National Fist Bump Day?

When the July Fourth celebrations die down this year, don't put away the franks and fireworks too quickly. Three days later, strike a blow for independence of a different sort: National Fist Bump Day.

The idea is the brainchild of writer-graphic designer and Norwegian immigrant Thomas Sandberg, who wants to free America from what he sees as the tyranny of the handshake. And now that President Barack Obama has made touching knuckles acceptable and swine flu has turned the handshake into a health hazard (many commencements banned the practice this year), Sandberg thinks the time has come for the fist bump to get its due.

"People know what it is, and you still have that personal contact," says Sandberg, 49. "It’s sort of a nice thing."

Sandberg, who spends much of the year traveling in a motor home writing about American culture for magazines back home, first came across the fist bump many years ago while working at a gym in the Bay Area. A client, whom he recalls said he was one of rapper MC Hammer’s bodyguards, gave him a fist bump.

It gave new meaning to Hammer’s hit U Can’t Touch This.

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