I can do it. Can you?

I can do this …



Can you?



Push your palms together like you’re waiting to hear the results of a long shot and then try to pull your fingers back.  You have to keep your palms touching while your fingers pull back.

I had no idea not everyone could do this.  I had no idea this was a “thing”, until my sister sat herself down on my living room couch to eat a piece of my pumpkin pie the other day.

For some reason she did this hand gesture.  Then I did this hand gesture.  Then my boyfriend tried to do this hand gesture and … nothin’.  It was so strange.  What was even stranger was the fact that he didn’t seem to care.  He tried it once or twice, said “hmm”, and went back to watching Mad Men.

That’s the exact sort of thing that would drive me crazy.  Would, in fact, drive me to tie ropes around all my fingers and have a team of wild house cats pull my fingers apart.

So I’m curious.  Give it a try.  Can you do this?  No ropes or cats allowed.

And Yes! I did know the thumbnail for this post looks like old man bum. :) I had to crop it “just so” for that pleasant effect.


  1. Janet says:

    It was only recently i learned that others can’t do these things – i thought it was normal for fingers to bend backwards. My sis and old ma and grandma could also do hand tricks. All three of my boys have inherited joint hypermobility – from both me and my hubby!
    I can also wriggle my ears, but my fave trick is to whistle a tune through my rolled up tongue.
    I’ve heard if eye whistling – never seen/heard it in real life!!

  2. Bonnie says:

    I can do the hands. I don’t even want to think about the tongue thing.

  3. Gknee says:

    Yep I can join the ranks of those who can in fact my fingers bend allll the way back and touch the tops of my wrists (not really). Oh and hey that photo showing just a portion of your palms together…looks like some old dudes ass :)

  4. Pati Gulat says:

    I can do it!

    Tongue to nose? YES !

    finger touch “behind” hand? YES !

    Thumb to wrist? YES !

    Butt clench? YOU KNOW IT!

    And ,like Bill,I can do the Vulcan hand gesture with both hands at the same time,too!!

  5. Colleen says:

    I can do it! :)

  6. Jeanie says:

    Both myself and my boyfriend can do it. This started an “I can do it can you?” between us to show our own weird body feats… LOL

  7. Bill Grigg says:

    I can do it!

    Tongue to nose? No.

    finger touch “behind” hand? No.

    Thumb to wrist? No.

    Butt clench? Easily!

    And I can do the Vulcan hand gesture with both hands! At the same time!!

  8. Ryan says:

    I really thought this was going to be a post about clenching your butt. The weirder thing is that I clicked on the “old man butt” image thinking that I was going to read about you clenching your butt. Gawd, that’s kind of embarrassing!

    Anyways, fun post! I can do it and I can do the tongue thing too!

  9. Carolina says:

    1) I can do it.

    2) I’m a little BUMmed that this has nothing to do with old-timer butts!

    3) Thanks for your fabulous blog, Karen. I’m a big fan.

  10. Pam'a says:

    I can do all those double-jointy things. And when my sisters and I were young we could curl our toes under and walk that way. On the bunion joint. Gross.

  11. Lesley McKinney says:

    i can do

  12. sarah says:

    I have another thing for you. Hold out your hand palm up fingers stretched out. Now touch your palm with your thumb. Does your index finger bend with your thumb?

    • Karen says:

      The tip of it moves a teensy bit, but not very much. I can stop it from moving entirely if I really try. For those who were wondering I can also touch my tongue to my nose, turn it upside down, tie a maraschino cherry stem into a knot in my mouth, bend my finger knuckles only at the first knuckle and put my entire fist into my mouth. I cannot consistently make good rice however. I’d rather be able to make a really good pot of rice.

      • Patti says:

        I can also do those, Karen! We’re fancy.

        Not to be all like “buy this item”, and I don’t know how great it is for you, really, but Pampered Chef has a microwaveable plastic rice cooker thing, and it makes a consistently perfect ‘pot’ of rice every time! My Nana got one for me, who, for the record, can do that trick!


      • Bill Grigg says:

        I tried the rice cooker, and while it works, it’s just another cupboard clogging appliance. And I eschew those like I do obsfucation.

        My formula is wash and rinse the rice until the water rinses off clear, then 2 cups cold clear water for every cup of rice. Bring to a boil stirring often and then turn down to a simmer (2 on my stove), pop the lid on, set the timer for twenty minutes and DON’T even look at the rice until the bell dings. Voila, perfect rice! If you don’t rinse, the rice will always be sticky.

        A video of the cherry stem tying would be interesting! Yeah, I know, not gonna happen!

  13. Laurel says:

    Can you move your baby toe independently? My husband can like mad but I can’t. And YES it drives me nuts. I have been exercising extreme toe physical therapy, involving toe separators, excercies, string pulleys, LOL, and I can now make my baby toes twitch. It’s a good thing I can do this hand gesture or I’d be occupied another few years with gestures of questionable value.

    • Karen says:

      Hmm. I can kind of wiggle my baby toes separately. My other toes move a tiny bit, but the baby toe is moving more and is a lot wider than … nevermind. This is just weird. I had to take my sock off for that, you know! I hate to take my sock off. ~ karen. :)

  14. Yvonne says:

    I can do it too….

    When I looked at the photo before I clicked “full article”, I thought I look at a behind!!! hahahahaha

  15. Gracia says:

    I can do it!!! My boyfriend cant hahaha

  16. Anemone says:

    And OMG…i did not notice the picture as being a butt, i know it was a hand at first. But i went back to look at it and OMG…got frightened. Very cool optical illusion.

    • Karen says:

      Yep. It looks like a butt. :) Didn’t mean to frighten you. … Uh … who am I kidding. Frightening people was the *whole* point! :) ~ karen

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