Monday, November 3, 2008

What happened to shaking hands?

Fist bump, knudge, fist pound, fist love, knuckle bump, knuckles, pound it, poundage, respect knuckles, knuckle knock, bones, the rock, spud, stones, giving props, or "the get some," among other names, seems to have replaced the handshake as the masculine greeting gesture of choice. Yesterday morning when I was at the airport I observed two men who were in the final third of their lives engage in the aforementioned gesture before parting.

Sociologists and linguists seeking clues about behavior from a bygone era will observe older males because they are the slowest to change and the most likely to persist with an otherwise outmoded manner of speaking or acting. John McCain will carry most of the midsection of the country today precisely because most of these people have simply never considered voting anything but Republican in a general election.

Then again, we could be at the dawn of a whole new era. For instance, I've seen dozens of Obama-Biden yard signs in Idaho and Utah, and pretty much zero McCain-Palin signs. But to observe older men doing anything but a vanilla handshake was still unexpected. Perhaps not so surprising as waking up to find my head sewn to the carpet, but then again, what could be more surprising than that?

Regardless of your political preference, get out and vote today. You only have a right to complain if you made your voice heard when you had the chance.