Dear Men with Bone Crushing Handshakes

June 20, 2011

Dear Men with Bone-Crushing Handshakes:

I am writing as the representative of Men with Girly-Man-Hands.  Let me begin by saying it is our pleasure to meet you.  We understand that you are manly-men.  We understand that you are men of heft and substance, of testosterone filled confidence.  We understand that you think that a solid and firm handshake makes lesser men like ourselves believe that you are entrepreneurial and successful.  We understand that you probably played football or some other manly sport as a youth and you are still grieving the fact that you did not receive a college scholarship.

We can see that you understand this as well. We can see by the way that you lean very far forward into the handshake and invade our personal space.  We can see by the way that you cock your elbow back like you are John Wayne, about to draw a pistol from its holster, then you fire your hand towards us and lean in and wait for us to put our fragile little girly-man-hands out so you can crush the shit out of them.

As the representative of Men with Girly-Man-Hands, I am asking you to please be more considerate, however, of certain men, including myself, whose hands are not made of solid granite.  Although we may look manly, our hands may appear to be regular man-size and we may play the part with our fine clothes and our five o’ clock shadow, please be aware that our hands perhaps have a softer infrastructure than yours.  When you shake our hands and you can hear cracking sounds because our bones are snapping into little pieces, please understand that we are no longer thinking of you as being entrepreneurial and successful.  Rather, at that moment, as you release our hands and our arms fall down like the legs on a rubber chicken, we are mostly just thinking that you are a complete douchebag and we wish you would go away. I am aware this is difficult for someone of your intellectual might to understand and therefore I will give you some time to digest this information before following up.

In closing, although your football coach probably told you to shake hands with the same force that you used to crush the opposing players into the earth, I will respectfully tell you that football coaches don’t know everything.  In fact, most of the men whom you will introduce yourself to in your lifetime didn’t ever play organized football.  Some of the men, like myself, instead played the cello which I understand is not the manliest of instruments, but at least it was not the flute.  I will also respectfully ask that when you are shaking our girly-man-hands in a less crushing fashion, please refrain from leaning forward into our personal space and breathing all over us and showing us the chest hairs bulging out of your shirt.  It is unbecoming and unnecessary.

Thank you Men with Bone Crushing Handshakes for your time and consideration.  I hope we can come to a cordial agreement on this pressing issue. I will follow up with you shortly to address any questions or concerns you might have.  Please look for that follow up via e-mail, rather than in person as I would prefer not to have to shake your hand.

Best regards,



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17 responses to “Dear Men with Bone Crushing Handshakes

  1. bigsheepcommunications

    Thank you for so eloquently speaking for the Men with Girly Man Hands. I hope your plea is heard and understood, but since Men with Bone Crushing Handshakes also tend to have Heads Like Boulders, the likelihood of new information penetrating the Heads is slim. As a back-up plan, perhaps you can give a little wave and apologize for the awful contagious rash that is sure to engulf your hands at any moment.

    • Maybe I’ll have to write a letter to Men with Heads Like Boulders. The whole rash thing reminds me of a funny story. An old guy one time introduces himself to me, shakes my hand, then proceeds to tell me how he suffers from shingles! Uhhh… gross… can you excuse me while I go wash my hands, and maybe my whole body!

  2. Good stuff, Steve. Thanks for writing this. As a guitar player, I have to be mindful of the condition of the bones of my hands–i.e. I can’t have them broken. Might have to resort to the fist bump greeting form now on. . .

  3. Ok…on the other end of the scale, I HATE it when a someone shakes my hand like a wet noodle…I don’t break, and I like it firm… 🙂 the handshake I mean…but ya, don’t break my fingers either.

  4. Ah, you all a bunch of sissies!!

  5. …unless your breath smells like you’ve been eating unicorn hide, then lean in and breathe like i’m your 50th birthday candle.

  6. Brilliant letter..wish I’d thought of it 🙂

  7. I think your “funny” is definitely back, Steve…I read this entire post out loud to Jim and Anna…I could hardly speak because I was laughing so hard! Thank you for a much-needed giggle after a “bone-crushing” day at work!


  8. Teri

    Thanks for your article! It was sorely needed! (Yeah, I meant to say that.) 😉

    Your post prompted me to go searching for a defense, and I found one – extend your hand to shake, but only extend the thumb and index finger (like you’re making a “gun” with your fingers). It helps to protect the bones of your hand:

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