Watch . . . and Learn!
Issue #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!

IS BRONSON / 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 ceremony.

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!

Continue on to the next Watch . . . and Learn!