Etiquette & superstition: knuckle cracking

Recently I was on a group forum and I denounced knuckle- and various other joint-crackers as “monsters.” I thought I was being funny, but apparently some joint-cracking enthusiast with experience in the dark arts took offense and put a curse on me, as last night during dinner I very quickly developed some sort of TMJ disorder and now my jaw won’t stop cracking. I apologize, Monster. Please remove this curse. It is driving me insane.

ETIQUETTE: Cracking your joints is not going to give you arthritis. It may or may not reduce your grip strength. But it will annoy someone around you. You can count on this. If you are having discomfort in your joints and the only thing that will alleviate the discomfort is a good hyper-extension of that joint, by all means crack away. But if your knuckle-cracking habit has developed into an unconscious tic that provides you with no actual benefit, break the habit now. That co-worker of yours that hums incessantly? You are worse. Seriously, stop it.

SUPERSTITION: Cracking your knuckles breaks the bones of a deceased loved one. It is also the equivalent of praying the rosary to Satan. On the other hand, it’s a good way to tell how many people are in love with you. Pop all your knuckles and listen for how many cracks come out; that’s how many admirers you have in spite of your terrible joint-cracking habit.

Photo by Dave Goehring on Flickr

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