EB: Giving ’em the business!

Brain dumps from the original Bonehead.

The Right Hand of My Father.

There was this thing my dad used to do when I was a kid and I thought it was as cool as it comes.  Here’s the program – I’d go out and do something: Get an ‘A’ in a tough class, figure out the answer to something that was clearly beyond my years, beat The Old Man at a game of chess or Stratego…  take your pick. 

What about hitting homeruns or scoring touchdowns?? 

Sorry, I wasn’t that kid.  Back then, if I did anything impressive it probably involved a classroom.  I was always pretty sharp in my karate classes but when that’s the only sport you’re any good at but you’re still too timid to compete in tournaments it’s gonna be hard for people to hear about it, y’know?  What was I saying?  Chess and Stratego! 

My parents were no dummies… they both knew what a money-grubbing little snot I was back then.  Occasionally my reward for performance would be The Gift of Andrew Jackson (we’re talking about the 80s here people!)  But my favorite would be when my dad would be so impressed with whatever I just pulled off that he’d just give me this beaming grin, extend his right hand and say to me, “Son, shake my hand!”

You’re wasting my time reading this whole thing about a fucking handshake?

No!  Not just any handshake.  It was my reward for a job well done.  My uncle once told me this story about ‘how men shake hands’.  He educated me on it because I was carrying something in my right hand and greeted his outstretched right arm with my left; which prompted him to immediately withdraw his hand!  He said you never ever, ever shake a man’s hand with your left.  He said that back when men fought with swords they fought right-handed.  Even if the swordsman was left-handed he learned to duel with his right because his teacher was right handed and that’s just how it was done… it was a close-minded world back then.  If two warriors shook hands with their left they’d both still have their sword arm still available to wield a weapon, but if they offered their sword arm to shake with the other it was a sign of trust and respect. 

Overly simplistic?  Yeah, probably.  True story?  You know what, I honestly have no idea.  It sounds feasible but I’ve never looked it up – all that sword arm stuff could be total bullshit but none of that ever mattered to me.  It was a simple story about a simple time when honorable men knew how to show respect to one another and that, to me, was more important than nitpicking at it. 

I miss those days, before I had bills, when all it took was a firm handshake to make me feel like I really did something.


March 14, 2006 - Posted by | Personal Revelations


  1. I totally miss the days when I was younger, and my reward for a job well done was usually a gift of some sort (money, dollhouse, video game, etc.). I now realize that I can’t really expect a rewards (from anyone) for what I do. I have to pat my own ‘pat on the back’ for anything that I do (I’m patting as I type this)…..


    Comment by Poca | March 21, 2006 | Reply

  2. The part about the swords is definitely true. I’ve read it in non-fiction history books and my dad, a true history buff explained it to me much the same way as your father did with you. There’s nothing like earning a father and a mother’s respect. Totally different, but both totally cool.

    Comment by Julian | March 25, 2006 | Reply

  3. I mean your uncle.

    Comment by Julian | March 25, 2006 | Reply

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