The gripometer

posted 28 Aug 2015, 10:54 by Dominic Thwaites   [ updated 28 Aug 2015, 11:42 ]

While browsing that fine museum in Dawlish, one exhibit caught my attention in particular. An old fairground device that measured the strength of your grip. What I found mildly amusing was the scale. It went from 0 to 500. And to add further context it listed a number of professions from which a sample of candidates might be expected to score. Being a seaside amusement thingy it was not too much of a surprise to see that sailors came top of the list, clocking in an expectation of a whopping 470 points from their big, hairy mitts. Guess what profession had the lowest expectation? Yes, bankers. Their puny, soft and delicate hands were expected to score a mere 310.

I passed by the machine assuming it was not in full working order, sticking to the usual no-touchy policy of museums. But a little later a 3 generation family had clearly experimented and was causing some commotion. Various members of said family were expressing mixed emotions including smug satisfaction, outrage and incredulity. Without appearing too nosey, I gathered that Granny had achieved the highest score.

Right, so I had to try this thing. I felt a little self conscious while people were watching so I waited till the coast was clear, so to speak, and then furtively approached the machine for a second time. I gave the thing a quick squeeze confidently expecting to get within spitting distance of "sailor". Um, I managed 250.

I took a quick look over my shoulder to make sure no one witnessed that. Hmm, gonna have take this thing a little more seriously. Once more double checking no one was around I crouched down to get into a good position, braced myself,  flexed my fingers for a few seconds, took firm hold of the gripper, drew a deep breath and then squeezed like my life depended on it.

I just managed banker. I don't think I want to know what Granny scored.