Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ask the professor


I remember seeing a program about twins on the television a few years ago in which one twin when he turned fifty, noticed that he had grown a single longer hair on the back of his left thumb above the knuckle. He phoned the other twin and asked him to check and sure enough the other twin also had grown a single longer hair in the same place. Now that I have turned fifty myself, I notice that I also have grown a single longer hair on the back of my left thumb above the knuckle, so it occurs to me that there must be a genetic trait to grow a single longer hair on the back of the left thumb above the knuckle when one turns fifty. Is this the case, and what could be the evolutionary advantage to it?

Mats Kelly, Dollis Hill

Professor Kronk Replies

Yes, you're quite correct, Mats. I too have developed the same thing, curled around in a loop. I can only assume it enables older individuals as they lose their wits, to differentiate their left hands from their right, thus enabling them to sign cheques faster and thereby purchase weapons more quickly than their evolutionary competitors. Those who accidentally pick up their pens with the wrong hand run the risk of being cut down with the newly bought swords of their left-thumb-haired adversaries, before they can complete the purchase of their own swords.*

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* Like all great discoveries, it sounds so obvious now. Ed

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