Did you ever yearn to take a poke at Ali? Well, come and shake my hand and get your wish

I had a friend who had a theory that if you shook hands with another and that person had shaken hands with somebody notable you had, by default, shaken hands with that famous person, too. You know, if he’d shaken Obama’s hand and then you clasped his mandible in yours, then you too had shaken the president’s hand.

In Canada if you’d shaken hands with Pamela Wallin you’d first want to make sure you’d gotten it back – you know, with all that sense of entitlement and all – but then whoever shook your hand later would also be shaking hers, and so on and so forth.

In the case of my friend he had once shaken hands with Hubert Humphrey (how soon we forget), so I guess I too have shaken hands with LBJ’s Veep, and hence likely LBJ and JFK and all the other guys that notables are entitled to caress digits with. Becomes a pretty exponential thing eventually.

I suppose it could be argued in a kind of six degrees manner, that if you shook hands with enough people eventually you’d have by default had contact with every human who ever lived right back to the beginning of time.

I’ve shaken hands with a few in my life. In the newspaper business you get to meet a fair number of notable individuals in politics, entertainment and so forth. So, come out and shake hands with me sometime and you’ll be greeting the world in a manner of speaking.

I suppose the same thing could have been said of having danced with somebody notable. I once danced with a woman who was a great-great grandniece of the last Tsar of Russia. Now, I mean how cool is that? Reminds me of the old music hall song entitled, roughly: “I met a man who danced with a girl who’d danced with a man who’d danced with a girl who’d danced with the Prince of Wales.”

Now, if you want to carry the paradigm right through to sexual intercourse by default, I’ll leave you to your own musings.

The one handshake that I had that struck me in a rather different way was when I once shook hands with George Chuvalo, one-time Canadian heavy weight champ and a thoroughly nice gent. He had, in his day, fought all the biggies, like Foreman and especially Ali, among others.

All I could think as he extended a paw the size of a Thanksgiving ham, I’m shaking hands with the fist that once slugged the great Ali. I felt humbled.

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4 responses to “Did you ever yearn to take a poke at Ali? Well, come and shake my hand and get your wish

  1. While I do appreciate the six degrees, there are certain hands I want to shake for myself. Like you, I have shaken a lot of hands by proxy and I think it loses something when you do it too often. After a while, you want to shake the hand of the person herself.

    And let’s not even get into the sex thing…

  2. And here I was just about to get on the sex thing…
    In our pseudo-monogamous society, you’d really have to get around.

  3. As to the sex thing…I shall be making enquiries…

  4. So…what if you kiss someone famous? Does it mean that anyone who kisses you after that also kissed them?? Wondering, since years ago when I was 22 I met Davy Jones of the rock group The Monkees, and he kissed me. I was working in a pizza place serving beers and wine and he came up to me, chatted a long time, and asked to kiss me, and did!! Then he asked for my phone number, but I had to say no because I had a boyfriend. I did not think of that prior to the kiss!!!!

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