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Pumphandle is always 10 days away.

Ewww, wash your hands.

Pumphandle is pretty much everybody's worst nightmare. Especially if you happen to be a Germophobe (the proper term being Mysophobe). Basically it is a Knox tradition in which everyone on the campus shakes hands with everybody else. The name is taken from the repetitive motion required to shake more than 1,000 hands (though usually only underclassmen show up).

How it works[edit]

The goal is to introduce the new first-years to the rest of the school. It works like this: The line starts with Roger Taylor and his wife Anne Taylor, followed by various Deans. Anne shakes Roger's hand then stands beside him, the next person in line shakes both their hands and falls in line behind them. Thus, one weird serpentine line is formed, one half waiting as the moving half proceeds down the line shaking hands and uttering some sort of ridiculous greeting that they'll repeat ad infinitum. Everyone wears name tags.

As you come to the end of the line, you can decide (at least a little bit) where it will go next. At Pumphandle 2006, Graham Troyer-Joy encouraged people after him to take the line into Old Main. They did.

Drawbacks of pumphandle[edit]

It is held in the Fall during the first week of school, which is usually miserably hot. By the end everyone's palms are drenched in others' palm sweat. When the end of the line reaches the beginning of the line (that is when the end of the moving portion has passed the beginning of the static portion) then it is time to eat a special dinner on the Gizmo patio. No, you can't go to the Caf. It is advisable that if you decide to participate in Pumphandle that you show up early, so you don't have to walk as much and so you can get to the food first.

It is convenient that Roger starts the line as that entitles him to first dibs on the potato salad.

But really, it's one of the great Knox traditions. The Sigma Nu's traditionally bring a couch that they stick in the line. There is a Senior Pumphandle too, at the end of Senior Week.

And as it's always 10 days away, it never is actually pumphandle. Or anything close to it.