“Put ‘er there, Pal!” “Nice to meet you.” “It’s a deal.” All are phrases that might be uttered in conjunction with a handshake. Of course, no one really says “Put ‘er there, Pal!”

Has there ever been a function or event where you didn’t shake someone’s hand? Even with relatives, handshaking takes place. We teach our dogs how to shake hands. “Gimme your paw. Come on, give it to me.” “Good girl.” No one ever gave me a treat for shaking hands. But a day doesn’t go by without a handshake or two.

I take great pain to make my hand worthy of the shake, keeping it clean and drying my palm at every opportunity. The next shake is just around the corner, and you never know who might be the recipient. A shake brings everyone to the same level and makes people comfortable. A kiss on the cheek is sometimes appropriate, but there’s never a question with the shake.

Occasionally a person might take liberty with the shake and use it as a vehicle to something more lurid, such as a soft touch on the back of the hand being shaken with his/her free hand. Dangerous ground. Back off. Let’s keep the shake professional and above board.

There is apparently some historical truth to the notion that handshaking began with the ancient Europeans and was more used as a means to see whether or not the Shakee had a blade up his sleeve. Knives were normally hidden up the left sleeve because most fighters used their right hands to slay; therefore, the handshake was originally done with the left hand. Through the years it became a right-hand thing, and now I have to worry about clammy palms.

I truly hope my next Shakee is as concerned about the shake as me.

With Love,

Bake My Fish

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