Friday, June 20, 2008

greeting crimes

I had a conversation with morgor last night about the evils of the clammy handshake. You know the one. There are varying degrees, from just a very light handed shake to the full on, limp laying of the cool clammy fingers against some one's palm, the gentle stroke as you remove them - ugghghghghghgh, leaving the normal shaker desperately wanting to shout 'GAH!' and wipe their hands on their jeans and run away. Morgor says his friend has perfected this - a heinous talent.

I really don't understand why people who do this handshake do it? Are you one of them reading now? Can you comment and elucidate? Are you aware of the horribleness of it or are you oblivious? Do you do it on purpose because you hate shaking hands? I'm trying to remember if clammy hand shakers ever initiate a handshake. I suspect not. Their behaviour certainly communicates a repulsion and repugnance at the thought of clasping another person's palm, coming into contact with other living flesh. My god, I've just had a horrible thought - I wonder about the quality of their hand jobs??

At my first ever parent teacher meeting, a presumably nervous father shook my hand - but this time, the opposite happened. He squeezed by little hand in a mighty grip til I could hear the bones squeaking. It was so sore! And then of course I had to shake another eighty or so hands throughout the afternoon, wincing inwardly each time they gripped my tenderized hand.

Another friend told of meeting a Dublin politician, Ive forgotten who, who took her hand and held on to it, even transferring it to the other hand to shake hands with someone else! What politician school did he go to?

In a genius King of the Hill episode, Hank meets GW, his idol, but at the last minute he is enveloped in silent, mortified horror at the discovery that Bush has an awful, limp handshake. This discourages him from voting for him, despite his staunch Republican stance.
Hank: See that guy's reaction when Bush shakes his hand? Surprise, then disappointment. Surprise, then disappointment.

So if you're concerned about the state of your handshake, or want to teach your children, the general guidelines are a firm but not too firm grip, one pump up and down! Simple as that.

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