Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Art of Holding Hands

"Now, I give you my own recipe for inveigling a woman into that state of affairs when she can be referred to as 'nee Jones'. Learn how to pick up her hand and hold it, and she's yours. It ain't so easy. Some men grab at it so much like they was going to set a dislocation of the shoulder that you can smell the arnica and hear 'em tearing off bandages. Some take it up like a horseshoe, and hold it off at arm's length like a druggist pouring tincture of asafoetida in a bottle. And most of them catch hold of it and drag it right out before the lady's eyes like a boy finding a baseball in the grass, without giving her a chance to forget that the hand is growing on the end of her arm. Them ways are all wrong."

Courtesy: Telemachus, Friend: O.Henry Short Stories

O.Henry is one of the few authors who can be read a hundred times over and still you would discover some new aspect to the story. A phrase that had eluded you, a situation that seems suddenly familiar as if turning around a corner when lost and seeing that you are not lost afterall.

But what is most endearing of all is that they subtly humourous. The humour comes not out of being alien, but out of being familiar. In the humour of the writings are an elusive familiarity. One feels that if only he had gone a little faster he could have caught up with that feeling and called it all his own. These feelings are tantalisingly our own and that of common humanity.

The above example taken from Telemchus, Friend is a brilliant example of such an instance. All ladies worth their salt will be able to identify one of these styles in the man (men) of their lives. And if you have not, then you have hit the jackpot.. For there is only on other style left.

"I'll tell you the right way. Did you ever see a man sneak out in the backyard and pick up a rock to throw at a tomcat that was sitting on a fence looking at him? He pretends he has'nt got a thing in his hand, and that the cat don't see him, and that he don't see the cat. That's the idea. Never drag her hand out where she'll have to take notice of it. Don't let her know that you think she knows you have the least idea she is aware you are holding her hand."


Blogger CDey said...

Just a foot note on Telemachus. Telemachus was a Grecian, who required a little prodding from the goddess Athene, to become a little bold and stand up against suitors who were pestering his mother, Penelope.

Well, there is another St. Telemachs, who is said to have been influential in putting an end to gladiator fights in Greece.

Cannot figure out which one is pertinent to the short story.

3:45 PM  

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