Monday, 13 February 2012

Whole lotta shakin' goin' on

The non-handshake that shook the world
Fantasy Bob woke up yesterday to discover that World War 3 has broken out over a handshake that wasn't.  The circumstances are all too tedious for Fantasy Bob to relate, and involve that rare circumstance of footballers behaving badly.  But it did get him thinking about handshakes.

The world record for the longest handshake is held jointly by Alastair Galpin and Don Purdon from New Zealand and Nepalese brothers Rohit and Santosh Timilsina and stands at 33 hours and 3 minutes. And in 1977 Joseph Lazarow Mayor of New Jersey shook more than 11,000 hands in a day to set a world record.  Either of these records is considerably more shaking than was achieved by Luis Suarez on Saturday.
Suarez's badge -  lost in the post

But Suarez is not the only one who appears to have reservations about the handshake - Donald Trump, that ever popular and ego-driven despoiler of Scotland's national beauty, has said 'I think the handshake is barbaric... Shaking hands, you catch the flu, you catch this, you catch all sorts of things.' He joins a long list of celebrity germophobes now elongated by Luis Suarez.

There is also a movement - in the USA, where else - seeking to outlaw handshakes and a nifty badge is available to warn people that you are not a shaker. Perhaps Luis Suarez had joined this movement on Suaturday morning and was waiting for his membership badge to come through.

But cricketers could not join this movement for cricketers are compulsive handshakers.  Any quiet moment in a match can be filled by a handshake.  In his role as skipper of the All Star Carlton 4th XI each match day sees FB get pretty close to Mayor Lazaroz's record. He has to shake hands with the opposition skipper before the toss during the toss and after the toss. Achievements on the field are met with celebratory handshakes and the touching of gloves by batting partners that now seems to be part of the rules is now recognised as a form of handshake - apparently named the dap.  It is also a matter of regret that the handshake is being replaced at some points by high fives or even high tens - FB has written to the ICC inviting them to review this development with the suggestion that they put a stop to it.

Cricketers in Scotland
handshaking as nature intended 
And then there is the all round handshaking at the end of the match. No wonder FB feels tired at the end of a match. Luis Suarez is not the kind of person to inspire sympathy, but perhaps as well as being concerned over germs he was concerned about his fitness and didn't want to tire himself out by too much shaking.

FB thinks he does a pretty good handshake - it may well be the best part of his game. But he is concerned about how he measures up to the formula prescribed by the handshake expert.  In this he may not be alone for research suggests that as many as two in three people (70 per cent) have a crisis of confidence when it comes to performing the act of a human handshake.  So Professor Geoffrey Beattie, head of psychological sciences at University of Manchester, has devised an equation taking into account 12 key measures to define a positive handshake:

PH = √ (e2 + ve2)(d2) + (cg + dr)2 + π{(42)(42)}2 + (vi + t + te)2 + {(42 )(42)}2
Some handshakes
are more historic even than Suarez
Chairman Mao and President Nixon

To be honest, this is what FB has always thought.  So FB is working hard to develop his hand-shake on the lines of this formula and he recommends that Luis Suarez does the same.

In the meantime - here is a version of the Jerry Lee Lewis Classic Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin'  On recorded in 1973 by Vinegar Joe which rejoices in having Elkie Brooks as vocalist. Come on over baby....................

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