Alien Greetings

It’s pretty hard to see a silver lining in this coronavirus mess right now, but if there is one, maybe it is this:  as a society, we’ll finally ditch the firm handshake or kissing the cheek or hugging as a form of greeting and go with something that doesn’t involve physical contact and potential germ transmission.


Like, say, the Vulcan “live long and prosper” greeting.

I’ve seen people openly advocating for the general adoption of the Vulcan greeting during this coronavirus period, and I think it’s a good notion.  Of course, if we were to follow Vulcan activities, we would want to go with the split finger salutation, and not the Vulcan mind meld — which involves precise touching of the meldee’s face, which as we know is verboten in the world of the COVID-19.  That’s one reason — one reason among many, I might add — why we would want to go with the Vulcan gesture and not the Mork from Ork greeting, which involves twisting your ears and therefore would be forbidden, too.

Over the years, people have tried to introduce different kinds of greetings to replace the handshake and the cheek kiss and the hug, without much success.  The fist bump never really caught on, and neither did the elbow touch.  But the Vulcan greeting seems like it would have a better chance of general adoption.  It shows the open hand, so people will know you’re not hiding a weapon — which apparently is one explanation for why handshakes started in the first place — and it’s got a certain retro element to it, while at the same time a kind of ironic coolness, too.

4a7ef654a8a57bfe096343f88eb3d245And, although the Star Trek writers always came up with scripts that tried to make humans feel superior to those logical Vulcans who never really came to grip with their emotions — and therefore missed out on “those things that make us human” — any true Star Trek fan saw a lot to admire in the Vulcan approach and culture.  For example, we can be pretty sure that, if those ultra-logical Vulcans were confronted with the coronavirus situation, they would not be out engaging in panic purchases of enormous quantities of toilet paper and hand sanitizer.  And they wouldn’t be wringing their hands about it, either.

The only problem with the Vulcan greeting is that some people, like poor Dr. McCoy, can’t make the split-finger sign.  I don’t think that should discourage us from going full Vulcan.

Live long and prosper, folks!

The Hip Headphone ‘Hood

My old iPhone headphones gave up the ghost this week.  Or, at least, one side of the headphones did.  First the sound out of the right earbud became intermittent and filled with static, and then it stopped producing any sound whatsoever.  That’s pretty annoying when you’re trying to listen to music in the morning and you can only hear one part of the total effort.  Mozart orchestral works just don’t sound the same with only left ear input.

I attempted the tried-and-true method of repairing a broken, self-contained electronic device:  banging it several times on a hard surface in hopes that something on the interior had become dislodged somehow and would be restored to its former working status with a few hard jolts.  (Plus, giving the broken electronic gizmo a few brisk knocks makes me feel better and exacts a kind of revenge against the device for breaking down in the first place.) Unfortunately, that method didn’t work — although it was enjoyable, admittedly — so the only option was to go out and buy new headphones.  

Surprisingly, the local cellphone store doesn’t sell earbuds that are connected to your phone by a wire anymore.  As a society, we’ve moved beyond that benighted technology!  The only options it offers are those little wireless ear fittings that look like shunts for a kid’s ear infection.  I’ve got to have my music in the morning, so there really was no choice but to buy them. 

I was a bit resistant to it, because I associate those wireless ear buds with consciously hip posers who strut around airports and other public places talking in  overly loud tones, and I don’t particularly want to be associated with that ilk.  This was an understandable reaction, but an odd one, because the ear bud cord could be a pain, such as when it gets  snagged on something like an unexpectedly leaping dog’s paw, and yanks the ear buds out of my ears.  At least I won’t have to worry about that any more.

No dog cord snags, in exchange for association with the consciously hip crowd.  Life has a way of presenting choices like that.