Is this your signature or an ECG?

Posted May 22, 2013

Is this your signature or an ECG?

My signature is like an electrocardiogram. 

I blame my husband for this. He’s the one who lumbered me with a surname that’s impossible to write with one fluid stroke of the pen. It’s that small ‘c’ in McKibbin that causes the bother. As soon as I try to incorporate it my hand judders to a halt and my signature flatlines.  

Over the years I’ve tried various ways to overcome the problem:

- A fancy pants flourish. I keep attempting to come up with something that is arty and stylish. I end up with handwriting that looks as if I’m in the grips of a violent convulsion.

- A painstakingly slow childlike signature where very letter is clearly scribed. This is reserved for important documents and bank cards. It may take forever to complete but at least it’s readable. Too readable, in fact, and easy to forge as a bank cashier once informed me. (I can’t win!)

- My initials. I resort to this when I’m presented with a stack of things that need to be authorised and signed off quickly. I circle the letters to make it look a bit more ‘official’. Bizarrely, no one has ever queried it.

With such an extensive portfolio of sign offs, you can understand why I hesitate when someone asks, “Is this your signature?” I’ve learned that the response, “It could be; depends which one,”  is treated with suspicion. 

To make matters worse, I’ve now had to add a fourth: signing for a delivery. This is when the plastic stylus I’m holding skitters across the screen and produces an impression of a highly alarming ECG. In a hospital setting, this would have medical staff rushing to my aid. The delivery man just glances briefly, nods approvingly and heads back to his van.

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