Only Americans could take a simple insult like the finger and give it an infinite series of spins. Chalk it up to a nation of misplaced ingenuity. The same people who once led the globe in producing cars now head the world in super-sized, musk-scented Pop Tarts. We spend more time and money on games and entertainment than on education, so it's not surprising that our slang expressions are more advanced than any space program. Foreign swears may be more poetic (may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits!), but they're long-winded and often in another language. When it comes to shit, tit, and dick, nobody does it better than Americans.
In the name of cultural advancement, we document 19 well-known finger variations in our book, accompanied by handy diagrams for slow learners and recent immigrants. On the website, we offer you 3 of those, and several new ones. Too bad for you.
The popular saying "Not Loud Enough For You? Then Turn It Up!" (figure 1), features a downturned bird spun upwards to symbolize a volume knob of increasing tension. Like most things at high volume (drum circles, guitars, Apocalypse Now), this insult works best if you're a little stoned, or at least sound that way.
Sometimes tradition needs to be honored. Before the automobile, we traveled mainly by horse, so the term "Fuck You and the Horse You Rode in On" (figure 2) reminds us of those bygone days. A normal upturned finger, rotated 90 degrees on its side, signifies both the recipient and his or her stallion. By adding the horse to the insult, the user negates the victim's entire place in the space/time continuum. If the horse is fucked too, then the victim is in fact back to square one÷shit out of luck, as they say. This variation is a favorite of existentialists everywhere.
Still other variations alter the insult by using truncated fingers or substitutes. When telling someone to "Read Between the Lines" (figure 3), hold up the index, middle and fourth fingers and bunch them together. Your helpless victim will have to Sherlock Holmes his own fuck-off.