When I first moved to Los Angeles I actively avoided the fist thump as a means of salutation or congratulation. I guess I’m more conservative than I like to think. I couldn’t handle this new fangled means of making human contact. What happened to the high five or even the good old fashioned handshake?
Maybe I was more the rebel that I like to think I am. If everyone is doing something, avoid it. Here I was in this new city that required their citizens to behave differently than people elsewhere, and so I protested. When I went out to the Venice basketball courts and was part of a winning play, I would slap them skin, but I’d keep my palm open. They accepted the high fives but the other participant would then keep his fist out as if to say “Pound it or the transaction is not complete.” Most times I was in a good mood and would give in, but if I was feeling particularly stubborn I’d keep them hanging.
At some point I expressed my frustrations with the fist bump. A friend set me straight. “I love it. When you give a bum a dollar and he wants to shake your hand, you just give him a fist bump. When you’re introduced to that guy at the party who you just saw pick his ear, pound it.”
That conversation changed my attitude. It can not be a coincidence that this phenomenon has now spread world wide.