Via the Washington Post, I have learned of a study by the Journal of Hand Therapy showing that millennial men are a bunch of weak, pampered diaper babies with butter-soft hands and that your puny muscles are no match for my hardened, callused Gen-X gripping power. I am paraphrasing, here. The Journal of Hand Therapy put it more kindly—“Current data reflect statistically significant differences from the norms for all male grip measurements, as well as for women in the age group of 20-24 years (bilateral grip) and 25-29 years (right grip)”—presumably so that you sorry losers who can barely even make fists with your jellyfish-like hands will not cry yourselves to death.
This is as I suspected. For I, a sinewy Elder, forged in the purifying flames of the 1980s, know good grip strength when I see it. You disgust me, millennials! Put down your Nintendo 3DSes, pick up some hawser chain, and tie it into a goddamn constrictor knot, so that you may become tough and hardy, like me, a Man of Yore, when a man did more with his hands than send “Snapchats” of his “dick and balls” to strangers over “digital broadband or whatever.”
Many of my coworkers here at Deadspin are millennials. I have seen their grotesque baby hands, which look like wads of bread dough. Patrick Redford’s hands are just pods! He doesn’t even have fingers. This is because he has never had to do any real work with his hands, unlike me, a leathery battle-tested ancient, whose hands combine the supple muscularity of an octopus with the gnarled toughness of a mighty oak tree. You couldn’t hack through these calluses with a goddamn chainsaw! That is because I worked in an auto-body shop for a couple weeks 20 years ago, like a savage.
You millennial men are puke and I despise you. When I think of how you will one day be the only men left to grip and twist and lift things, I am filled with despair and rage. However, in the interest of preserving the human species our forebears ushered into the present through sheer force of grip strength (they literally had to grab hold of the earth so that the solar wind would not blow it away, you fucking wastrels), I, a wizened pioneer type, have decided to help you. Here are some tips for making your pathetic hands, which are like latex surgical gloves filled with cream of wheat, into hard, tougher-than-hell working machines, like mine, which could crush your skulls like so many unusually large grapes:
- Do some god damn work, for once.
- Hang by your hands from something, like a pull-up bar, or a ledge, or the roof of a tall building, for as long as you can. You can add difficulty to this exercise by having a righteous Elder such as myself stomp on your pathetic fingertips and berate you while you hang.
- Swing a mighty wooden bat, instead of a puny baby wiffle-ball bat, when you play baseball, which you will do because baseball is excellent and extremely superior to such weak millennial behaviors as “Pokémon Go.”
- Type on an old-fashioned mechanical typewriter, where you have to bang the dang keys with some actual force, instead of on one of these dang touch-screens. I do all my blogs on an old-fashioned mechanical typewriter, which is why I can poke my fingers through brick walls.
- Do thumb wars a lot. And arm wrestling. But especially thumb wars. Nowadays all disputes are settled via the extremely soft practice of “swiping” to one side or the other on a smartphone, but in my day we waged epic thumb wars. Now my digits are so hard and tough that I can start a campfire by snapping my fingers close to some dry leaves.
- Walk to the store. Purchase two gallon jugs of whole milk. Gripping one milk jug in each hand, walk to the opposite coast. Each time one of the milk jugs touches the ground, throw yourself into a gorge.
- Tame a wild horse.
- Get two of those hand gripper things, and squeeze them a lot (while laboring at the bottom of a coal mine forever).
In all likelihood none of these exercises will make you worthy of respect or life. But maybe someday you will become the first millennial man to peel an orange for himself. If you need any more helpful advice, I will be over here twisting watermelons in half.