it backwards. Those of us with dyslexia, a symptom of which is bad spelling, often make up for it with good math and science skills. Rather than actually diagnose the problem, it was sometimes easier to pretend it is a natural trade off. I got the “you are to smart to be dumb” bit. If someone had figured it out when I was in grade school, and not my junior year, I would have been saved years of hell.

        4. I was in elementary school in the 80’s, and I distinctly remember comments being made about “if you’re left-handed…” at times, and I was from a fairly rural area where ‘diversity’ was 1-3% of the student body being non-white (i.e. not really diverse in any way, shape, or form). I’m not saying I disbelieve others’ experience, but I think your mileage will vary about that from one place to the next.

        5. It happened into the 90’s as well. I kid I knew shifted away from ambidexterity as his teacher said he needed to pick.

    1. Yeah, they got one of my uncles like that. My mom said they actually tied his left arm so he couldn’t use it in class. It actually benefited him later in life, once he learned to be ambidextrous and could use both hands comfortably.

      Doesn’t change the fact that it was definitely wrong to force a kid to learn to right handed. And for what reasons? Just to be like all the other kids? It doesn’t negatively affect kids to be left handed in school, so I can only think that by ‘correcting’ it, they were only doing it to force conformity.

        1. Anti-sinister, actually. Sinister means left. So, your hand sinister is your left hand. In the days of dueling, one would fight with a sword in your right hand, and a dagger in your sinister hand. You would get in close, and tie up both of your opponent’s blades with your sword, and reach around with the dagger for his back. So, stabbing someone in the back was called sinister, and lefties were naturally better at it. And we come back to the point of lefties being evil.

          And, my father was one of those that got whacked by teachers back in the 30’s-50’s for using his left.

      1. I believe they force you to use your right hand to stop you from getting ink on your hand. When writing with left you can’t have your hand touching the paper, ’cause you just wrote there. You could also try to learn japanese, they write from right to left….

        1. That brings up a very good observation. Left handed people are always looking forward. They’re never looking back as they write. Who needs to regret the past. Who needs good margins or complete thoughts.

        2. I always did (and still do) hate getting ink on my left hand. Especially since I like the kind of pens where the ink stays wet for a bit after writing….but thankfully never had anyone try and force me to not use my left hand. Although, I did have a 6th grade teacher try to tell me I held my pencil wrong. I was like, “Does it really matter?”

        3. Yes, it matters.
          I had good teachers in the 80’s, but they were all right-handed.
          They gave up correcting How I held my pencil, and focused on my, abysmal, penmanship.
          I get writers cramp very quickly because I’ve always held my pen or pencil in the wrong way, writing from the wrist. I also tended to smear more because I was dragging more of my hand across the paper.

      2. I suppose the phrase “getting your ducks in line” wouldn’t be a possible hint to the hive mind frame of thought then?

  7. Aaaand now we find why Anise is The Weird One. And it’s not just because of her sense of style.

    Anise is firmly in my good favor now. I started liking her with the “Gotta get mah cake on” line, now with her tattooing phone numbers and grocery lists and random doodles on her hands I can’t help but adore her. She looked a bit intimidating in the earlier appearances (mostly the one with Mr. Patchy Beard) and non-speakings panels, but now we see her lighter side. I don’t doubt that she could kick some serious ass, but it’s nice to see her being delightfully weird.

  8. Wow, it’s kind of funny to see how even the more successful of Ellie’s sisters still have…quirks.

    I guess this is kind of a variant of “when all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail”. When you’ve got a “write-on-anything-pen….”

  9. Wow. Anise certainly has some conversation starters on her hands there. … Have you ever met anyone who tattooed something like that on their hands IRL?

    1. Yes. Several.

      I had some friends that would tattoo goofy crap on their hands. I also knew a person who had a “wedding ring” tattoo because he kept losing his real one.

      1. I have a friend with a wedding ring tattoo also. A bunch of my friends tattooed stupid crap across their knuckles with a safety pin and ball point pen ink when we were extremely wasted the weekend after graduation. I might have been drunk but I wasn’t anywhere close to “let my friend tattoo me with a shared, zippo lighter flame ‘sterilized’ needle.” Though in their defense no one died and the tattoos are still there. Good for them?

        1. Flame feeds the fire by drawing in more refreshing oxygen, increasing the amount of air flowing over the burning material and more oxygen equals more heat. Therefore the Flame feeds it.

