Use proper finger protocol

Giving the finger, flipping the bird, the flying digit—whatever you want to call it, there are certain protocols that should be followed.
First off, it should be reserved for truly special occasions. No point on wasting an insult on someone unworthy of your attention.
You really should mean it when deploying the golden digit. As well, it is necessary to follow through and make eye contact.
This also is a safety issue. If it is a really big, ugly, brutal-looking biker and you’ve flicked too quickly, you can extend the rest of the digits on that hand, smile, and wave cheerfully (might save a black eye or busted jaw).
Generally speaking, little old ladies in compact cars are a safe bet. But if they are driving a vintage three-ton Caddy, and have a yappy little dog with them, best beware.
That Detroit Dinosaur would make short work of your rusty old Nissan.
Location also is important. Around home you are generally safe. The worst that could happen is you might get kicked out of the church.
But if you are judicious in your use of the bird, there are enough churches in our small towns—desperate for new members—that you could rotate yourself through several congregations without ever missing a Sunday.
By the time you’ve made a complete circuit of the pews, all will be forgiven.
Don’t believe me? Throw a $100 in the collection plate and you’ll have to beat off the elders begging you to join.
You have to be a little more careful with the finger as you go south—even around the Baptist churches. There is one on pretty much every corner (by the way, if asking directions down there and you are advised “. . . it’s just past the big Baptist Church,” I’ll guarantee you’ll get lost).
But back to the main point. Our southern neighbours are so enamored of their hand guns, you can bet the majority of the congregation is packing—ready and willing to burn a little powder even on Sunday.
It’s a religious and constitutional conviction.
My wife, the Pearl of the Orient, learned how to flip the bird some decades back—much to the shock and embarrassment of our two pre-teen sons.
After pulling down the wrong lane of a divided highway, and then a bike path, she reacted to the honking horns and the scattering bikers’ insults by flipping them all off.
“Mom, that’s the wrong finger! You’re supposed to use this one!” demonstrated Scott, totally mortified by his mother’s lack of proper protocol.
Our neigbour, Lou, on the other hand, understands the proper finger-flipping routine. But a medical problem occasionally causes her finger to deploy uncontrollably and then lock in the flipped position, particularly when she’s nervous, which is just about always.
“Officer, I really didn’t know I was speeding. A bumblebee flew in the window and landed on the baby,” she pleaded as tears began to trickle down her cheek.
“Well, let me check your licence for priors,” advised the cop in a semi-sympathetic tone.
As he turned, Lou gave him a cheery “thank you” wave as she held back the tears. That’s when it happened. Right in the middle of the wave, that digit popped right out straight and locked.
“Is that right!” snorted the cop, focusing first on the digit and then his citation book.
He continued to write as Lou pleaded her case, explaining about the double-crossing digit and failing utterly in her attempt to hold back the tears.
“Lady, there’s a rest area right over there. I suggest you park there for a while and calm down,” he snarled, ripping the citation off his clipboard.
“Have a nice day!” he snapped as he headed back to the cruiser.
Lou’s finger unlocked at that instant. But too late to be polite now, so she quickly flipped it straight up again.