The Order’s Secret Handshake

We all get the shakes from time to time and confirmed members of the ORDER, which we hope you’ll become in due course, are no exception because of the vast quantities of wine we righteously and rightfully consume in order to ward off the devil. However, as you’ll recall, when DeViet was buried his last act, although we can’t say it was a conscious one, was to pass wind impressively causing the compressed earth above him to sink noticeably. Scholars in the ORDER have calculated that about 2.34 litres of gas escaped in that final noteworthy moment.

Depending on your age, diet and general constitution this is slightly more than a normal day’s worth of effort, excluding what escapes unbidden. Regardless of how it’s expelled, whether by dint of concentration, stress or accident, the act is commonly regarded as natural and held in some cultures to be an obligatory expression of belonging (police canteens, sports clubs, military training centres, marital beds etc).

Because of the relevance of it during DeViet’s passing, so to speak, it was elevated by the senior bishops over time so that it became an act of reverence before, during and after meals. More importantly, to warble anally during a greeting became de rigueur and when the ORDER’s activities and traditions were formalised with the establishment of CORPUS DAVEY it became just such a compulsory expression during the shaking of hands.

The ORDER didn't indulge in silly handshakes such as you find in the masons where certain fingers are held at awkward angles or strange caresses are administered - enough of that went on between close friends anyway. It was a normal, manly grasp but accompanied by a trump (a gentlemanly fart) and a slightly cocked leg.

This takes some practice because, again, men of a certain age are prone to accidents but the basics are these;

When greeting a known member, take the offered hand and squeeze as usual. It’s acceptable to touch left cheek to left cheek at the same time (of the face that is). Simultaneously, the right heel should be lifted about 4 cm off the ground, the right buttock naturally raised and the right knee turned slightly inwards. (Do not over-accentuate the buttock tilt otherwise you’ll just look stupid and coquettish.) Delicately allow a small amount of gas to escape but in a pitch resembling air being let out of the pinched neck of a balloon - scholars reckon it’s about a high “c” on the music scale. It should not be explosive or otherwise intrusive for that’s considered bad manners.

Provided the resultant sounds match to within a scale of 5 musical notes in any register - that’s to say “a” to “e” from base up to alto to allow for age and control -  you can be fairly certain you’re with a kindred spirit, although as described high “c” is the optimum and will indicate the presence of a significant Member. If the process is just too dangerous because of age or infirmity, the failing party must simply mimic the sound orally.

When greeting only a suspected member (or a novice), omit the cheek touching and heel lifting (onlookers may suspect you’re gay – not that there’s anything wrong with that but life’s confusing enough as it is) and go for the oral signal only.

This is known within the ORDER as the “Davey Tilt-And-Trump Facilitation”. Linguists will note that it’s not “felicitation”. There’s a very good reason for this, but you’re not allowed to know what it is yet.