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Tuesday, March 24, 2009
You may have encountered this gentleman before in a Portland bar. I call him "The Handshaker" and I've run into him at least twice over the course of the past year, once at the Crow Bar and again at Wimpy's about a month ago. He's a guy, maybe about thirty, with a beard who wears a stocking cap and looks kind of like Marvin Gaye (here's a helpful visual reference). He catches you off guard and requests to shake your hand. Before you can think twice about it, the two of you are acting like you've just closed a business deal.
The last time this happened, he requested a second handshake, "a *real* handshake" as he put it, because the first one simply wasn't acceptable. I naively obliged, to which he replied, "there now, that wasn't so hard, was it?" Then, without another word, he turned and moved on to the bar to order a beer.
I don't know what to make of the guy, especially after that disconcerting encounter at Wimpy's. Afterward, I felt like I'd either been blessed or cursed. Maybe the Handshaker just likes to screw with the patrons of random Portland drinking establishments or maybe he's shooting for something along the lines of those "Free Hugs" people or maybe it's just his thing. If anyone out there has run into him or knows his story, I'm all ears.