#974 High tens

Booming double palm-on-palm smack

High fives are good. High tens are great.

Picture it — jaw dropping in slow-motion silence, eyebrows furrowing in mock-angry rage, head slowly wagging side to side, both hands lifting high up top, waiting a brief moment for your friend to answer your call and deliver a booming double palm-on-palm SMACK.

Now that’s a beautiful picture. That’s the happy dial turned to 10. That’s a good day giving birth to a great one. That’s a photo from Appendix A of The Study of The Best Things Ever. Lady, I don’t know who you are, where you live, or what you’re all about. But I know that you gotta love that beautifully loud high ten and its satisfying twenty-finger crack. It’s just explosive.

Like I said, the high five is good, too. But really, almost anyone can deliver a high five. It’s just one hand! Once you start tenning, the five starts to look wrong, incomplete, and unfinished. It becomes a half, a partial, a sort of, like a flop with no flip, yang with no yin, pong with no ping, or a unicycle.

But the high ten! Sugar, let’s talk about that high ten. Now that’s the celebratory hand-on-hand gesture for you and me. See, the high ten takes guts for two big reasons:

  1. First off, higher chance of looking stupid: You throw a high five up there and no one answers it, no problem. You just put your hand nonchalantly back in your pocket, scratch your head, or swipe it through the side of your hair, Fonzie-style. No one notices you covered it up and all is well. But you throw a high ten up there and you get left hanging? Well now you just look foolish — like you’re trying to get the wave started at your kid’s T-ball game or just airing out your pits.
  2. Also, there’s more coordination required: Think about it, during a high five all eyes are on that one hand. With four eyes focused on one slap, there’s not too much that can go wrong. Yes, there’s the awkward pinky-on-pinky slap, but those really don’t happen too much. Now, the high ten’s a different animal. This time each person has to focus on two slaps. Time them right. Aim them precisely. Smack them hard. You can’t just high ten perfectly the first time. It is very difficult and requires a lot of practice.

However, the good news is that once you work up the nerve to pull off the high ten, it can be a very rewarding slap. So give it a shot. Test it out. See what it’s all about. And hey, maybe even try laying a thundering double palm-on-palm SMACK on one of your closest friends…today! Then maybe go out for beers or something. Wings too, if no one’s eaten.


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