The View From The Golden Dome

Views on the week's events plus some of mine.

Les Berman Weekly 9 – 7 Greetings, Kisses, Hugs, Wine Tasters, More Stupid People… and much More

So, I was watching people greet each other the other day. The variety was interesting. Of course, there were many handshakes. It is widely believed that the handshake originally was showing that the participants had no weapons in their right hands. I guess, that would be ok if you were both righties !


My dad taught me that a firm handshake is a sign of confidence, but to be aware if your shaking partner had rings on his / her hand. I also have since learned that Japanese tradition is for a limp handshake, that Russians usually won’t shake hands with the opposite sex, and the Swiss, politely, always shake hands with women first. So before you travel, learn the custom.


And no discourse on greeting could continue without a bit of history of the kiss. The Romans were the first to recognize different kinds of kisses – the baseum which was a kiss on the hand or the cheek; the osculum which was a kiss on the lips with a closed mouth and was commonly used with relatives; and the saveum, which was a kiss of passion.


I saw a lot of handshakes: handshakes with a one arm hug, many baseums or basei, and many other forms of greeting. I saw high fives, fist bumps, elbow bumps, and lots of hugs. Hugs had kisses attached sometimes, but the funniest greeting, to me, is the two armed hug, with pitty-pats on the hug victim’s back. To me, those are also the phoniest. I don’t know why. It’s my opinion, and as you know, my opinion is the only one that matters – here.


One greeting that has withstood the tests of time, has been that of having a glass of wine, beer, or alcoholic beverage with someone. But that custom also gave rise to a new profession. The successful beverage tasters, the ones that detected something that was strange in the beer, never knew they were successful, because what they detected was the poison that the bad guys had intended for the employer.


Recently, at an archaeological dig in Bulgaria, a ring that was established to be about 600 years old, had a small cavity drilled into the top of the ring. It was from this small cavity that the poison was delivered into the recipients food or drink. One of the archaeologists thought that ring could explain the deaths of many noblemen in that area from the 1400 and 1500’s.


So the tradition of tasters has continued. There is always an expert oenophile at every table (I call them ‘know it alls’) and that person will knowingly swirl a taste in her mouth, and then pronounce that the wine being tested is perfect. Now, I know nothing about wine – it’s just not something that interests me. I figure if it’s cold and wet, it likely will be ok with me.


One time, and only one time, I was asked to taste a red wine. So I did as I saw others do. I sniffed it (I don’t know why), then took a sip, swirled it around my mouth, and then spit it out. And the table waited for my assessment. I then took a deep breath, and very knowingly, pronounced the verdict. It wasn’t cold enough !! And then the pretzels were flying my way … By the way, no one, since then, has ever asked my opinion about wine. Justifiably.


Have you noticed stupid people in cars? Now that’s a dumb question, isn’t it? Where do people get their drivers licenses? A siren… flashing lights… To the uninformed, those are telling you to put on your right turn signal, and slowly move to your right, carefully, so the police, ambulance or fire trucks can pass. Sirens and flashing lights are not telling you to stop where you are, freeze, and block traffic, and possibly cause someone to die because you are stupid and don’t know traffic rules. People like that should lose their drivers licenses, and be forced to take drivers ed again. And a written exam, in English !! That would prevent you from ever driving again, legally. And all you do gooders who disagree…. I hope that none of these idiots who can’t read local traffic signs and rules, never cause you any hardship !

And you know how to reach me and ask your mortgage or finance questions… 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !



Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Now that I’m older here’s more of what I’ve discovered:

It was a whole lot easier to get older, than to get wiser.

Some days, you’re the top dog; some days you’re the hydrant.

I wish the buck really did stop here; I sure could use a few of them.

Kids in the back seat cause accidents.

Accidents in the back seat cause kids.

It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere


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 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695

September 24, 2013 - Posted by | fun, general interest, humor, real estate | , , , , , , , , ,

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