I don’t know where that hand has been…

2 minute read

July 3, 2006, 8:35 AM

I’m going to say it straight up: I don’t like handshakes. And here’s why: I don’t know where that hand has been, and most people aren’t as meticulous about their hand washing as I am. Whenever someone shakes my hand, my first instinct is to find a restroom and re-wash the hand that was shaken. I also have to suppress the urge to smell the hand that they just shook (to see how dirty that hand was) right in front of them, and to wait until after they’re out of sight before going into “damage control” mode.

I don’t know why it is, but I don’t like handshakes for that reason. I don’t know whether the person whose hand I’m shaking washed their hands when they last used the restroom, or what that hand has been up to and into since the last time it saw soap.

The reason I mention this is because I was over in Charlottesville on Sunday night, doing some night photography over in the Corner District, which borders the University of Virginia. The bars and restaurants in the Corner are popular places for UVA students to go to get “polluted”, shall we say. Now when I’m photographing with the tripod, I’m far more noticeable than when I’m photographing without it, since I take up more sidewalk space, and have to be more stationary as a result. So I get far more attention than otherwise. And the males, some of whom smell of beer, more often than not want to shake my hand. It would be quite rude to say, “I’m not touching that!” and so I just go ahead and shake. And then I feel unclean afterwards.

Otherwise, though, the Corner was fun to photograph in. It’s an area I’ve wanted to do a photo set in for a couple of years now. I’d specifically noted its worth as a night spot. I’d intended on doing a set for Photography, but I didn’t get enough usable pictures for that. However, look for it in the photo feature before too long.

Another thing was the interesting characters you have there. It’s called college students that are drunk or getting there for the most part. I had a man and a woman (college-aged, of course) that each told me that I should photograph their butts because they had the best butts in Charlottesville. Then another girl said to me, “Do you want to see my boobs?” I politely declined, and she said, “Good. I wasn’t going to show you anyway.” Just as well, because I didn’t want to see. I had better things to do, plus UVA Police was driving up and down University Avenue every few minutes, and Charlottesville Police was patrolling on foot, and I didn’t want to see anyone get nailed for indecent exposure.

So all in all, it was a nice photo session, and you certainly meet some interesting characters. And at least it didn’t end like the last time I did night photography in Charlottesville.

Web site: Information on the Corner District from

Song: Tom Lehrer's Selling Out

Quote: "It's these blasted street lights that are causing me issues with these shots..."

Categories: Charlottesville, Myself