Quick Fix: Grating Greetings

6 December 2013 Sophie Quick

Quick Fix: Grating Greetings

Illustration by Michael Weldon

Dear Quick Fix,

I recently moved to Australia from Europe and I’m very confused about greetings etiquette. At home, we have a national standard of greeting: a kiss on each cheek. It’s very simple. But here everyone is a rogue operator with their own personal greeting style. I never know what to do – or what the other person is going to do – in any situation. This has resulted in some awkward moments. (I bumped into my neighbour, a hugger, at the supermarket. I ended up kissing him under one of his armpits.) I am keen to avoid this kind of thing in the future. What should I do? Scared Saluter

Dear Scared Saluter,

I agree this is a problem and we definitely need to settle on a National Standard. The trouble is that nearly every one of our existing greeting options is either dangerous or unpalatable: the handshake (too stiff), the high-five (too noisy), the hug (too group-therapy), the wave (causes wind). I think you should encourage your Australian friends to agree on the high-pi. It’s a great alternative to the high-five, and much less noisy because it’s pretty hard to forcefully slap together 3.14159 digits. Quick Fix


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