Friday, August 20, 2010


When did palm-rubbing become the international theatrical gesture for Avarice? I say theatrical, because one never sees it in so-called real life, but only in movies and on the stage. You don't see Lebron or A-Rod doing it when they sign a new contract. You don't see the folks at the bank do it when they sign you up for a 30-year mortgage. Yet it is universal in drama and comedy. It's the Mr. Potter-Scrooge-Shylock-Montgomery Burns shorthand for greedy bastard. When and where and why did it originate? It seems as old as Plautus.

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