• Bodie English

Local Male Unsure Of How To Exert Dominance With CDC's New "Fist Bump" recommendation.

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

With "Covid-19" corona virus sweeping its way across the globe, many are experiencing anxiety over what drastic changes are on their way. The CDC and many governmental agencies have made several recommendations for how to mitigate public exposure to the swiftly circulating pathogen; one of which is for people to avoid or limit physical contact.

One such way of limiting manual exposure is to curtail a time honored tradition of handshaking. This may not be as simple as good hygiene however, many men have come to rely on a solid firm handshake as a reassurance of a social dominance framework. Says Mack Hindeman of Garland Texas, "......Uh, naw man.....That aint gonna work for me." Being a man of few words, Mack has come to rely on non-verbal communication much of his life and so this new scenario of avoiding some forms of contact has necessarily limited Mack's ability to communicate effectively. For example. Mack seemed to not be sure if he was more alpha than myself when I approached him for a comment having not had the initial opportunity to squeeze my hand really hard and look me in the eye for signs of weakness. When he reached out to shake my hand, I smiled and offered my fist. He was at first repelled, but then managed to utter his aforementioned response.

His next move was to look me up and down which was when he noticed that I had on a tie pin. This seemed to give him renewed confidence of his relative manliness and he was able to go on to suggest, " This dangold thing is gettin outta hand" Mack was not attempting a pun, and upon my grin at the thought, he doubled down on an aggressive posture, "Listen here buddy; you may be from the city, but I'mma tell you somethin." Mack was not able to finish his thought because at that moment he felt a sneeze coming on and prepared for his bodily response and tensing of his facial features. Mack made a violent sneeze to his side and then folded his arms defensively. He had forgotten what he was saying and pivoted by pointing out that I had driven a Chevy (which was parked behind me in the Bed Bath and Beyond parking lot) and asked me how much horsepower it possessed....he didn't say possessed, those are my words, he said, "how much power you got init?" I responded that I wasn't sure, that my mother had helped me pick it out. Mack seemed to have found himself again and seemed to have an epiphany. He ended our interview only by saying, "I done figured it out."

I was not able to make meaning of his words and since my translator was not present, I was left feeling as though, despite my lack of understanding of what had just transpired, Mack was going to be just fine. He didn't need a handshake after all, He just needed to use his words.

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