Why Is A Hand Giving ‘The Shocker’ in The Times

I'm shocked, shocked!

A curious cartoon appeared in The New York Times earlier this week. It accompanied an op-ed piece called “When Roommates Were Random,” and thus shows two people with contrasting sensibilities. One has a beer helmet, the other a tweed jacket and briefcase. It’s mildly amusing.

But upon a second look at the beer-drinker’s tee shirt, something seems off. The image on the tee is a disembodied hand with the fourth finger lowered, the rest extended. It’s a hand position commonly refered to as “The Shocker,” a sexual innuendo that no Times editor would routinely allow to pass through vetting. It’s a family newspaper!

The Daily’s Tumblr site directed us to the drawing, and we were intrigued enough to reach out to the artist, Andy Rementer.

“I noticed that your cartoon is yesterday’s Times has, on the t-shirt of the beer-drinking man, a hand giving the sexual symbol known as “The Shocker,” where all fingers are extended save for the fourth finger,” we asked the cartoonist via email. “Was this intentional, or were you going for the “Devil Horns” rock hand symbol (third and fourth fingers down)?”

Perhaps this was just a little Shocker/Devil Horns confusion! That would be understandable.

“Nice to hear from you,” Mr. Rementer responded. “I hope you like my art, I will let it speak for itself.”
Does it speak for itself. Here’s the cartoon below.
Why Is A Hand Giving ‘The Shocker’ in The Times