        2. 1. My reply was a joking reference to the song “Fire doesn’t burn itself” by Sam Flax (found on Vinewood Boulevard Radio in GTA V if you partake.)

          2. Flame doesn’t “burn” it’s a result of the convection caused by fire. Fire needs three things. Fuel (also called combustible material in some circles) oxygen and an ignition source. Flame is a product of fire and can be used as an ignition source but it consumes oxygen and is not a source of fuel therefore it does not feed another flame.

        3. but he was talking about flame. Shouldn’t fire be considered the plasma generated by the combustible materials and gasses?

        4. Anything for which “kill it with fire!” doesn’t apply, I have to doubt that it truly exists, even if that something is fire itself.

        5. I just realized something. Unless Anise had the thought to write those things down between customers, wouldn’t she have been “Sharing” the needle so to speak?

  10. So… Anise writes things down on her hand… because she has no pens? Well what about paper? Tattoo artists nearly always use paper, at the very least to sketch something on paper, then make a temporary tattoo on their victims, er- I mean customers!

    So, she had neither paper nor pens, so her solution was to permanently mark her body with information that may or may not be permanent? Are we SURE that Cinnamon is the dumb one? :3

  11. I love this! I have a friend that did this same thing with his anniversary. Then he showed his wife with almost the same expression. Her reaction was… Interesting.

    1. Did he reply with, “Hey, I swore until death did us part! Didn’t you?”

      ***note: Based upon observing my own actions and words, my only logical conclusion is that I enjoy causing myself problems for no good reason other than I find a comment amusing.

      1. I keep thinking that you’re yelling out, “You damn kids, get offa mah damn yard!!!” *weeeeze* “Get outta here before” * weeeeeze * “I call the cops!”

        1. Considering that Tired Guy has a shotgun on the cast page, I’m thinking he prefers confronting his problems himself, rather than calling the cops.

        2. He only listened to the VP and bought a shotgun,

          he didn’t buy the ammo. That way, it’s not assault with a deadly weapon. Just blatant intimidation.

    1. Hopefully Mike is a dermatalogical type of doctor with a tattoo removal speciality, so Anise can date him in case she needs a type of “WHITE OUT”

      1. Maybe, but I’m gonna’ agree with Hal above and say that he still must have an epic beard. I’m talking like a beard with a beard of its own that is capable of disintegrating razors at 50 yards.

        1. I’d say the kind of beard that Chuck Norris’ beard would have nightmares about, if it were remotely possible for even an anthropomorphized part of Chuck Norris to experience fear.

      2. They have an over the counter cream for it now. It’s in the section where the cortisone cream and such are, in wally-world, at least.

  12. So let that be a reminder fellow readers.
    Every few months open up your contact list and write it down on the off chance you lose your phone.
    Or something.

  13. She Tattoed Ellie’s phone number(and alot of other stuff it seems) on her hand!!? thats dangerous man!(and also very cool in a weird way..)

    This Family is more unhinged then i thought before, but considering their mother, i can’t really say i’m suprised..

    1. Mama Buckingham seems irritable/angry and even pushy at times, but not terribly unhinged to me. I AM wondering about Papa Buckingham a bit more now, though.

  14. Meh, tattoos on the palm don’t ‘stick’, the skin regenerates too often and the tattoos will fade out. Looks like they kind of already have.

  15. And as I read this page (for like the 10th time), I have to giggle at the “Brain to mouth” filter…

    I have told a number of my students that they need that.

  16. I now wonder about Anise in a more aggressive mood (such as pictured in her intro):

    [phone ringing]
    FEMALE VOICE: Hello? Who are you and how did you get this numer?
    ANISE: Forget that, just put Mike on!
    FEMALE VOICE: Mike, I don’t know any Mike. What are you talking about?
    ANISE: [loud sigh] Fine! His chosen safe-phrase is ‘bathroom monkey is eating all my Altoids!’ Just put Mike on already!
    FEMALE VOICE: …uhhh, I really don’t know what you’re talking about…
    [repeating similar things for 8.5 minutes]
    ANISE: [sigh] Well then, what does your beard look like?

  17. Like just about everybody else, it took me about two or three reads of this one to remember that Anise is a tattoo artist.

    Oh, my…

      1. Not really, too trendy (80s stylish) to be Tank Girl per se. Although, if I were to imagine something needing band aids under her hair on her face, then maybe, with a 10% chance of raining tanks.

        She doesn’t seem to be that maladjusted. Cinnamon on the other hand, seems to have the personality almost down, dare I say it, pat.

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