Monday, 16 July 2007

Middle finger the police

Fingers the cow

Fingers can be up to so much mischief especially if they extend from idle hands. As a child we had fields and meadows on which cattle grazed around our well-appointed colonial bungalow.

One afternoon as one cow came towards the opening in the inner fence, we pointed our palms, fingers spread-eagled like a star in what is a customary abuse of maternal forebears and that began a chase from the cow till the herdsman got it under control before it mauled us little kids to the ground.

Handing my way

Never make hand gestures to cattle they might read you and tread you. But in those same times I did notice that this was a transitional time between old vehicles without traffic indicators and those that had the flickers.

Since my father worked for a mining company there were lots of Land Rovers about and quite a few had the sign - No Hand Signals! Well, society was so polite then.

All fingers good

However, when I returned to England almost 20 years ago, I did not know the difference between the hand gestures - the one finger, the two fingers, the middle finger or the V-sign, in fact, I almost thought they were all friendly under you saw the scowl on the face or heard the most rancid expletive - my face went red at times - definitely not my sort of expression.

Middle finger the police

The Dutch have however taken the middle finger gesture to heart and to the law; after a lower court ruled that the middle finger was extremely impolite but not insulting, the appeals court overruled this affable view with a treatise that dictates that making this gesture is insulting, injurious to the honour and good name (of the police?) and hence illegal. Visitors to the Netherlands, be very afraid.

The man who made the gesture to the police would be doing jail for 3 months for other criminal offences which now includes the hand gesture - I am beside myself and caught in intemperate antipathy - someone really went to court twice to prove that a frigging middle finger was legally insulting?

I think I would end this with the Daily Telegraph - Alex cartoon of the 16th of July and just see what a finger put up by a cricket umpire for an l.b.w. can cost you when you happen to be in a auction, unbeknownst.

Alex cartoon

Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph - Thanks!

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