Thursday, May 3, 2007

A plan for honest communication in the workplace

I was watching The Daily Show last night, and there was a bit where the correspondent was talking with someone who was supposed to be an expert in American Indian culture or something. He said "She showed me the ways of the Indian" or some such line, and the video showed her giving him an "Indian burn."

You may not be familiar with the "Indian burn," and I would like to show you in person, but since that is difficult we will rely on the definition from
  • A prank done by grasping the victim's forearm firmly in both hands, and then twisting the hands in opposite directions about the victim's arm, causing the tender skin to stretch making it red and sore.
Having had no reason for many years to perform, or even think about the "Indian burn," I was delighted to be reminded of this particularly painful technique for child-on-child torture. And I took a little trip down memory lane, recalling other signs of love we often inflicted on each other.
Dutch rub: headlock followed by knuckles abrading the scalp in a scrubbing fashion. In some sub-cultures may be called noogies.
Monkey bump: swelling inflicted by punching someone with the second joint of your middle finger jutting out from your fist. May be out of bounds during games of "slug bug."
Dead leg: result of the properly delivered crushing blow to the quadriceps, typically inflicted on a victim sitting to your left or right, at the moment the teacher turns to the blackboard if your timing is good.
Ear flick: use of the spring like qualities of the finger to render an unexpected and stunning impact on the back of the ear. Useful as retaliation for a dead leg. (Wait until you're on the bus.)

I recall one short spell in 4th grade when we boys became enamored of racing about and gleefully kicking each other in the groin. Sounds vicious, but it was all in good fun. The principal didn't see it that way, and so our pleasure was cut short. Perhaps we were just looking for a little something new in the way of inflicting pain on each other.

I wonder if we would all enjoy our adult lives a little more if we could reintroduce just a bit of this jollity. Imagine the pleasure of sneaking up and ear-flicking the clerical assistant now and then - or administering a dead leg to the sales associate next to you at a presentation - or finding the heinous theif who ate your yogurt from the break room fridge, and giving them a thorough Indian burn.


Scott said...

You forgot the Wet Willy and the Spock. You know, the Spock? Grabbing that tendon or whatever it is between the neck and the shoulder of the victim and pinching, just like Spock did on Star Trek. Hahaha I hated it when my sister did that to me.

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