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Enough with the High Fives  by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
Enough with the High Fives

            Soapbox time, again.
    High fives are dangerous. Just last week an oral surgeon sued the Chicago Bulls and their mascot – Benny the Bull – for an off-kilter high five. Dr. Kalant, a dentist who was sitting courtside at a Bulls game attempted to high-five the Bull, played by Barry Anderson, as he was running along the court. Moments later, Anderson grabbed Kalant’s arm while falling forward, rupturing the dentist’s bicep. Result: Surgery, loss of four months income; Chicagoans with aching un-pulled wisdom teeth; big lawsuit… and everybody in town asking “What is there to high-five about at a Bulls game?”

    We’re saying it’s time to put down the palms – enough with the high-fives.

    Yes, we know just two weeks ago, April 17th, was National High Five day. Yes, we know High Five Day was originated at the University of Virginia in 2002. Yes, we know Virginia grad Ralph Sampson did not create it. Yes, we know every time Ralph Sampson tried to high five someone, he whiffed. Yes, 0 for 30 on his high-fives, we know. Yes, we know that since this day started, communicable diseases have risen 30%. Yes, we know the first sports figure to popularize the high-five was Louisville basketball star Darrell Griffith (Dr. Dunkenstein) in 1980. Yes, we know a lot of folks broke their wrist high-fiving the Griffster.  
    There’s a high-five incident gone awry almost every year. And that doesn’t count mountain climbers who are so happy to reach a certain level they attempt the five while swinging by their climbing partners only to smash a face into the rocks. We rarely hear about those incidents because their climbing partners don’t want to fess. But we did hear about comedian Ariel Spears, who was ordered to serve jail time for high fiving an audience member’s breast.
Enough with the High Fives  by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles
    Bad form, Ariel. You probably could have got the same amount of jail time with a low five.
    Which brings us to our point: Do you want to be doing a gesture that Bennie the Bull and Ariel Spears do? Weren’t you high-five insisters embarrassed enough to see it enacted on Seinfeld… by Kramer and Putty, no less?  Even worse, you see the Barney Stinson character (acted by Neil Patrick Harris) constantly use it on How I Met Your Mother. Still not mortified? Okay. Who’s the weirdest, sexually ambiguous, character on network TV? Easy answer, right? Of course: Todd “The Todd” Quinlan from Scrubs, the totally inappropriate Todd with the armless scrub vest. He’s the constant high-fiver. Do you need even another example of the naïve guy gone high-five crazy? How about Borat? Still not dropping the palm? If you’re an old guy
this one will convince you: the guy who first did the high-five in both movies and TV, Phil Silvers. I said Phil Silvers. Not even close to a cool guy. Double ouch.

    Are you starting to drop that hand just a little bit? Whoa! Hold it! You’re not thinking of doing the windmill, are you? Where you meet up top and then continue on around swinging your arms downward and meet in a “low-five”? Those other gestures, the standard high fives as enacted by Kramer and Barney Stinson and “The Todd” were only slightly nerdy, maybe just a little bit gay. But the “windmill” as popularized by Tom Cruise in Top Gun, what century are you in? That’s so 1986. I can see fans slapping palms after a touchdown at a football game. I’d like them to stop but I can see it. But can you imagine a whole section celebrating with the windmill? You’d think Ariel Spears was running amok in the stadium. If one breast gets you two weeks, how big a jail would you need to lock up five hundred crotch grabbers.
    Can we agree on this? Cap it off with some kind of palm slap?  Okay, let’s hi… ooops.


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