Back in the day, ladies wore gloves and gentlemen wore hats, butter cost ten cents a pound, and if you had to perform a mathematical calculation you did it on an abacus, like a man. And back then if you wanted to greet a fellow, you either gave him a firm handshake or a swift punch in the teeth, because you had manners.
Since then our nation has grown unspeakably vulgar. The polite handshake has gone the way of the dodo and been replaced by forced physical intimacy tantamount to clothed copulation with strangers: in other words, hugging, which is both offensive and unsanitary.
Another popular gesture, first aired before a horrified audience of millions one warm June night last year, involves the touching of knuckles in a "fist bump," which is to say, "an unseemly and informal punching motion in which the participants are too timid to sock each other properly on the jaw."
If we wonder where the hard-working and upright citizens of yesteryear have gone to, or why their children have fallen so far short of their sterling example, we might look to our sloppy and careless public comportment. How we greet each other says who we are. A firm handshake says, "I am well nourished, energetic, vigorous, and in possession of most of my fingers." A hug says, "I am an oversexed idiot with no self restraint." And a fist bump says, "I might not have any fingers at all, and if I do, I am too lazy to use them."
This is why it's so distressing that instead of putting a stop to this madness, a group has organized to promote and even popularize the crude and graceless fist bump. Next Wednesday, June 3 is so-called "National Fist Bump Day," and you can expect to see a lot of ill-mannered knuckle-knocking on this foul occasion.
We do not need to stand for this. Our brave soldiers did not die on the Omaha beaches so that we could popularize deviant new forms of greeting. On June 3, you need not stand around with your hands in your pockets like a vagrant in order to register your disapproval. Do not "hug" like a needy infant or bump knuckles like an imbecile. Extend a firmly outstretched hand to strangers and friends alike, and declare, "I am an American, and I will bump no part of you."