“John! You cut me off!”

The set up:
Cheryl and I are side by side at the medicine cabinet. I am on the right, Cheryl to the left. We reach for the Costco size bottle of anti-histamine (approximately a 36 month supply) at around the same time. My hand reaches the bottle first, prompting Cheryl’s accusation of foul play.

My conclusion:
Because we were both standing in front of the medicine cabinet at the same time, and because I had no prior knowledge of Cheryl’s intent to reach for the bottle of anti-histamine, I cannot fairly be accused of a cut-off maneuver. In fact, given my relative position (on the right side), and the handedness of our reach (right hand), my hand had to travel farther than Cheryl’s hand to reach the medicine cabinet. (My hand had to come across my body, where Cheryl’s just had to come up from her side. Although I enjoy a height advantage, my greater arm length to height ratio negates this advantage.) Assuming an equivalent reach velocity, in order for my hand to reach the anti-histamine first, I would have had to reach for it first. And if I reached first, if anyone was guilty of a cut-off maneuver it was Cheryl.

Pot, meet kettle:
Now if you ask Cheryl, she’ll tell you that she was in the bathroom first, and had planned to procure her meds well in advance. I think this is a bunch of horseradish. Everyone knows the female of the species tends to have a longer bathroom to-do-list than the male. The male can hardly be expected to wait on the female to finish ALL of her bathroom related tasks prior to entry. I’d have to get up an hour earlier every day – and that dog just don’t hunt.

Give the gift of words.