Thursday, August 7, 2008
My Life as Larry David, Episode I: Clammy Hands
Ever since I got hooked on Curb Your Enthusiasm 2 years ago, I’ve found myself continually feeling as if my daily life could actually be part of an episode. I’m not going to delve into the genius of the show but if you haven’t seen it, it’s basically about a man, Larry David, whose pretty, pretty, pretty hilarious and picks apart and makes excruciatingly awkward even the most mundane of circumstances. With that being said, last Sunday at church, I found myself starring in yet another episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm entitled “Clam Hands.”
While I really enjoy meeting people and connecting with those I already know through the western means of invitation, shaking hands, I try and put to the back of my mind the disgustingness of what that form of etiquette really invokes. I really don’t need to delve into the grossness of the human hand when not properly cleaned, however, if you don’t want to take my word for it, the SNL skit “Fecal Goggles” as well as an Oprah episode my mom made me watch when I was a youngster could really sum it up for you. Come to think about it, I think that might be where all this began. Anywho, I digress so let's get back to church last Sunday.
As per usual, once the service began the pastor encourages us to greet one another. Well, I thought to myself being that Barack and his wife made the fist bump so recently popular, maybe I could try that out at church and not have to worry about contaminating my own body space. However, that aspiration was soon extinguished when I saw a bulbous, meaty hand of a rather large man come shooting towards me. The very broad palm with what looked like hot links on the ends was an easy target for a good but reluctant handshaker such as myself.
Unfortunately, at this point I was backed into a corner with no way out. I could not refuse to shake nor could I fist bump, give a thumbs up or fake a severely arthritic right hand. So of course I had to go along and reach out my hand in return. What my right hand met however, was quite a "surprise". What I’d like you to imagine right here is a large bucket of luke warm water, better yet imagine that bucket of luke warm water as urine and you’ll soon understand i'd like you to visualize this. Well, as my hand met his it felt as if he had just submerged said hand in that very bucket of water/urine and shook hands. In fact as it was happening no joke I think a faint look of surprise, neigh horror fell upon me as I was wondering how such a hand could be so wet, so clammy, so utterly gross. Furthermore it struck me as to how, being that this gentlemen was the first for me to shake hands with, I now have to turn and shake with others around me. I myself have a rep that stretches far and wide and don’t want it to be tainted with being “that guy with clammy hands,” so after I shook, I wiped it off nonchalantly on the very back of the pew he was going to sit at. I had no other option; it was horrifying.
I then had to sit for the duration of church encapsulated within my own thoughts, making sure not to scratch my eye or rub my nose with the very hand that had just been tainted. Suffice it to say I amscrayed after the service to my traveling fortress of solitude, the Buick, where I stash a vile of hand sanitizer for just such circumstance and the ordeal was put behind me. I guess that leaves me wondering though, what is the protocol for such an extreme circumstance. For one, what makes someone’s hand that wet and clammy, secondly what does one do after such a shake, wipe, forget that it didn’t happen and plead ignorance, what? I’ll let you be the judge. Well that concludes the episode of “Clammy Hands”; maybe I could make this a regular fixture. Laters