Put ‘er there, pal, and shake hands with everybody in the world!

put er there

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.

So here in Canada I once shook hands with former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, which means I also shook hands with all the dignitaries domestic and foreign he met, and also, grudgingly, Pierre Trudeau and by default wee Justin provided his old man ever shook with him.

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 had contact with every human who ever lived right back to the beginning of time.

Queen_Elizabeth_the_Queen_Mother_portraitI’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.

A lot of BC premiers have gripped my fingers, including the current one when she was a wee wisp of a girl when she was back in Gordo’s cabinet. I was introduced to her by my friend Stan Hagen, who was also in Gordo’s cabinet. I shall not judge a man I still miss by the company politics made him keep back then. But, I have to confess, and it’s nothing to do with my personal politics, which you know I don’t discuss on my blog, that I thought she was kinda cute.

I suppose the same thing could have been said of having danced with somebody of some sort of note. 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.”

chuvaloNow, if you want to carry the paradigm right through to sexual intercourse by default, I’ll leave you to your own musings. I don’t think I have ever done the horizontal tango with anybody famous. Yes, certainly with some people who were utterly heavenly but not fan-magazine illustrious.

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.

I was a personal friend of actor Donald Sutherland’s first wife and I certainly took her hand on a few occasions and then she had her connectedness with ex hubby and all his actorly friends and that list could get immense.

My first wife once touched the proferred digits of the late Queen Mother and, while I rarely shook hands with my ex we did do, ahem, ‘other stuff’ so I am wondering if a handshake is transferable to other body parts.

It’s a good question and is the sort of thing that keeps me awake nights.

2 responses to “Put ‘er there, pal, and shake hands with everybody in the world!

  1. THAT’S the sort of thing that keeps you awake at night? The mind, it boggles. 😉

  2. This makes me not want to shake hands pretty much ever again.

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