Emily Post’s Sanitary Alternatives to Handshakes this Flu Season

Image: wadebetter via Flickr

Constant Double Fisting

Proper holiday party double fisting is accomplished by grasping objects in each hand at all times. Recommended items for this purpose include an appetizer and a beverage, or two PBRs. When someone new approaches you, it is reasonable to shrug referencing your two PBRs, apologize, and patiently wait for your counterpart to drop their hand while you continue the conversation. Ask them about the weather and their thoughts on Climate Change.

Cough into Your Hands

During introduction, at the moment a handshake is offered, pull back and cough into your hands. Apologize, grimace, and say, “I shouldn’t,” so the other party retracts their hand. To begin a conversation, inquire how they are acquainted with the party host, for instance, did they match on a dating app but then decide to be friends.

Lie About Being Sick

If you do not wish to cough into your hands when someone has accosted you with a handshake, it is just as courteous to adjust the method and simply explain that you are sick and shouldn’t shake their hand. Begin an agreeable conversation with a question such as, “Do you think that the Democratic Party is becoming too centrist and has chosen to abandon its values in a misguided attempt to regain control from the right, without realizing in doing so they’re forfeiting their base of progressive voters? Also do you believe in God?”

Preemptive Fist Bump

The cunning guest can anticipate when a handshake is about to be offered and forestall it with a fist bump. This gives the other the privilege of physical contact without the potential of infection. Do not interlard your fist bump with frivolous gestures, as the more contact initiated, the higher the risk of virus transmission. Once the fist bump is completed, the correct formal greeting is: “Do you think Donald Trump will be impeached?”

Pretend You Are About to Shake Their Hand, Then at the Last Moment Pull Your Hand Back and Run It Through Your Hair

This humorous act will not only abscond you from a handshake, it will endear you to your audience. Use it on prospective friends, business partners, and dates.

Handshake Gloves

If you must shake hands, be sure to wear appropriate gloves as a measure of protection. You may use opera gloves or surgical gloves. Do not under any circumstance employ mittens unless you wish to look like a buffoon. Be enthusiastic and sincere in your handshake before you remove your handshake gloves. Take care not to expose your skin to the compromised fabric during removal, and handle the gloves delicately before returning them to your handshake glove satchel. Engage your counterpart in conversation by asking them, “How close do you think our country currently is to becoming a dystopia—or has it already?”