In Defense of the Fist Bump

2010 February 8
by mockers

Carefully chosen racially diverse men touch each other.

On February 3rd, Jeff Kay posted An Open Letter to the People Who Insist On Touching Me All the Time.  As the guy who posted this on September 24th, 2009 – I am all for personal space and the banishment of people who seem to think that it’s okay to engage in heavy petting at a business meeting – but Mr. Kay’s effort goes too far.

Mr. Kay begins the article by spinning the tale of the fat lady who smells like clove gum (likely this woman) telling him a story and punctuating the story’s climax with a series of unwelcome touches.  I get this.  There’s a good chance that if I ever find myself in this position that I would gently grab the woman’s wrist and remove her hand from my person.  If she continued, I might punch her.

Kay then attacks the handshake as “men who expect me to hold their hand for a few seconds when we meet…just as gay as a shoe with bells on it.” It is at this point that a line is crossed.  According to Wikipedia (rule of thumb, when someone begins a sentence with “According to Wikipedia” they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.  In this case, there’s a direct attribution to Gentleman’s Quarterly, so you know it’s legit.  Except for the obvious fact that one may not want to quote Gentleman’s Quarterly if they wish to disprove that something is gay.) the purpose of the handshake is to convey trust, balance, and equality.  None of this has to do with homosexuality.

In fact, I would go so far as to contend that the handshake is a little test.  If you can manage the proper grip, eye contact and duration of the handshake, then maybe you can handle something a little more complex, like my daughter’s heart surgery…or whatever.  If you freak out, try to break my hand and then refuse to let go for several seconds – well, you may not be the guy for the job.  At no point, in contrast to Jeff Kay’s homooversexed ass, am I wondering about your sexual preference. I swear to God – it’s amazing when one compares the level of acceptance that the homosexual community enjoys today (it’s nowhere near acceptable, but you gotta admit it’s better than it’s ever been) with the amount of fear that straight guys have of someone mistaking them for gay.  I am currently reading this book and let me tell you something brother – dudes were into each other in the mid-nineteenth century.  They often slept in the same bed and they said stuff to each other in general correspondence that, if said to a lady at a local club, would get you kicked in the stones faster than feeling up her mother.  Now we can’t even shake hands without being branded a homo?  Seriously?

So anyway – I get that you might not want to touch the strange hand of a woman that could easily have been “auditioning the finger puppets” over lunch for all you know, but to brand the handshake as “just as gay as a shoe with bells on it” is going too far.  I have long maintained that Jeff Kay is “the Woody Allen of people” (a joke which has yet to receive one single laugh) and I suspect that this position is but another piece of evidence that Mr. Kay is a slave to his own neuroses.  A gay sex slave, in fact.

Kay then gently walks onto sacred ground and takes a long, steamy piss on my beloved fist bump.  “And don’t even get me started on the fist bumpers.  That one really bothers me.  It seems to be a hip and jaunty way of fulfilling the bizarre need for dermis rubbing, made to seem manly and cool and sporty.” Look, just because something has been wholly co-opted by assholes doesn’t mean that it is now only for those assholes.  Most of us early adopters co-opted it from unsuspecting black people.  As we all know, this is the only way for white people from central Iowa to appear cool.

First – from the perspective of germaphobes (or, in this case, neurotic weirdos) it doesn’t get any weirder than Howie Mandel.  His struggles with irrational fear are both monumental and well documented.  This is a guy who would use his own money to sanitize private planes just to get to gigs.   Yet, despite the level of illness that he managed to  reach before going public and getting help, he was still able to bump fists with strangers to show that he was a decent guy.  It appears that if the Jeff Kays of the world ran the place I would walk into the room, extend my hand or fist to his and he would respond, “Not gonna happen faggot.  Keep your booger hooks to yourself.”

I would think that the opportunity to convey a similar message and a proper amount of respect by simply touching knuckles rather than rubbing the parts that hold the toilet paper would be a welcome opportunity for Mr. Kay.  Unfortunately, his need to reject all those things that assholes do as “uncool” causes him to eliminate the possibility of the fist bump.  I understand how the fist bump, the high five and joining a frat might be seen as a display of latently homoerotic behavior, but once again – there is a time and place for everything (except rape…and Garth Brooks…however, it would be funny if Garth Brooks was repeatedly raped for that “Friends in Low Places” piece of shit).  When cheering for your sports team devolves into touching…well, that helps to advance the theory that watching sports in the first place is a Freudian replacement for a desire to do it with other dudes.  Simply touching knuckles in a greeting or to show one’s commitment to a shared business venture seems pretty harmless to me, if not admirable.

Finally – There’s nothing cooler than when a guy from the midwest tries to emulate black culture.  Everybody loves it when I call my friends dawg and when (after looking around to make sure that there’s no black people within earshot) I refer to my friends as “nigga”.  We all get a good chuckle and I’m sure everyone thinks better of me for it.  Besides, if it’s good enough for Elvis and Eminem, it’s certainly good enough for me dawg – word. *daps all around, bitchez*

Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with the bumping of fists – just don’t give me a fucking back rub.  Further, when I meet you for the first time and extend my hand in greeting, and you look at it like I’m trying to hand you feces – you’re the weirdo.  Just thought you should know.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 February 8

    There’s only one way to settle this: Jeff Kay vs. Metten in a no-holds barred wrestling match.

  2. 2010 February 8

    Yeah, but if you’re somebody who’s nobody, it’s no fun to be around anybody who’s everybody.

  3. 2010 February 9

    “the Woody Allen of people”
    There ya go man, I really did laugh, but only after a 1/4 second mental locking of the brakes.
    That is a (I don’t know what adjective to put here) statement.
    It is probably seen by the masses as “he is like Woody Allen”, but I think it goes way deeper than that and is even now tugging at my brain demanding more dissection.

  4. 2010 February 9
    metten permalink

    Thanks for the pity laugh. Jeff always talks about his dog Andy (Black Lips Houlihan, Snoop Manny Mann) as the “Woody Allen of Dogs” because he’s so neurotic. I thought this was hypocritical because Jeff can be pretty goddamned neurotic at times himself – so I started calling him the Woody Allen of people.

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