A spy informs me that one firm is already telling its employees to avoid shaking hands as a way to lower the risks of swine flu. I can see this sort of policy catching on. My informant wonders what sort of greeting should replace the handshake. I'm on it.

There are few times in history when you have a chance to create a new and lasting custom. I say we put our collective minds together and come up with a business greeting that involves no skin-to-skin contact and no exchange of bodily fluids.  I will open the bidding by suggesting the forearm bump. I already use this method jokingly with my friend who has germ issues. It's like crossing swords except you cross your sleeved forearm. The cooties don't have time to penetrate two layers of sleeves. Or so he thinks.

This new swine flu greeting still needs something extra, such as both people saying, "Huzaaa!" when their forearms touch.

An alternate move would involve making a fist and holding it up to your snout sideways, as if you are forming a pig's snout, snorting then finishing with a fist bump. That's still hand-on-hand contact, but at least it's the clean side.

Who has a better idea for a handshake replacement?
Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +14
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Apr 30, 2009
Ho about the Indian Namaste? It's like shaking your own hand. Alternatively, the Star Trek "live long and prosper." Otherwise, the simple raising of eyebrows and leering at women.
Apr 30, 2009
If you're part of the DNRC you simply use the secret sign devised by Saint Trouble lo these many years ago. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, well the B Ark is now boarding all passengers, all rows.
Apr 30, 2009
I always preferred the middle finger approach to greet people.
. F*k it's nice to see you again
2. F*k it's you again
3. Don't F*k with me
4. I want to F*k you
5. Stay the F*k away from me.
6. F-an A it's nice to meet you

And so on

Apr 30, 2009
The vulcan hand greeting works well too. No touching and you still acknowledge your colleagues, etc.
Apr 30, 2009
Place the tip of the thumb of your open hand on the tip of your nose, waggle fingers.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 30, 2009
The classic from Young Frankenstein. Just touch elbows.
Apr 30, 2009
The Hand Bow: Hands are placed together, as in prayer, and instead of bending the body at the waist, just the hands are bowed, either by bending the wrist or the elbow.
The Fist punch: Instead of grasping hands, each person makes a fist, and they (GENTLY) touch fists. Contact is breif, and no bodily fluids are exchanged (especially not with parts that will touch your food/face)

Both of these are fairly well known and understood, If one party initiates a handshake, does not extend his hand, but hand bows back, usually the handshaker withdraws and imitates the motion.

Watch Howie Mandel on Deal or No Deal. He's germophobic, like Adrian Monk. I've seen him use both techniques (as well as succumb to being hugged to death by a bouncing contestant).
Apr 30, 2009
How about a foot waggle?

Actually, I've always been a fan of the bow and curtsy.
Apr 30, 2009
hmm contactless greetings, this should be a call to arms for all dilbertonians out there... Possibly there is some tech device (bluetooth like) that if you held 2 of them facing eachother would "electronicaly" shake hands. There is potential for this... you could have a button to shake, refuse. insult... I think this could be interesting an "i-shake"
Apr 30, 2009
Klingon salute - tap your fist to your heart then extend your arm our forward. if you do it enough, youi actually get some benefit from the exercise.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 30, 2009
Go with the G.E. Corporate Handshake
Apr 30, 2009
I think a little dance on the spot would do the job of a handshake manfully. It would have the benefit of having unspoken rules like the handshake. For example, most of us unconsciously realise when a handshake has gone on too long. The same would be true of the "hello prance". Also, you could tailor it to suit the recipient and/or situation. A formal foot frenzy a la Riverdance at a job interview would demonstrate deference and dexterity. A Gene Kelly lateral heel-click would work on a date. And four seconds of moderately paced tap dancing (hands in pockets) would suffice for family and close friends. If fact, I might give it whirl even if swine flu isn't the runaway success everyone predicts it will be.
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 30, 2009
I think we should go with the "dude" jump chest bump while shouting duuuude!!! It'll be fun with the opposite sex too! What more could you want!! Unless folk start going topless of course... but in the cases of the opposite sex, its a sacrifice I'd be willing to make!
Apr 30, 2009
Bowing as in Asia.
Reinstating the Hitler salute.
Better yet, since we're on the way to communism anyway, a halfway raised fist "greetings, comrade"
Apr 30, 2009
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 30, 2009
You could simply shake feet, instead of hands. Usually, people wear shoes, so no skin-to-skin contact, but there's a contact, which is an important part of the greeting.
Apr 30, 2009
Gah!, This is a horrid Idea, for some people the hand shake may be the only physical contact they get with members of the oposite sex. This will further prevent nerdie engineering types from getting close to potential mates and getting their proverbiale "hooks" set. Thus only good looking "inDuhviduals" with six packs of the non beer variaty will be able to mate creating a dumber (though good looking) species. If anything we need to encourage a new greeting that encourages more physical contact, thus increasing the amount of action our astheticly impared but intelligent get. It would also give new meaning to the phrase "bumping uglies"
Apr 30, 2009
My two year old daughter jabs her finger at me and says "You baby!", so I think we should all go with that.
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 29, 2009
Just say "hello"...
Never thought of that?
Apr 29, 2009
If one believes the studies that come out of Britain one should never shake hands. Supposedly 70 percents of males don't wash their hand after going to the toilet and 60 percent of females don't after changing a baby's nappy/diaper.
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