1. Yes, this is supposed to be “viral” humor. Shaking hands is a no-no in the Covid-19 world.
    P.S. Born in 1954, Mike Baldwin has already reached retirement age (not that this means anything for a comic with an entrenched newspaper footprint). At some point “Cornered” will go into interminable re-runs, and when this panel comes up again, will it make any sense? Probably not.

  2. Shaking hands is a no-no in the Covid-19 world, but so is this sort of face-to-face meeting, especially maskless.

    That’s my problem here: you can’t just poke a toe into the Covid-19 world, especially if you want the gag to work.

  3. You know. Jokes don’t have to be *good* to be understood.

    It’s a covid-19 joke. Shaking hands is the worst conceivable offense Isn’t that funny?

    It’s a crap joke for many reasons including your objections. But that’s still what the joke is.

  4. This seems within the bounds of comic set-up. There’s a lot of variability in what different people consider a no-no now, but shaking hands is near the bottom.

    Last week I saw a couple of woman meeting in the park, who were clearly not member of the same household, and so, according to the rules in my state, not supposed to be meeting. They maintained some social distance, but not 6 feet (probably more like 3 feet), and didn’t have masks, but still concluded with an elbow bump rather than a handshake.

  5. It’s not that this isn’t within the realm of possibility: it’s that if they were wearing masks, we wouldn’t have to invoke two women you saw in the park to make the pieces fit.

  6. Maybe there’s also supposed to be an element of “the underling should not presume the personal familiarity of offering a handshake to the boss”.

  7. I’m reminded of the warning, “After he shakes your hand, count your fingers.”

  8. I agree with Mitch4, and in fact that was my initial assumption; the covid-19 reference somehow didn’t even occur to me until I read the comments here. (So I think the joke would still work years ago or years from now.) The Suit doesn’t want to lower himself to be touched by an underling, even with a traditional “friendly” gesture, because he doesn’t want to be thought any sort of friend.

  9. The joke still works as the seated important persons just doesn’t want to shake hands with unimportant people and achieves this preference in an extreme manner; adding social distancing and face masks would make it too specific to the present circumstances.

  10. But if they’re wearing masks, how will we tell who’s speaking? 🙂

    Also, regarding the possible longevity of this comic, there’s been speculation that this virus thing might be the end of shaking hands.

    Should we go back to bowing and curtsying then? Doffing invisible hats?

  11. Who put the handcuffs on the guy? Did the boss? His secretary? Was he forced to put them on himself before being allowed in the office?

    I think it’s a CoViD joke. (Corona Virus Disease 2019.) To get this high in the company, he would have had to shake a lot of people’s hands. If he didn’t, he would have not been promoted as often.

  12. We need to go back to 18th century courtesies. Ladies courtesy. Gentlemen remove their hats and bow, holding the hat (cap?) in one hand. While walking down the street – a nod from a lady is a sufficient courtesie and gentlemen will put two fingers to their hat (cap) and nod their head. No need to touch each other and much more elegant.

    Handshaking is done by the native men. The gentleman who has been portraying Thomas Jefferson at Colonial Williamsburg for so long that he now portrays older Jefferson and someone he has taught portrays younger (20s-30s) Jefferson who has studied up on Jefferson and his life more than anyone would want to – if someone offers a hand to him to shake he does so, and refers it to as a good Albermarle handshake as the indigenous natives practice.

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