I love you, Mr. Thumb!

“I want you to remember me, I’m leaving my fingerprints.. on you.”


I have hitchhiker thumbs. Apparently only 25% of the population does, so I feel somewhat special.

When I was little I taped my thumbs to my palms, to see what it would be like not to have any, and to see how long I could cope without them. Despite my optimistic “thumbless week” intentions, it was so difficult that I didn’t actually last the remainder of the day. (I also remember when I was about 7 seeing how long I could keep pigtails in my hair, but after a week of washing around the pigtails, mum insisted that they come out. I was devastated, I had big plans for the Guinness Book of World Records, but that’s another story..)

Never underestimate the power or importance of thumbs.

Without them, we could never have sucked our thumbs as babies. As children, we would only have been able to count to 8. Classroom games and rhymes wouldn’t be the same – ‘heads down, thumbs up’ would be unachievable, ‘5 little speckled frogs’ would be no more. We couldn’t hitch a lift. We’d always have to SAY ‘well done’ or ‘that’s right’, instead of happily giving a thumbs up. We couldn’t snap our fingers to music, or send a text message with one hand, or flip a coin, or flick a lighter, or add ‘a pinch’ of salt to our food. Typing speed would be dramatically reduced; hitting the space bar would involve another finger. Zipping a zip, buttoning a button, drawing a picture, lacing up shoes, brushing your teeth; daily tasks would be virtually impossible. Even a simple high-5 would involve both hands.

I might try the taped thumbs again.. See how long I’d last this time..