As I have mentioned previously I love to cuss and my affection for cussing extends to cussing gestures, for which the Italians are known so well. Living in North Carolina, however, I am limited to the king of all cussing gestures: "Flippin' the Bird." Otherwise no one will know why I am biting my hand or running my fingers against the bottom of my chin and flicking them forward. Instead of getting an insult across with such obscure gestures, I will merely leave the impression that I am deranged.
I actually don't flip the bird very often. I almost never get angry in the car and, even if I did, I would never flip someone off. I am way to unlucky to take that chance. So the only person I ever flip off is poor Bill. Last night we were having a playful quarrel, one of those, "It bugs me when you do that" discussions that lacks any heat or passion. He made some wise-ass remark back and I flipped him off. The problem is that scleroderma has ruined my fingers: none of them straighten completely and I cannot hold the other four down so that the middle finger stands proud and tall. When I flip the bird it looks half-hearted. So I called out to Bill, "I still really mean it even though it doesn't look like it."