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I recently became deaf in my right ear thanks to a sudden brain hemorrhage, which is a freakish life-threatening injury that I highly recommend avoiding. The good news out of this, apart from me not being dead, is that it turns out my surviving left ear is my phone ear. I didn’t even realize it was my phone ear until I made a phone call with single-sided deafness for the first time and realized that the phone ear had been spared. I can make all the voice calls I like, which is a huge morale boost to me, a man who actively despises voice calls of any sort.

For real, this was a small relief because I don’t use a Bluetooth earpiece or talk on speakerphone like a dick. I hold the phone to my ear, sweat all over it, and then short out the call in the process. That’s my thing. I’m too old.


I told my wife about the morbid serendipity of my left ear surviving and she like was like, “Oh wow, I use my right ear for phone calls.” I’d never noticed this about her. I’ve been married for 16 years, and while my wife loves to give me shit for not being chatty enough (never a problem for me online … perhaps there’s a lesson there), I know her well enough, well enough to be surprised that I did NOT know this about her. I didn’t know it about me either, so I guess that evens things out.

I’d like to say I deliberately CHOSE the left ear/hand for phone use so that my dominant right hand could be free to grab chips or write shit down or beat a political prisoner, but no. I chose it out of some weird primal instinct, and most other people do as well. If I tried answering the phone with my right hand, I’d feel like I just took LSD. I am a freak in that research shows that people tend to use their dominant side for phone calls, meaning that I should be using my right ear for calls since I’m right-handed. But, on the flipside, science ALSO says that creative people tend to favor the left ear for phone calls. I’m one of those people! NICE. Also, there may be benefits to using the left ear in terms of phone function AND protecting yourself from phone radiation. Given that my brain already exploded, I guess the latter is beside the point now.


Regardless, I remain fascinated by people’s tendencies regarding a communication habit is now already hilariously obsolete. That’s why I want to ask you which side you use for calls. Could you switch to the other side if you tried? Are you ambi-ear-strous? Do you have a moral opinion on the matter? Do you stand to wipe your ass? I demand to know it all. Vote now, comment in the large intestinal tract of Kinja below, and sate my curiosity.




Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.

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