I was the victim of an errant fist bump the other night.
I won’t lie, it kind of hurt, not so much in an overly painful, I need to go to the hospital sort of way but more in a surprising why the hell did this guy just hit me so hard kind of way, leading me to ask myself, when you set your fist out to initiate, or reciprocate, a fist bump, who the hell goes in full steam?
Clearly there are a group of people out there who need to learn proper fist bump etiquette. If you feel you already know how, when and where to fist bump, there’s nothing more to see here. Please move along and wait for the next informative (or at a minimum entertaining) post that SportsChump has to offer. But if you feel you may suffer from a lack of expertise in this area, I invite you to read along.
I work with my hands. I imagine most of us do whether it’s slinging drinks, hanging dry wall or designing company spreadsheets. We never take the time to appreciate the importance of our phalanges until we sprain one of them accidentally or when someone bashes their fist into yours.
I’m not sure who originated the fist-bump (one reader reminded me it used to be called ‘pounding’) but I won’t lie, I do it quite often. I can’t remember the first time I ever did it or when it even became a thing. Generally upon greeting someone in a semi-casual manner, a hug, kiss or handshake used to be standard protocol. Somewhere along the line the fist-bump eased its way into our manners of saying hello/goodbye or congratulating someone on a job well done. The Washington Post even wrote an article acknowledging the fist-bump as a much safer way to greet someone considering fewer germs are exchanged upon interaction. Who knew someone else could write a fist-bumping article as silly as this?
I imagine fist bumping is more often a male on male thing but I’ve seen and fist-bumped plenty of women so a having a penis is not a requirement. Only having a fist is.
This story originates the other night when I went to give someone a fist bump for a job well done. That’s when Rocky Balboa came in for the kill.
Now this wasn’t a huge gentleman nor do I think he had anything to prove. He’s not overly athletic by any stretch. In fact, I’d say he’s even a little socially awkward. I don’t think he was trying to harm me but his fist definitely came in with Drago-like force, as if he were training to take down the aforementioned Balboa in the big battle in Russia.
I didn’t see it coming.
Don’t get me wrong. Clearly I’m exaggerating a touch. I didn’t go down like Apollo Creed in the middle of the ring (I just wanted to see if I mix in a third Rocky IV reference– hooray to me, currently fist-bumping myself, softly). But he came in hard, as if in need of a fist-bump manual or at a minimum this informative lesson in fist-bump etiquette.
As far as I can recall, I don’t think I’ve ever received a fist bump quite that hard, certainly not one that almost made me recoil my fist in caution. Fist bumps are not supposed to reenact two cars headed for a collision. That’s how people get hurt. Note: let it also be known that wearing hand jewelry may also be misconstrued as attempt to injure.
So what’s the proper speed for a fist-bump? I’d say anything that doesn’t make you wince. It’s not a punching bag, people.
Have you ever shaken hands with someone and you felt like it’s a competition as to who can more effectively cut off the other person’s circulation? That’s what this was like minus the hand-grabbing but with a touch of knuckle crushing.
Overall bad fist bumping form. Again, people, I’m here to help.
So let this be a lesson to those among us who fist-bump far too recklessly. If you’re wondering whether or not that’s you, it’s safe to assume you’ve done it wrong. The objective of the social greeting of your choosing is not to harm.
Just tap fists and move on with your business.