My brother used to unscrew the hands of department store mannequins, slowly and carefully, when my mom and the sales ladies weren't looking. I would watch him in delighted horror-they made tiny, rusty, squeaking sounds as they came loose. He would place them delicately on the platform at their feet, palms up or palms down, depending on how many broken fingers they already had. (This was in a chain called Times Square Stores, a K-Mart predecessor that was not much into aesthetics, so their mannequins had missing fingers and toeless feet and high, angry eyebrows). Is this the root of my affection for disembodied hands? Or is it because of tv's Addams Family's faithful Thing, rising up out of velvet-lined boxes?
Maybe it's just that hands are second only to our faces when it comes to human expression.
And exceptionally useful even when they're not attached.