There are a lot of handshake bullies out there. You stick out your hand and find your fingers in a vice. The bully looks at you with one of those “gotcha” grins, and squeezes. You hear your knuckles crack, feel the joints buckle. You fight with everything you’ve got to hold back the tears.
When he’s done crushing your hand, you don’t have enough strength to go through it again. Your hand needs a day to recover. So, you grin and bear it and put a note in your memory to be prepared the next time you run into him.
It won’t work; the bully puts a picture of you holding back the tears in his memory. When you see him again and stick out your hand, ready for his maneuver, he doesn’t make a quick grab for your fingers; he ducks down and gives you a “friendly” punch in the gut, “Ha ha, gotcha again!” The only thing to do then is to stomp down on his foot with everything you’ve got, and say, “Oops, sorry. I tripped.”
This is why some guys don’t shake hands. Some younger guys hug; do a fist bump, a shoulder bump or a high five; anything to avoid getting trapped by a handshake bully.
Old coots don’t do any of that stuff; it’s too complicated and we’re too uncoordinated – we’d miss the other guy’s fist in a fist bump and end up punching him in the upper arm – an attempt at a shoulder bump would find us staggering past the guy, headed for a spill – a high five would end the same way and we don’t know how to hug.
We step back, tip our hats, or salute and say, “Howdy; good to see you Governor.” It makes us look like an idiot, but who cares? Handshake bullies don’t get us in their vice grip anymore.
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