Take King Midas, for instance.
Lumbered with the socially awkward ability to turn everything he touched into gold, the muddling monarch must have shuffled around on tenterhooks, taking evasive action to avoid various forms of basic human interaction and desperately trying to stop himself jabbing, grasping and lunging with those potentially devastating digits.
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Many a night in a tapas bar must have been scuppered by his absent-minded pinching and a trip to the local petting zoo would have been nothing short of disastrous.
If only those chin-stroking Greeks had spent less time mulling over democracy and the Pythagorean theorem and more time inventing the oven glove, old Midas could have been a tad more touchy-feely.
In the modern era of golf, the latest golden boy of the European game is Victor Dubuisson, the young Frenchman who certainly lived up to his Midas-like moniker "Golden Hands" at the weekend with a swashbuckling showing at the WGC Accenture Matchplay Championship in Arizona.
Jason Day, the likeable Australian who will surely win a major one of these days, may have won the event with victory on the 23rd hole of a titantic tussle but Dubuisson seemed to plunder most of the plaudits. It seems Frenchmen have a knack for nabbing the headlines from the champions due to their curious capers in finishing second. Remember Jean Van de Velde?
Dubuisson's pillaging of the publicity in Arizona was for all the right reasons, of course. Nothing gets the juices flowing like the cut-and-thrust of the matchplay format and his Seve-esque salvage operations during the extra holes - one shot from a prickly position next to a cactus, another from under a bush - had the captivated commentators cooing like turtledoves on a first date.
Given his surname essentially means "from the bush", it was perhaps fitting that Dubuisson sparkled amid the shrubbery.
In a media industry where hyperbole and hysteria tend to be the bricks and mortar of the trade, Sir Nick Faldo added a trowel's worth, gushing that Dubuisson's par saves at the 19th and 20th were "without doubt the two greatest up and downs in a row in history".
Whatever the statements on his outrageous recoveries, the calm, collected Dubuisson has certainly made his own telling statements in recent months. His victory over a stellar field at the Turkish Airlines Open in November gave him lift off and he has not looked back.
He now leads the European Ryder Cup qualifying points list by a decent margin and a debut against the USA at Gleneagles in September is all but guaranteed.
While it is important not to get too carried away about an event that is still seven months off, the prospect of an enthusiastic new face in the European line-up - the role Nicolas Colsaerts stepped into at Medinah in 2012 - provides an added sense of intrigue, and Dubuisson's spirited victories over the likes of Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell and Ernie Els demonstrated his resilience and competitive instinct in the head-to-head format.
Given Dubuisson's battling qualities, Europe's captain, Paul McGinley, will have a useful and youthful weapon in his armoury. A self-confessed quiet man who is happy in his own company, Dubuisson, having announced himself to a vast, mesmerised American audience, will have to get used to the spotlight. With France hosting the 2018 Ryder Cup, this reluctant hero is probably already being pinned up as its poster boy.
"I'm very individualistic," said the 23-year-old, who was ranked outside the world's top 130 barely five months ago but is now inside the leading 25. "I don't mind being alone for five, six weeks."
As a member of a vast expeditionary force of French players who bounced around the amateur scene in the UK - the French Golf Federation plough well over £2m annually into performance - Dubuisson appeared on the radar of those who covered the game at that particular level.
On a wider front, his one-shot win over Motherwell's Ross Kellett at the 2009 European Amateur Championship allowed us all to stick a kilt on a Dubuisson success as he became the world's No.1-ranked player in the unpaid game.
His progress on the European Tour has been made up of purposeful strides. Having kept his card by finishing 106th on the money list in 2011, he moved up to 52nd the following year and sixth last season.
Dubuisson continues to climb after a matchplay event he and Day may have gone some way to saving. Without a sponsor or a venue for next year, there have been concerns the championship could wither on the vine. The drama Dubuisson and Day conjured shows it must be worth preserving. They may just have given it the golden touch.