Mr. Manners is an etiquette and life coach who has helped shape the image of such likable celebrities as R. Kelly and Ike Turner. He has advanced degrees in Cultural Sensitivity, Etiquette, and Psychology from The Online University of Phoenix.

Dear Mr. Manners,

I'm a 25 year old guy and I'm having trouble figuring out when to shake someone's hand with a traditional shake, or when to use a "pound" or a slide shake with a snap. There are so many choices, what do I do??

-"Inept Greeter"


Dear "Inept,"

The big question here is to figure out which kind of shake the other person is going to attempt. It is awkward and will make you look completely retarded if you attempt the opposite kind of shake as them. They'll end up grabbing your fingers and it will be weird. You simply need to become an expert on stereotyping people. Everyone can be figured out simply by what they look like. Here are some tips"

1) Black and Mexican people NEVER shake normally. They don't need to. They're cool. Do not attempt a normal handshake, not even in business meetings.

2) Collared shirts, sweaters, khakis, fraternity letters, sailing shoes, parted hair, and pastels all mean a traditional shake. (Unless rule 1 applies)

3) All Asians shake normally unless they're stoners.

If you need to attempt what I'm going to call "the hip hop shake" then quickly decide which of the two of you is cooler. If they are the cooler person, then simply mimic exactly what they do. If you are cooler then they are, simply slap, snap, and pound in any creative order you want.

If it's a traditional shake, the only real possibility for disaster is sweaty palms. I mean what else can really go wrong? You just have to remember to wipe before shaking. That's it. I mean grip pressure isn't exactly the hardest thing to master unless you're a 6'9" white guy named Stu, Chad, or Kelly, that's either a speaker salesman or a motivational speaker. Really anything involving speakers. In all fairness, grip pressure also seems to be a small problem for Asians whose fingers can often feel like boiled asparagus in your hand. But a bow never really feels like a good choice either, because I definitely don't know how to bow. I mean do you put your hands together like you're praying? And how far down do you go? The easiest way to get out of this lame cultural situation is to meet them half way and bow your head several times very quickly while shaking their hands furiously. I find that they usually bow quickly too, then laugh very nervously. With that tremendous greeting laying the foundation, and a few bottles of Saki to build it up, Mr.Chen will probably end up confessing how his kung-fu training has allowed him to give himself blowjobs. Mission accomplished. A true bond has been forged.

You can clearly see that handshaking is nothing to fear, as it is an easy mix of stereotyping, wiping, and faking that you're cool.

Dear Mr. Manners,

Should I shake hands when I'm introduced to girls? I don't want to seem rude, but I also don't want to come off as a business client, cause I'm trying to get laid. It's always awkward. PLEASE HELP!!!

-"Trying hard"


Dear "Hard,"

Girls can be greeted for the first time with a range of possibilities. For the friendliest and most outgoing ones, you can go as far as a tongue kiss. This is nice! However this can often lead to being slapped as well. You can also try a kiss on the cheek! But a word for the wise, be careful with your aim. A misplaced kiss on the ear or neck can often lead to social awkwardness. If this happens however, DO NOT try to cover yourself by saying something like, "your ear is beautiful" or "your neck is majestic, like a giraffe" Not even these gems will get you out of this tough situation.

A hug is a fairly safe bet. It is warm with out too much sexuality. And you get to feel breasts pressed against you. But you do run the risk that they're a handshaker, or even worse, that they're the type of girl that just sort of uncrosses their arms briefly for a half-hearted wave. Don't waste your time trying to figure this last girl out as you have a better chance of inventing a new cheese than getting her in bed.

As you can see, there is no social convention for how to greet women, so you just have to just guess. Good luck with that. I'm Mr. Manners.

Scott Richardson is the head writer and executive producer of "The Gleib Show" on the National Lampoon Network.

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