Tuesday, 8 May 2012

A spare pair of arms

Here's something that's been on my mind for a while; if you're at an occasion when you have to join hands with the next person, if you're at the end of the line what do you do with your spare hand?

For instance, let's say you're a big-shot politician and you're sharing a great election victory with your colleagues in front of the cameras. The person next to you grabs your hand and raises it in the manner of marking your victory. You don't resist - and it would be strange if you didn't grab the hand of the person on your other side and raise that one too. So this ripples down the row until everyone has their hands gripped to their neighbour's and is waving them in the air.

But what do the people on the end do? Should they wave their unconnected hand in the air and look a bit of a twit (see the photo above for proof)? Or allow their one arm to be raised by their neighbour but leave their other arm dangling by their side (and risk looking a bit embarrassed with the whole thing)?

In any event, don't even think about putting your spare hand in your pocket.

Or if it's New Year and you find yourself obliged to join in the torture of a communal 'Auld Lang Syne'. When everyone's done that arm-crossing business you're safe if a complete circle has formed. If it hasn't and you find yourself at the end of the row, you're in trouble. Not only will you have a spare arm but it'll be the arm on your wrong side!

So what do you do? Leave it dangle (between you and your neighbour; weird) or act as if there's an imaginary person beside you and imagine you're holding this imaginary person's hand and move your loose arm up and down with all the others. Weird.

By the way, ever seen the Queen and Prince Philip doing 'Auld Lang Syne'? They're hopeless at it - don't cross their arms. Can't imagine what they're like earlier in the evening when everyone's doing the Hoky Coky.

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