The pugilistic handshake

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You can tell a lot about someone by the way they shake your hand.

Some come at you from weird angles. They fake you out a bit or don’t quite look you in the eye. Others are soft and limp. Like shaking hands with a soggy noodle.

I have a buddy who’s an attorney. Now, most attorneys provide firm hand shakes with direct eye contact. They’re well-versed in the handshake. They do it every day, and in the pissing contest that is the law profession, if you have a weak handshake, you’re toast.

Anyways, getting back to my buddy, he’s a fairly new friend. I met him through my wife about a month ago. This morning, I saw him at the market with his girlfriend. Of course, I gave him the obligatory handshake.

Yep, I was right. Just like when I’d met him weeks ago, I realized this man had a handshake unlike any other I’d experienced.

He doesn’t just have a firm handshake. His handshake is as solid and tactical as any high-level martial arts technique.

His footwork is impeccable. I didn’t even know footwork was a part of a handshake, but with him, it is. He stands the perfect distance from you where, if you were to try to strike him, you’d miss, but he could easily reach for his dagger and counter-strike (that is, to assume, he carries a dagger — which, judging by his handshake, he just might).

When his hand grasps yours, he’s standing at an oblique angle. He could easily deliver a left hook to the jaw from that position. And because he’s standing this way, your balance is totally compromised.

There is no mutuality in this handshake. You’ve clearly been dominated, and if a fistfight were to ensue, he’d have the upper-hand due to his body positioning.

My buddy is a nice guy, don’t get me wrong. But this is the guy I want backing me. In the courtroom or in the barroom. Even though I’m pretty sure, if we were to fight to the death, I just might win. It’d be close, but I have a few old tricks up my sleeve. I’m older. I play dirty pool.


Jonas shares short, whimsical daily meditations here on Higher Thoughts and around the web. To get them delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live,click here.

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