A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

By Nina Pajak

As we continue deeper and deeper down the path of the Broification of America, more groups are getting in on the action. I assumed that now that the automotive, fashion, fragrance, entertainment and beverage industries have checkmarks next to their boxes, the next industry heard from might be, say, airlines. Or weddings. Or maybe even baby products. Surprise! It’s doctors.

According to a press release from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), a newly published study has concluded that “‘Fist bumping’ transmits significantly fewer bacteria than either handshaking or high-fiving, while still addressing the cultural expectation of hand-to-hand contact between patients and clinicians.”

Yes. Fist bumping my doctor does address my cultural expectation of contact with the person who is in charge of my physical health. I would feel very comfortable as a human being if, say, the person who is about to perform surgery on me introduces himself with a fist bump, and then discusses the risks I’m about to undergo while reapplying his Axe body spray and taking a big swig from a can of Rockstar energy drink. He’ll be all, “POUND IT, BRO! WE’RE TOTALLY GOING TO DESTROY THIS APPENDIX!” And I’ll be all, “holy eff I don’t want to die.”

While the study was focused on controlling the spread of infection in hospitals, I can see the fist bump gaining in broad popularity. Let’s face it: high fives are awkward, and most people are absolutely terrible at handshakes anyway. And who isn’t a sucker for a new germ avoidance strategy? Obama already pounds it regularly, and so has Mitt “I’m not that white you guys” Romney, so it’s safe for politicians on both sides of the aisle to get on board. And as more millenials enter the workplace, it’s only natural that they’ll bring the fist bump with them. Soon we’ll be pounding it with potential employers, future in-laws, Realtors, loan officers, people in meetings, clergy, and new social acquaintances. We’ll pound to celebrate weddings, the births of babies, and promotions at work. The “handshake deal” will become a thing of the past, replaced by the gentleman’s fist bump agreement.

It’s gonna be sick, bro. Sick.

Not literally, obviously. It’s the opposite of sick, clearly. This fact will be a great consolation when my dentist offers me a pound before informing me that I need a root canal. Or when my OB/GYN completes a vaginal exam and departs with a quick fist bump + explode + reverse explosion combo.


Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!

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