As I went to a public high school that only accommodated kids from years 7 to 10, our end-of-year leavers’ dinner in grade 10 loomed large as the biggest day in the social calendar of our young lives. Girls were lining up dates in the third term of year 9 to make sure that they had secured a partner befitting their social standing and attractiveness. Negotiations regarding subtly matching your tie with your partners’ dress were more protracted than the diplomatic talks that ended the Cuban Missile Crisis, as were the conversations about what car you were going to arrive in. For the record, I organised a fire-engine red Mini Cooper for my date (who was also quite tall) and I. We had to temporarily do away with the front passenger seat as my legs were too long to fit in the car without removing it.

I would liken extricating myself from that vehicle to the plight of a squid stuffed inside one of those cylindrical cardboard poster tubes. You know, the ones that housed those band posters you bought from the university poster sale in the first semester of your uni life when you thought they’d make you look edgy with the ladies, even though you didn’t know any of the bands’ tracks? Like the squid slowly shimmying itself up the tube until finally being able to free its numerous legs and propel itself forward to freedom, I reached awkwardly for the door frame and unfurled myself like a spinnaker in a stiff Southern breeze. Suffice to say, the car was chosen for comic value and it delivered.

The night itself came and went. I remember drinking Carlton Cold at the after-party. That’s a beer that I haven’t drunk before or since. Fucking awful…

There was a professional photographer set up at the event to capture the nights’ proceedings and the photos that I’d had taken got delivered to my house several weeks later. I was pretty happy with the photos when I first saw them and didn’t see anything untoward. My dad, having sauntered home from work, peered over my shoulder at them and had a chuckle.

“Good photos Bones (my dad is the only person who calls me this), but what’s going on with your hands? You look like you don’t know what to do with them. Look at ‘em!”

I took another look. My dad was right. What the fuck was I doing with my hands? In almost every photo they were positioned at some weird angle or placed awkwardly on my waistcoat or jacket. I was inadvertently hand-bombing my leavers’ dinner photos. It was if I was subconsciously aware of the fact that I needed to do something with them, but unsure of exactly what that might be.

Mimes; also unsure of what to do with their hands.

The issue was, has been and always will be that I have ridiculously big hands. They’ve plagued me for more than a decade. Baseball mitts in PE class? There was one in the whole school that fit me. Cricket gloves? Not likely. How about getting your fingers in a bowling ball? Forget it. I used to play a lot of golf too and there was only one brand that made a golf glove that actually fit my hand correctly. Even tonight at football training I was having a great deal of difficulty getting my hands into and out of boxing gloves & strike-pads.

It’s always funny when meeting new clients at work too; one of the first things to cover off on is the introduction and the obligatory handshake. Now, as most people would undoubtedly know, eye contact is important in the handshake routine and is expected to be held throughout the initial exchange. A few weeks ago I shook a clients’ hand and observed as their face morphed from a relaxed smile to a look of shocked disbelief and fear. They tried gallantly to maintain eye contact but I watched their eyes betray them as they glanced down at my hand as it totally enveloped theirs. I could almost hear their internal monologue;

“What the fuck is going on down there? Has he got some sort of prop hand on? This is fucking ridiculous. Don’t look, it’s rude. He might have a deformity. Just play it cool. Must. Maintain. Eye. Contact. Nope, he is crushing my hand, I have to look; the suspense is killing me…

What the fuck, where did my hand go?”

/end communication

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