You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy™
How to shake a man’s hand.
The good old fashioned, look a man in the eye, and shake-his-hand handshake is falling out of favor in America.
You know why? because people are afraid. Afraid of germs, afraid of touching other people.
With Swine Flu as prevalent as body odor on a bus bench, nobody wants to touch anybody anymore.
Every where you turn, talk is about swine this and flu that and where is the vaccine. Can there be enough reminders to wash your hands, sanitize your ass, to blow your nose into your shirt.
No wonder everyone hand shake phobia.
Call it Howie Mandel syndrome. He hasn’t shaken another man’s hand for 20 years. The guy is a germ-a-fobe! He won’t shake your hand because he thinks you have nose gunk stunk on your fingers. He thinks you just came from a diaper changing session at John and Kate plus 8. For Howie Mandel, he never met a fist bump he didn’t like.
He had a very popular TV show called Deal or No Deal where everyone fist bumped like it was a dance move. The models wore low cut dresses and had legs up to their necks. I’m not sure what that has to do with a fist bump, but ratings were big and I’m sure that show helped the fist bump become not only acceptable, but possibly cool.
So in stead of shaking hands, people now find it totally acceptable to fist bump.
Barack and Michelle Obama celebrate winning the Democratic nomination with a fist bump in 2008.
A Memphis politician fist bumped the Dali Lama a few weeks ago for Christ Sakes.
The idiot Mayor of Memphis could have bowed or smiled, he could have sneered like Elvis. “Thank you Dahli. Thank You very much!”
But a fist bump. What a freaking low class move.
When it comes to social etiquette, Americans are the Al Bundy’s of the planet.
We burp out loud and shove our hand down our pants while we fart and watch people fight on daytime TV.
I like the fist bump as much as the next guy, but you can’t tell a damned thing about a person from a fist bump.
With a handshake there is protocol and etiquette. I was thinking about that a few days ago when my ten year old asked me how do you shake a man’s hand. He has a 5th grade project where he has to interview for a job. Part of the interview will be judged on how he conducts himself, how he answers questions.
I thought for a second and said, well you grasp the other man’s hand firmly. You stare that man in the eyes. Grip his hand tightly and firmly. Let the other man know you are there. Let him know you mean business. It tells him you are a man, not afraid to engage him in either conversation or combat.
It made me think about the origin of this social behavior. We shake hands now without thinking, but when did it all start?
According to Kevin Andrew who wrote about the origin of the handshake in a document entitled: Chapter Five: Nonverbal Communication Web Project The Handshake
Andrew writes: One origin offered by Herbert Spencer, in his book THE PRINCIPLES OF SOCIOLOGY, is that of two Arabs meting in a desert. They each reach for the others hand to kiss it in greeting. However, it is an insult to have your hand kissed by another individual, so both men try to withdraw from the lips of the other man. The end result of this meeting is the acceptance by both men that they wouldn’t kiss the others hand, and thus they ended up only clasping the hand of the other, and the handshake was born.
Andrew also cites Medievel kings and knights who grasped each other’s hands when meeting to make sure that they were not clutching weapons.
CNN reports that If you travel to France, be prepared to shake hands dozens of times a day. Office workers in Paris, for example, may shake in the morning to greet, and in the afternoon to say goodbye, to colleagues.
I guess shaking a Frenchman’s hand beats french kissing him right?
Back to the fist bump.
I like it. I also like back slaps, elbow smashes to the chest, and ass slaps from co-workers. But I don’t want any of this to replace the good old fashioned handshake. If I have to bathe each and every time I meet someone then, damn it, that is what I will do.