A fan wrote to warn me that future editions of my Monster Etiquette book will need to be updated to accommodate the global pandemic. Item 2: Grasp appendages firmly (see image above), is clearly inappropriate advice for the new reality of social distancing and no touching.
It’s not clear to me yet what convention will replace the handshake. Here are four ideas I’m watching.
1. The Wave—Easy to learn. Works at long distance. Can be modified to allow personal expression from dignified to exuberant.
2. The Curtsy—A classic that could make a comeback. Graceful. In this era of gender bending, there’s no reason guys can’t master the curtsy.
3. Long Hand—Permits greetings similar to a traditional handshake but executed at a safe distance.
4. Emoji Hat—Applies technology to the problem. Makes it possible to add nuance to a greeting by fine tuning the display. May require batteries.
If you have a favorite or believe some other gesture is better suited for post-pandemic life, let me know.
While the handshake principle may be a little outdated due to current events, we think the rest of Don's little illustrated book is still spot on. If you find yourself surrounded by rude, loud, smelly, selfish creatures who don’t know how to behave, this book may be the perfect cure. (Now, go wash your hands.)
Don—Pittsburgh, May 10, 2020