Palm greasing is the art of slipping someone in authority money in such a fashion that they let you do whatever it is you’re trying to do. There are many different beliefs on how this should be done. Some believe that publicly displaying the bill is acceptable while others contend that the whole process should be discreet.

A sly handshake and the recipient finds a neatly folded bill in their hand.

Amounts vary from $10 and up. I wouldn’t suggest slipping anyone anything lower than a ten unless you’re overseas and foreign exchange rates apply. Bribery on a different hemisphere is risky because you could find yourself being caned on the streets of Singapore just because you didn’t want to wait in line.

When greasing a palm, it is important that you grease the palm of the individual who can actually cut you the slack that you just paid for. It’s no good to slip the dishwasher a twenty unless you want very clean glasses. Also, make sure you cough up enough dough to get the desired effect; less is not more, in this case. If you try and get out of a speeding ticket with a handful of ones you’re only going to get yourself in more trouble. Aim high - like the Air Force.

Your best bet is with a twenty. Fold it in quarters and conceal it in the palm of your hand. When you shake the hand of the soon-to-be greased, use your other hand to slow down the casual shake so that there is no embarrassing money fluttering to the floor, unused. As soon as the other side of this handshake feels the paper (actually, it’s a linen pulp) there should be a moment of understanding.


If all went well then you’ll be skating on easy street on whatever endeavor you set out to accomplish. If the palm is the kind that can’t be greased (they’re out there so be careful) then you’ll probably find yourself out on the street and $20 poorer.

Not to worry, in time you’ll be everybody’s favorite patron – nothing but the best seats and no waits for you.

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