CONTEST: The Meaningless Gesture

The Meaningless Gesture

As a struggling writer, I’ve developed many ways to occupy my time while I wait for producers, agents, and colleagues to not return my phone calls. One “pastime” 1Quotation marks used to disguise the fact that this activity is in fact another indication that my sanity continues to slowly drip out my nostrils. I’ve recently mastered is the complex and misunderstood art of inventing new and seemingly significant hand gestures. Above is a photo of a project I’ve just finished. Notice that I say it’s seemingly significant. That’s because as of now it has no significance whatsoever (as far as I know). That’s where this contest comes in. Click the “more” link for details, including a list of ACTUAL PRIZES THAT ACTUALLY EXIST.

How To Enter

  1. Assign a meaning to the above-pictured hand gesture.
  2. Post that meaning in the comments section below, along with any supporting arguments, diagrams, and links to reference materials or particularly compelling pornography.
  3. Complete numbers 1 and 2 above by 9am PST October 13, 2010.
  4. Wait for me to choose a winner soon thereafter based on any criteria I devise, including and not limited to my desire to see the entrant naked and/or their ability to fix the air conditioning in my Volvo.

The Prizes

The winner will receive their choice of one of these three ACTUALLY EXISTING items.

  1. A digital and/or hard copy of, and all claims to copyright ownership of, a recently unearthed paper I wrote for City College of New York’s World Civilization 101Q course, entitled “Week 4 Writing Project: Samurai Culture.” From the four lines I managed to skim, I take it to be a comparison and contrast between medieval European knights and Japanese samurai. Please note that it includes the phrase “striking headgear.”
  2. A digital and/or hard copy of, and all claims to copyright ownership of, a lengthy letter of complaint written by me to the customer relations department of Vanguard Airlines regarding particularly horrendous service I received during a holiday trip from New York to Pittsburgh in 1994. It is suitable for adaptation to feature film, novel, or basic-cable television series.
  3. My mother’s recipe for potato latkes.

In the event of the unusual attractiveness or exceptional mechanical abilities of the entrants, multiple prizes may be awarded. Blackmail, whining, and manslaughter are acceptable techniques to guarantee the prize of one’s choice.


The hand gesture in question is NOT a “#1 sign.” There are two significant differences between the two symbols which, if you ask me, are also the key to this particular sign’s je ne sais quoi and its widespread popularity throughout my couch. First, the thumb is held adjacent to the side of the palm and parallel to the upwards-pointing index figure. Second, the gesture is made with the palm facing away from the recipient as shown in this helpful illustration:

Helpful Diagram

If the entrant would like to propose that the gesture be made with the palm facing down or some other crazy shit, he or she may go to town.

Good luck! Please spread the word about this contest to anyone you think might like to enter, particularly if they work in the television industry and are in need of a stalker.

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1. Quotation marks used to disguise the fact that this activity is in fact another indication that my sanity continues to slowly drip out my nostrils.

Kindly Provide Mr. Madej With Your Viewpoint


Wait a minute – I don’t remember giving away the rights to my potato latkes!!! (Especially since I got the recipe from Robin…)

Sorry, recipes are not copyrightable. Besides, I expect any winner would be much more interested in my Samurai paper, which I’ve discovered also contains the phrase “arrow-shaped nosepiece.” Also, I’ve already sold the recipe to Wolfgang Puck, who will soon be serving it in airports nationwide.

Dude! I just gave that sign to the cube wall and I agree, the thumb-tuck and palm-facing-giver really does give it a “I’m giving you a sign!” feel.

It’s my sign for “gimme that potato latke recipe before Hanukah!”

It’s used at a restaurant to indicate, “seat for me and the shorty next to me. Seriously, this munchkin is waist high. If I don’t indicate his/her presence, you’d never know I need a table for two… well, one and a half.”

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