Missed Connection – Fist Bump or Shake


I don’t really consider myself to be “worldly.

On the other hand, I don’t consider myself to be socially inept either.

I mean, I can kind of handle the pressure of awkward greetings…with old high-school friends who recognize me but I don’t recognize them (despite like-ing photos of their kids on Facebook), ex-spouses, friends of ex-spouses, people that know me from previous jobs that I don’t recognize (despite being connected with them on LinkedIn), old bosses that don’t have the same spouse and I address them with the ex-spouse’s name….etc, etc.

I’ve even mastered the concept of running a well-disguised end-around play when asking the name of a new baby and not falling into the name trap by asking the stupid question of “What’s her/his name?”

But what I haven’t mastered is…….whether to shake, shake and hug, or fist bump. I blew it again yesterday.

I was all excited to meet a former co-worker.  Like a movie, I saw him from 25-feet away and we both went in aggressively…moved in… “Hey man!” yelled to each other …closing in quick….the “You look great!”You too, man!” and then we were within arms length of each other aaaaaaaaaaaand….I put out my hand aaaaaaaand he put out his FIST!

We kind of looked at the fluttering hands with an awkward pause as if we were doing some form of secret lodge handshake maneuver and then glossed over it moving directly to How-in-the-heck-have-ya-been-I’ve-seen-your-kids-on-Facebook conversation.  It was great to catch up.

But then… back at home…5 hours later….I still hadn’t resolved the issue in my head.  We never addressed the handshake miss.  I was tortured mentally from the failed greeting attempt.  Did he judge me now?  Did he go home thinking I was socially inept?

My stomach’s still in turmoil from the unresolved tension.  I probably won’t sleep for days. So here’s my cathartic move… a “missed connection” posting:

 walked into the lobby.  right away we recognized each other.  I kicked the leg of a chair as I made my way toward you and I made a complete fool of myself when I came at ya with my right hand looking for a handshake and then you come up with a fist bump.  I should have just grabbed your hand with my palm and said, “Paper beats Rock.” and then we could have moved on.  But now, I am chastising myself for the awkwardness.  If you see this, please give me a call, text, message, that says that you don’t think that I am socially inept.  Do this soon before I end up in an Opus Dei type self-torturing mode in my basement!  If nothing else, can ya please go to my LinkedIn page and give me a badge for “Champion Rock, Paper, Scissors Player?”

Any of you have this problem?  Or am I the only Jagoff?

Yesterday on Facebook, we posted a contest.  Whomever shared the picture of the Stroll Inn Pizza before the Steelers/49ers kickoff, was eligible to win a free pizza from our friends at the Stroll Inn in Kennedy Township.
I put the eligible names into my STANKY old Pens Stanley Cup Champions hat and the winner is:

Fran Unger Fernald

Fran, email us at YaJagoff (at) Verizon (dot) net, Subject Line: Pizza


There’s no Ship!

Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me” by Comedian John Knight


As you read this I should be in the Bahamas or sailing that way on a cruise ship. I say should be because that is the plan but I can’t forget what happened the last time.

This is my first time performing on a ship this year. It’s also my first time working for this line and I have heard nothing but good things about them. For the four years prior to this I was with another company that I won’t mention. Let’s just say they got their name because they’re run by clowns.

It was toward the end of last year and I had made up my mind it was time to stop working for them. An offer came in to go out for six days, leaving the Friday after Thanksgiving. My wife didn’t want me to take it but I said it would be the last time.

The next day I received an e-mail saying I would have to fly out on Thanksgiving Day into Belize because it was hard to get flights into Honduras on Friday. If you ever get the chance to fly into Belize, don’t. That’s all I’m saying.

I stayed up late with my wife on Wednesday despite the fact I had a seven AM flight the next day. I already knew I wouldn’t be performing that night. Fly from Pittsburgh to Atlanta, make the connection into Belize, get to the ship around one and take a nap.

My first flight was right on time and we actually arrived about twenty minutes early in Atlanta. When we landed I turned on my phone to check for any messages. That’s when I saw the e-mail with “Urgent” in the subject matter. I’ve never received an urgent e-mail with good news. Once I did get one telling me about some rich relative that was a King or something living in exile in Honduras. He wanted to send me a few million dollars and all I had to do was forward them my bank information and a thousand dollars for transfer fees. For some reason I never got around to doing it.

