Watch . . . and
#3, February 1990
One thing we hope to do
with this newsletter is shed some light on mysteries that have been plaguing
Perfect Strangers fans throughout the course of the show's history. Avid
fans who watch and rewatch (and rewatch) the episodes notice things that
most people don't, and sometimes these things can drive the devoted fan (who's
trying to piece everything together logically) crazy!
One such mystery has been
a matter of concern to fans for some time, and an influx of inquiries from our
readers has finally caused us to delve into the matter and clear up the question
once and for all!
/ BALKI LEFT OR RIGHT HANDED?
A little research on the
subject was in order. Probably the most noticeable way of telling whether
someone is right or left handed is when they write something. So we took a
look, and the results were baffling! In one of the earliest episodes, when
Balki goes in for his driver's license test, he appears to be using his right
hand to do the written part of the exam (the pencil is in his right hand when he
turns around anyway). Likewise, when Balki is explaining to Larry how a
fountain pen will suck up splattered ink, he demonstrates with his right hand.
However, when Balki calls
the plumber after their living room is flooded, he is using his left hand
to write. He also writes with his left when he takes his history final and
when he writes a check for his cousin, Bartok.
Also confusing is his
alternating use of left and right when talking on the telephone. In Happy
Birthday, Baby, Larry's mother calls to wish Larry a happy birthday.
Balki uses his left hand to hold the phone. He also uses his left hnd when
talking over the phone to airline companies (i.e.: when the airline called to
confirm Larry's ticket "out of town" after Vince threatened them, and
when Balki was trying to get a plane ticket to a place where it doesn't rain and
there are no sheep) and when talking to his Mama during his (first) wedding
But Balki uses his right
hand to hold the phone when Carol Mosley heartlessly dumps him, when he answers
the phone with a resounding "Graceland!" and while talking to Larry's
informant, Gus, about Dolly Parton.
Balki definitely favors
his right when participating in sports (he bats, bowls and golfs right-handed),
and oddly he sometimes uses both hands to sign his name! (Check out
when he signs the form Jennifer brings him in Hunks Like Us!) He
usually sorts the mail with his right hand, but always seems to put on his
jacket from the left.
Just some more
discrepancies to drive you mad: Balki dusts with his right hand in the driving
lesson episode, but dusts with his left in Teacher's Pest. He most
often eats right handed (as with the pie on the airplane and holding his cup in
the first Christmas episode) but his spoon was towards his left while eating
cereal in The Defiant Guys.
Right-handedly he has
vacuumed, thumbed through a book, worked a TV remote control, thrown karate
chops, poured cereal, sewn pants, hacked through snow, ladled soup, sharpened
pencils, held a gun and used rubber cement.
Left-handedly he has
turned on a radio, held a book, used an electric mixer, poured motor oil and
played the harmonica.
So what gives here?
Is it a case similar to that of Bronson's psychic, Bobby McGee (from the film Second
Sight)? Does Bronson have trouble remembering right from left?
This same question had
crossed the minds of our fellow cousins, Carol and Cindy, who asked Bronson that
very question when they went to see a filming of an episode.
Bronson's first comment to
them was, "You weren't supposed to notice that." But then the
air was finally cleared, and the answer is simple:
Bronson is right
handed, Balki is left handed! Bronson is doing it as an acting
exercise, and the simple truth is that he just sometimes forgets! (It
would be terribly difficult to reprogram yourself to use your left hand,
especially with things such as bowling and golfing!)
So how can we keep this
inconsistency from driving us all crazy? Maybe we should just take
seriously Cousin Larry's remark that Mypos is an ambidextrous island and let it
go at that!
on to the next Watch . . . and Learn!