Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I arrived at a house surrounded on three sides by apartment complexes. The house is for sale and the owner has finished pouring in tons of dough in upgrades. He happens to be an architect and has done a great job remodeling. Unfortunately, the landscaped backyard is hemmed in on all sides by the towering multi-story walls of the apartment complexes. I'm at the house because the owner's father is taking care of the place and noticed the back door pried open and a few items missing. The house is completely vacant but some vandal took a fire extinguisher and a wall mounted speaker and threw them in the swimming pool. I completed the short report and wished the old man good luck. He thanked me for my time and extended his the universal gesture of friendship: the handshake.

I'm sure you've all experienced a bad handshake. Steve from 'the sneeze' wrote about one awhile back that I found particulary funny. Let me tell you about mine:

In perfect sync, our hands met at the proper elevation and speed (check), the positioning of the palms, thumbs and fingers was spot-on (nice), and the firmness of the grip equalized to the appropriate pressure (so far, so good). We'd gotten through the hard part and only the 'shake' itself remained. Once the hands are interlocked, the movement part is a cinch (or so I thought). I began the vertical up and down movement I've been using since I was a kid. My partner, however, began a side-to-side sweeping motion. The counteracting forces of my up and down vs. his side to side contorted the shake into a clockwise circular swing. It now looked like we were swinging a jumprope only without the third person in the middle doing the jumping. 'You've gotta be kidding', I thought to myself as I tried to guide the shake into the proper upright position. He would have none of that, however, and continued his sideways oscillation.

After what felt like an hour we managed to release grip and go our separate ways.


At December 13, 2006 7:19 PM, Blogger Meander said...

wow...i have really never analyzed a handshake before. what do you think of the knuckle to knuckle thing that one game show host does? he has a fear of germs.

At December 13, 2006 9:55 PM, Blogger whimsicalnbrainpan said...

LOL! The one thing I have learned from handshakes over the years is that you should never trust someone who does the crusher grip when they shake your hand.

BTW, thank you for your comment. It did me a world of good. Especially the "save the world" part. :-D

At December 13, 2006 10:22 PM, Anonymous gamma said...

Hey Gary, I just found that your cousin Mike reads your blog faithfully....He's being shipped to Irac an Jan 2, says he'll keep up on his laptop.

At December 14, 2006 4:58 PM, Blogger Officer Gary said...

Meander -Many officers don't shake hands (germs, disease, dirt and the chance of having your 'gun-hand' seized if an attack starts). I learned from my trainer to use the knuckle thing to alleviate the above concerns. With the senior citizen I thought I'd be safe to allow a a real handshake. Not safe from embarassment.

Whimsical- You're welcome. You have an amazing story that many people could learn from (how could they complain about trivial things after hearing about yours).

At December 14, 2006 9:34 PM, Blogger whimsicalnbrainpan said...


Thanks but I whine about trivial stuff all the time so...


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