Turn Left at the Dead Badger

the adventures of penelope gray, writer

  • Penelope Gray is a young and confused writer trying to make her way in the world. She lives her life by the tenets of that god among men, Bernard Black:

    She hopes someday to be as awesome as he is.

    To contact Penelope, email her at penelope [dot] gray [at] gmail.com

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  • June 2009
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just say hello

Posted by Penny on June 4, 2009

I have decided to institute a new holiday.

I am going to call it “Handshake Day.”

Every year on Handshake Day, every hour on the hour, every person must stop, no matter where they are or what they are doing, and say hello to the person next to them. A one-minute conversation will ensue.

Doesn’t matter  if you’re on the subway, walking down the street, in an elevator, in a bar, buying cigarettes, in bed with the girl you found on a street corner. Stop. Turn. Say hello. Talk for one minute. At the end of that minute, you are free to go about your business with no social repercussions (awkwardness, shame, regret) or you may continue the conversation if both parties are so inclined.

So many times I am walking down the street, or riding the subway or a bus or whatever, and I just think—all these people who are in this 20-foot radius. There must be someone here that I want to talk to. There must be someone here with whom I have something in common. But we can’t say hello. I can’t strike up a conversation with this random guy next to me. Societal rules and whatever. Not done. I mean, I’m just as guilty, whenever some random person on a bus is overly chatty I’m like, “oh that’s a weirdo.”

So I am going to institute Handshake Day. One day a year when you can ignore the rules and just say hello to a random stranger.

Hear ye, hear ye.


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