Take my hand. Please!

I know some people can say practically anything with theirs, without ever using those noisy face holes, but even the rest of us use them to relay a whole whack of information. The hands and the way they fing tell stories and communicate with the best of them.

The thumb alone can convey “Okay” when held straight up, “Good job” with an emphatic shake, or, angled just right on the side of a highway, “Can I get a ride?” It can be the only soldier in a weenie war, sent in as a champion to represent the whole team.

The index finger often means “Look over there” but also plays a role in reaching out to touch an encountered alien or a relative god.

The middle one – oh, that cursed middle one – means only one thing, and it’s not pretty, so I ain’t even gonna show it to you little filthbags.

The fourth is called and is for a ring, to indicate to the dating pool whether or not you’re a swimmer.

The last one, the brainless pinky, is for swearing you’re not lying.

All five together, held up with conviction, tells others to “Stop”. When you move them back and forth, it’s more of a “Hello”. Slapping someone else’s, if you’re young or playing games, is for friendship and sportsmanship. If you grab their hand and shake it for a second, that’s for a more formal acquaintanceship.

When the weenie needs reinforcements in a more combative environment, an arm wrestle can take place, with the hand as the front line.

Close all five fingers to make what’s known as a fist in order to indicate a little anger or to demonstrate how a bomb can blow up a meteor in Armageddon.

Raise that fist in solidarity with the oppressed or in being Superman.

Okay, back to fingers and what happens when they’re put together in different configurations. Lightning round.

Middle over index: If you can see it, it means I’m telling the truth. “Swear to god.” If I’m hiding it, it means I’m lying, and basically I’m allowed to.

Index+middle: Victory, peace, or I need scissors.

Thumb up+index out: I’ve got a gun or I’d like to pretend I do.

Pinky+index: Wolf pack.

Pinky+index+thumb: Rock out.

Thumb+pinky: Rock on.

Thumb rubbing against next two fingers: Money, or the world’s smallest violin.

Every other combination: Gang sign.

Against a wall being shone on: Shadow puppets.

Putting both hands together: Praying to a god or similar entity. But if you put them together real quick like, it’s to kill a fly.

And if you do that a bunch of times in a row, it means “Bravo! Well done! Encore! You’re a genius!”

So I expect that last one is what you’re all doing right now.

If so, I bow to you in gratitude.


Like an ahead-of-his-time musician.

November 6 – Thandie Newton gets a handy guide
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