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Today's quote:

Saturday, December 19, 2020

What else could possibly happen this year?


What a year it has been! I think this pandemic will change people’s behaviour in a lasting way. Before the so-called Spanish Flu struck in 1918, every restaurant had a little brass bucket called a spittoon that you could spit in — just really gross, accumulating big buckets of spit over the course of a day. People got rid of them because they didn’t want to spread germs. After the epidemic was over, the spittoons didn’t come back. None of us have ever been to a restaurant where we've wondered, "Where is the spittoon? I want my spittoon back."

Is there something in the twenty-first century that resembles a spittoon, but we’re so used to it that we don’t see it as disgustingly unhygienic? I don’t think hand-shaking is as disgusting as public spitting, but I do think there’s a possibility that handshaking may go the way of spittoons. In the Western world, we shake hands, but there are different ways of greeting each other in different cultures: people bow, they clasp their hands together, and they don’t have physical contact.

We now also sometimes hug and cheek-kiss people, a custom totally absent in Australia when I arrived here in 1965 (and a man would never shake a woman's hand unless she offered her hand first). Did we 'import' all this hugging and cheek-kissing from the Middle East where it's more in the way of touching up the other person for hidden weapons (how did our handshake originate? an open hand couldn't carry a weapon!)

As a socially awkward person, this Christmas, instead of presents or a hug, I'm going to give everyone my opinion - from six feet away.

And if I want your opinion, I give it to you!

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P.S. Bored in retirement? Start your own blog OR sit in your parked car along the highway with sunglasses on, pointing a hair dryer at passing cars and watching them slow down!