A murder, a clue and a twist

This could potentially go in any one of several forums but this seems as good a starting point as any.

In a Lawrence Block mystery I’ve been re-reading, a character dies in what’s initially thought to be an accident. However, an investigating detective believes foul play was involved, noting that a partially consumed vodka bottle was found near the body, with the victim’s fingerprints from her right hand on the bottle and left fingerprints on the screw-off cap. Since she’s known to be right-handed, he figures this is backwards and someone staged the scene.

This puzzles me - since I’m right-handed and habitually open jars and bottles by holding them in my right hand and unscrewing them with my left. On querying Mrs. Jackmannii (who’s a lefty), I find that she uses her dominant (left) hand to unscrew the lid/cap.

So, the Big Question is: am I an outlier and everybody else takes off the lid/cap with their dominant hand, or is Block’s homicide detective guilty of an unwarranted generalization?

I am a righty, and I also would hold the container in my right hand and take the cap off with my left hand. Even really right tops. I just held a bottle of jack in my left and pretended the top was tight, and trying to twist off the top using my dominant right hand was very awkward.

I’m right-handed, and I remove caps with the bottle in my left hand and the cap in my right hand.

UNLESS it’s a sticky cap/lid that I am having trouble with – then I switch hands. I’ve never thought about this before, thanks for pointing out a random, freakish habit right before the holidays!

I’m the same. I like Lawrence Block, but he screwed up this one.

I just experimented with the bottle of mineral water beside me: bottle in right hand, cap in left. I’m a rightie.

I’m a southpaw and I hold the bottle in my right hand and unscrew the cap with my left.

And I’m a leftie. Bottle in left hand. Unscrew with right.

If anybody cares: pen, pencil, watercolor brush (artist), fork, spoon, toothbrush, any other small tool requiring dexterity, computer tablet stylus–left hand.

Throwing ball, opening door, anything requiring more strength, stabbing someone (not that I would but this IS a murder mystery), computer mouse,–right hand. Telephone to right ear.

Aye. I hold the bottle in my left, open with the right.

I unscrew with my dominant hand.

Agree that it feels freakish as hell to try to do it the other way – so I can’t imagine how you weirdos got into the habit of holding the container in your dominant hand. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m righthanded and the only time I would hold a bottle in my left hand is when I use a corkscrew. I just tried to open a bottle by unscrewing the cap with my right hand it felt very awkward.

I write and eat with my left hand but do everything else with my right hand. I was just experimenting in my refrigerator and I can’t for the life of my convince myself that unscrewing with either hand feels any more natural. Now I’m going to have to try to observe myself unscrewing things all day without being mindful of it.

Well good, I’m not the only one violating the laws of Nature.

That remind me, I need to remove some of my own experiments from the refrigerator to make room for Thanksgiving remnants.

Holding the bottle in your dominant hand gives you more leverage. Or at least it feels that way.

For example, if it was a tough lid on the peanut butter jar, I’d hold the jar in my dominant right hand and jam the lid in the palm of my left. Then I’d crank hard with my dominant right hand.

Basically, left hand holds the top still, right hand does all the actual turning or muscle-work.

I did that the other day. The wrestling match on the kitchen floor with all the tentacles was a sight to behold.


Righty here, I honestly don’t know if I twist off a bottle cap in my left hand.

Hold with dominant, unscrew cap with weak hand. But if the cap is tight or slippery, then I switch, and unscrew with the dominant, because I find it takes more force to squeeze the cap hard enough to generate enough friction to generate enough torque, due to the smaller radius of the cap, The bottle has a larger radius, so the weak hand is enough to keep it from spinning.

My dominant (right) hand on the lid.
Measuring cups have the graduations written on them to be seen when the cup is held in the right hand. I use my right hand to pour stuff into the cup, which is apparently backwards, since I can’t see the graduations if the cup is in my left.

I fixed that for you.

Righty here. Hold container in left hand, unscrew with right. Trying to do it the other way feels weird.