Competing with Monty Python, how to save humanity, left-handed lawsuits, and other matters. WAITING FOR LEFTY TO MAKE TROUBLE

(FORTUNE Magazine) – When last we focused on the problems of left-handers (two weeks ago), we were heavily dependent on data supplied by Stanley Coren, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and author of The Left-Hander Syndrome. Coren is a leading assembler of fascinating data on the medical menaces and reduced life expectancy of portsiders in America, where, he says, lefty men live ten years less on average than starboarders. The reasons for this gap are not entirely clear, but Coren believes part of it is related to the unique stresses and accident hazards that come with living in a world designed for righties. That brings us, reluctantly, to his policy recommendations. What should the country do about the dire data? Reading the recommendations, one has a sinking feeling that yet another ''victim'' class is being discovered. Coren wants all-out war on handism (his term). He wants lefties to fight back ''in a very noisy and radical manner.'' He advocates an avalanche of lefty lawsuits, just what the country needs. He wants all sorts of sinistral legislation (e.g., requiring employers to install machinery easier for lefties to use). He wants handism added to that eternally lengthening list of categories you may not discriminate on the basis of. Without meaning to, he is perilously close to satirizing the whole equal-opportunity cause, and one is tempted to laugh out loud. But by now, one knows better.