6. The Handshake
Broadly speaking, there are 4 types
The correct form – To the English gentleman, there is but one type of handshake; one extends the arm, firmly grips the outstretched hand of another gentleman and then raises and lowers the profferred hand once. No fist bumps, power fives, brofists, high fives or daps.
The only exception to this is if one is either a freemason, in which case one should also don an apron and roll up a trouser leg (assuming that one is clothed), or if one is a palm reader, in which case the routine is as follows.
I – extend the hand in the usual fashion
II – grab the proffered limb by the wrist and pull towards you
III – maintaining a firm grip with the right hand, run your left index finger across the other person’s palm and murmur softly.
IV – Throw up your hands in despair and wail one of the following;
“Death will come for you before dawn’s first kiss.”
“There is a sickness within your heart. This spring will see you kill again.”
“A tall, dark stranger will come in the night, and use you as his plaything.”
The CBA (can’t be arsed) handshake – Very reminiscent of being handed a wet nappy, this handshake seems to have no form or function and is a reflection of a deep malaise, debilitating illness or heavy drug use.
Do not expect the shaker to be a combat pilot, World leader or strangler.
The STP (something to prove) handshake – There are 2 variants, which may coexist.
The first is the Boston strangler, whereby anything less than several broken bones in the recipient’s hand can only signify failure.
The second is known as Man the Pumps, whereby the shaker believes that the room is filling with water, and feels compelled to drive the recipient’s arm up and down with the force of a steam-hammer to clear the decks.
This size of this handshake is inversely proportional to the size of the shaker’s reproductive equipment.
The Secret Handshake – I refer you to ‘the correct form.’
7. Hand Jobs
Some occupational activities may result in physical changes as previously described. However, some occupations require non-verbal communication, and this is where the hands come into their own, as it were.
Try to match the occupation to the picture.
8. Screaming Hands
Sometimes it is not what our mouths say, but what our hands betray that speaks volumes. There are countless sites relating to body language and hand gestures, so for the sake of brevity I have reproduced just a few examples below.
9. Left or Right Handed?
In the event of a violent death, whether the victim or alleged perpetrator is left or right handed may prove to be of critical importance. A right handed person is unlikely to shoot themselves in the left side of the head and vice versa (see fig 1). But how does one determine the handedness of a corpse?
If the victim is wearing a tie or shoes with laces, it may be possible to infer from the direction in which they knot has been tied. However as left handedness is a recessive trait, it is likely that they will have been taught to tie their laces or tie by a right handed parent and thus may the fact be obscured. A more reliable guide is the direction in which a person feeds their belt through the belt hoops of their trousers. The right handed person will usually feed the belt through to the left and round in an anticlockwise direction so that the buckle ends at the left side. The left handed will tend to the contrary, and should the belt buckle carry a logo, will often sport the buckle so that the logo appears upside down. Suicide by gunshot is not common in this country. Only slightly more common is suicide by throat cutting. In the case of the self inflicted throat cut, the cut will begin high on the side of the neck and curve downwards, so that the cut will end lower than it has begun (see fig 2). The same pattern is seen with an attacking throat wound inflicted from behind as opposed to one inflicted from the front which will tend to be a horizontal slash. The self inflicted throat wound is almost invariably accompanied by initial, superficial practice wounds as the victim summons up the courage for the final cut. These are absent when the wound has been inflicted by a second party. An exception to this rule of handedness is suicide by hanging. Sadly noose tying is no longer on the national curriculum and the art has been somewhat allowed to atrophy. As a consequence, suicidal hangings are accompanied by the most frightful and gruesome collection of improvised knots and tangles which less than a century ago any English gentleman would have refused to sport about his neck, even unto death. Therefore an improvised noose can be either left or right handed, regardless of the propensity of the victim.
10. Malady and Disease.
The hands may manifest no end of disease and dysfunction. While by no means comprehensive, Rupert has kindly compiled for me a list of some of the more common features. Tremor. This may range from the classical ‘pill rolling’ tremor of Parkinson’s, to liver flap, which in itself must be distinguished from delirium tremens or ‘DT’s’ experienced by the alcohol dependent who has not imbibed for a period. Tremor may also be caused by overactive thyroid, fever, or the accidental ingestion of a large tuning fork. Colour changes. Hands may be red (an overvigourous circulation, infection or other maladies of the blood to lymphoid tissue), pale (anaemia, fear, cold, demonic possession), blue (hypoxaemia, carbon monoxide or hereditary Smurfism) or yellow (malaise of the liver and gallbladder, banana toxicity, pseudocanaryitis hystericus). Finger Clubbing. This fascinating phenomenon is not a public school punishment, but a deformity of the finger ends, which are swollen and bulbous., This is most commonly a familial trait, but can also be associated with a wide range of conditions including, lung cancer or suppuration, cyanotic heart disease, thyroid conditions, inflammation of the bowel and cirrhosis of the liver. Other features. Scars, joint swelling, muscle wasting and fasciculation, palmar contractions and dilated veins.