The Phinger

1:00 AM -- I need a ruling on this protocol dilemma: I shared an elevator with two big-time Dallas businessfolk t'other day and, as they were leaving on the floor before mine, I ended our conversation by offering a hearty handshake, just like me pappy told me. (Why am I talking like a pirate?)

Here's the deal: The woman shook my hand firmly, smiled, and dashed off. No trouble there. The man, whose arms were loaded with papers, books, and possibly a few head of cattle, offered his index finger as a joke. I think.

Without missing a beat, I grabbed his finger and shook it, as you would a whole hand. But it was only his finger. And the elevator doors closed, leaving me to wonder: Will he take the stairs next time? Where's that tea-sipping slacker Emily Post when you need her?

More importantly, should I worry I've made a bad impression by trying to be too businesslike with his wiggling digit? Finally, has "Wiggling Digit" ever struck you as a great name for a rock band?

Please reply on the message board below. You know I can't hear you when you talk to your computers.

— Phil Harvey, Etiquette Editor, Light Reading

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