Calgary Herald

Gut feeling

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Re: “Sadly, hugs have replaced handshakes,” Bronwyn Eyre, Opinion, April 5.

Finally, a columnist writes about something that bothers me, too — there is just way too much hugging going on these days, often in contexts that are weird and awkward.

Bronwyn Eyre is also right that the other alternativ­es to the handshake — the fist bump and the Oriental bow — don’t adequately replace the handshake.

But she gives up too quickly when she hopes to keep the handshake alive. Handshakes do seem to be a way of spreading germs and I think it is even discourteo­us not to refuse a handshake if one has recently had a cold or flu.

One alternativ­e Eyre did not look at is the faux punch to the gut, stopping just short of the mock target without actually making contact. Like the handshake, it takes a certain amount of skill to do well, and whereas the handshake allows you to test your acquaintan­ce’s moxie by the strength of his grip, the faux punch allows the same by the extent that your acquaintan­ce flinches.

Rod MacKenzie, Calgary

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