Posts Tagged ‘being cool’

They Changed the Damn Handshake Again

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

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I know I’m not cool – but I do try to keep up. When I go to some function, there are two good friends who’ll help me decide what to wear. One’s a young woman and one’s gay – so I’ve got it covered. I practice ‘small talk’ in advance so I don’t appear rude.


I know when people start talking about movies or new television shows, I just put on a happy face, smile, and nod. If they ask if I’ve seen it, I always say, “Not yet – but I hear it’s great!” If they start telling me, in EXCRUCIATING DETAIL a character biography or plot line, I throw up a line I picked up from a bartender friend – “Don’t tell me too much, I want to see it myself!”


If the talk turns to sports (in which case I’m just about Jewish) I’ve learned to slowly shake a sad head and say, “Typical ______s”. Like, “Didja hear the Bills signed Joe Bagadonuts!?” I sadly shake my head and say, “Typical Bills.”


This all may sound awful to you but the alternative is to slam a pistol into my mouth and paint the walls. I have an EXTREMELY LOW threshold of interest in any contemporary cultural anything. That’s just the way I am – I can’t help it. Do you ever get bored? Well, multiply that by about 1000 and land in my land. My friends used to call me the “Chairman of the Bored”. But I try to fit in. I try not to think too much. Usually I can assimilate enough so as not to be a public freak show – until something new is tossed to me. Like different handshakes.


Until the late ‘60’s, handshakes were handshakes – everyone knew how to shake hands. Then the cool people started the “power” handshake – confusing all of us who weren’t cool. Today, anything goes – and usually goes right by me. I extend my hand and some young coolie lightly hits it with a fist – or holds up a hand for a ‘high-5’. I used to think the ‘high 5’ botard was about to slap me – but I now know that’s what pro athletes do on TV if they happen to do anything except screw up badly. Yay! Congratulating ‘High 5’s’ all around if you didn’t drop the ball or ran a half-yard or passed your pee test! I guess pro sports guys need a lot of handy positive reinforcements. Their paychecks would be enough for me but what the hell do I know?


At least all these screwy handshakes are better than hugs. I’m not a hugger. You can hug me in public – but I’m not hugging you unless I’ve just slipped a five-dollar bill between your soft, moist skin and your G-string.