Earl is an LA-born actor/improviser that wants desperately to be loved. Hah, not really. He'll eat all your leftovers if you're not careful. He's done it before. Tweets at @earl_baylon. Earl Baylons at earlbaylon.com. Tumblrs at Nerdoholic.

2013 has been quite a year hasn’t it? Better? Worse? Who am I to say, really? I can say though, that it’s been a lot of learning and a lot of work for me. That being said, I’m gonna break down my 10 Most Useful Fingers of 2013! Take a gander at the bear-elephant claws I have instead of hands:

When I was a kid, an old man once told me that I had good hands for choking the shit out of someone.
When I was a kid, an old man once told me that I had good hands for choking the shit out of someone.

10. Left Ring Finger
Let’s face it left ring finger – you haven’t done much this year on your own.  For most applications, you’ve been relying on your brethren, or taking credit for the work.  I wasn’t married at all during 2013, so you haven’t even been living up to your namesake.  That’s ok, I have big hopes for you… in like 10 years or something.

9. Right Ring Finger
Ok, so the only reason you’re placed higher than your sinister analogue is that you have a special application nail.  You are the third finger of my plucking hand (a or anular finger for you classical guitar folks), hence the nail.  However, your cross section is more curved than your middle and index compatriots, thus requiring me to shape you in an odd way.  Come on, right ring finger, get it together!

8. Right Pinky Finger
I apologize.  Ever since that freak basketball-playing accident in the 7th grade, you’ve been shaped weird.  I dislocated your middle joint and neglected to get you looked at, so you healed weird and can’t fully extend anymore.  That’s the only reason you’re not number 7, over Left Pinky.  Also, despite the fact you’re on my plucking/strumming hand, the pinky is almost never used, so you’re SOL.  You’ve got one over the ring fingers though, because if I ever decide to wield a katana one day, you’re super important.

7. Left Pinky Finger
You’re just Right Pinky, except intact.  So… yeah.

6. Left Middle Finger
Left Middle has been a great finger this year, mostly for flipping off purposes.  For that, you are awesome.

5. Left Index Finger
Left Index was a good all-around finger this year.  Though your nail is kept quite short because you’re on my fretting hand, which means you’re pretty much useless for scratching itches and opening cans of soda, you’re good at other stuff.  I can’t count how many times I’ve used you to accuse people, or explain directions.  Also, you’ve pushed your fair share of elevator buttons. Also, because of the peculiar way I hold my smartphone, you do know your way around a touchscreen keyboard.

4. Right Middle Finger
Some would argue that a Right Middle finger shouldn’t have made it so far up this list.  I would beg to differ.  Your flipping-off skills are unparalleled.  True, Left Middle is pretty good, but I’m right handed, and the level of emotion and articulation I get while flipping off with you… it’s frankly phenomenal. Also, you do all the heavy lifting when it comes to any swiping motions on my smartphone.  Unlocking patterns, SWYPE typing, fruit ninja, tower defense games – you’re the go to.

3 & 2. Left and Right Thumbs (Tie)
Big upset, right?  In previous years the thumbs have always taken the top spot.  Fortunately, they haven’t fallen far down the list.  After all, they are what enable us as humans to grasp things, giving us the ability to use tools, like hammers and swords.   My thumbs in particular, have held my kitchen knife, crowbar, and escrima sticks a lot this year.  Also, ever since I started playing more video games on Steam, most of which have usb controller support, I’ve used my thumbs an exorbitant number of hours – 543 to be exact.  Steam keeps track of these things.  Additionally, if we take in account the number of things I’ve “Liked” on Facebook, provided we consider the like button an extension of the thumb due to the “thumbs up” icon, the thumbs have provided countless hours of enjoyment and heartache. 2014 goals for “The Thumbs”: Condemn a gladiator to death.

1. Right Index Finger
After so many years sitting in the thumb-shadow at number 3, Right Index finally has its day.  2013 was a phenomenal year for Right Index finger, partially due to it having the nicest nail of all the phalangic bodies.  It has plucked the most strings, strummed the most chords, picked the most noses, scratched the most itches, and has opened a can or two of soda to boot.  While it’s left-handed counterpart has indeed indicated direction a number of times, Right Index has eclipsed that number tenfold in 2013.  The same goes for the number of people it has been used to accuse.  Again, because I’m right handed, Right Index finger has become the instinctual finger for quick reactions like pointing to indicate ridicule.  Right Index finger has shushed countless lips, indicated multiple instances of wrongdoing with a quick wag, beckoned at least 3 people hither, and become the go-to finger for removing eye crust.  It is a workhorse, and deserves it’s day in the sun.

Here’s to you, right index finger!


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