What I found out was, the ship couldn’t get into Belize because of weather. They would fly me into Honduras and put me in a hotel overnight. New flights would be coming soon. It was now eight thirty in the morning. I couldn’t make a move because I didn’t know when my next flight would be.

It was two hours later when I finally received the good news. When I saw the new flights I had to pause for a moment. I would get a flight from Atlanta to New York at six thirty that evening, arrive in New York at eight thirty, and then connect into Honduras at two forty AM. After that there would be a two hour layover until I caught another small plane that would get me to the port at nine thirty the next morning. Since Honduras is on central time it would be exactly twenty four hours from now.

The e-mail also said that I could get myself a nice turkey dinner and the company would reimburse me to make up for the delay. Yeah, a nice airport turkey dinner should more than make up for this hell!

I called my wife and told her what was happening.

“Tell them to kiss your ass and come home!”

It did seem like the best option. I e-mailed back to let them know I wasn’t too thrilled about the flights. He told me the earlier flight to New York was sold out but that if I could get on standby they would get me a hotel room in New York. He then gave me another number to contact. He was signing off on this because it was Thanksgiving. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to ruin your holiday. Speaking of turkey, I have a place I’d like to stuff one right now!

I did make it on the earlier flight and if I hadn’t I would have come home. I at least had eight hours at a hotel, caught about an hour of sleep because I had to wake up before I normally go to bed. I found out I was the only non-Spanish speaking person on my two-forty AM flight into Honduras including the pilot. Every time he made an announcement I had no idea what he was saying. I figured as long as the other passengers weren’t screaming in terror it was probably just something about the seat belt sign.

Security at Honduras airports is much different than in the United States. They have heavily armed military personnel in camouflage fatigues. One of them pulled out my disposable lighter and started screaming something at me in Spanish. Again, I can’t speak the language but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t telling me he liked the color.

I wasn’t about to get shot over a dollar ninety-nine so I pointed at the trash can and he tossed it in. I could see what my wife would have put on my tombstone,

“I told him to come home.”

The worst part was I didn’t know if the ship had even been able to make it into Honduras. There was bad weather in the area and I could have gone through all of this for nothing. Ah, I figured if the ship wasn’t there I could just go visit my uncle the King and get the millions of dollars he wanted to give me.




PS: Halloween falls on a Saturday this year and I would love to spend a night with a local ghost hunters group for my column that day. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. If anyone can help to make this happen contact me here or through twitter.


Follow John on Twitter @jknight841

Order his book by clicking the icon below.


Jagoff or Not? (Home Plate Block or Not?)


Last night’s Pirates game….pinch-runner Pedro Florimon broke for the plate on a hit in the 8th inning.  The infielder, Baez, fielded the ball and threw it toward home, and catcher Miguel Montero tagged out Florimon.  (For you non-baseball literates…there’s a new LOOSELY interpreted rule that the catchers cannot block the runners path to the plate.  This is to prevent catcher-collisions.)

After about a 90-second replay review, the game umps, the replay officials and all 4 of the Illinois governors that are in jail, determined that the Chicago Cubs catcher was NOT blocking the plate for some reason.  I guess their definition of “blocking” has more to do with building stuff out of Legos than it does with a catcher straddling the straight, white baseline that leads directly to home plate whose path seems to appear to be “blocked” by a LEG dressed in Chicago Cubs baseball equipment.

This new rule is a more loosely interpreted than how many Hail Mary’s, Our Fathers and Act of Contritions the local priests used to give when you confessed the same sins every week in the confessional….i.e, “I swore.  I took God’s name in vain. I disobeyed my parents.”  If the priest was cool.. you’d say one of each.  If the priest was having a bad day, you might have to say 5 of each.

So, what’s YOUR thought?  Was he out or should the Pirate’s have scored a run there?  The home-plate ump and the replay officials… are they Jagoffs or Not?


By the way, we offered a chance to win 2 comp tickets to Pierogi Fest this Saturday at Stage AE yesterday on Twitter and Facebook.  

All entries were put into my old STANKY Pens Stanley Cup ballcap and the winner is:

Paul Landry

So, Paul, email us at YaJagoff (at) Verizon (dot) net SUBJECT LINE: Pierogi