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April 13, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: High Five Day

kitty high five style. me-ow owwwww!

What does high-fiving have to do with nightlife or local entertainment? Nothing. And everything. Read on, as Owl Meat takes us on a cultural adventure:

Rejoice, bro-hams! Thursday is National High Five Day. Up high! For real. Come on, brosephs! Drats, the interweb has left me hangin'.

The 1980s were the Golden Age of the high five, the celebration of awesome low-brow moments via ritual male bonding. High fives now are half-hearted and perfunctory.

Back then there were rules. A slow response to an "up high" could yield the "too slow" fake out that turns into a hair smoother. The low five or down low was an optional sequel. I've been told there is a pivoting high/low combo move.

The high five, like the "whoop" or "woo" yelp, was a dude activity. Gender equality has diluted their macho value ...

A traditional meat-head/frat boy high five was like swatting a bat out of the air. Ow, that hurts. It was fast and furious, and if you missed, there was bro-shame.

A lame innovation is the lady five. The lady five, in contrast, is a gentle upward pushing, like you're petting a stuffed giraffe or doing water ballet. I've seen Barbara Walters do it and it does not get lamer than that. Okay, parents high-fiving babies is lamer.

Then there's the high ten. No. Just no. I envision girls' soccer players high-tenning. Or octogenarians after a Yahtzee tournament.

Now for a little history. The high five is a recent invention. It has only been part of the Oxford English Dictionary since 1980.

The high five's ancestors included, "gimme some skin" and "slap me five." I associate these with old jazz cats and 1970s TV pimps. "Gimme some skin" was done at waist level with the palms grazing each other in a sly manner and attitude. "Slap me five" was a waist-high thwack.

Like most cool things from black culture, these were modified, popularized, and ruined by white dorks. (See The Todd from Scrubs.)

High-fiving was ably lampooned in the 1980s by the High-Fivin' White Guys.

According to Wikipedia, "the first high five in baseball occurred between Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke of the Los Angeles Dodgers in late 1977." Who really invented the high five? Impossible to say. It's like asking who invented burping the alphabet.

The high five was almost invented by the Nazis in the 1920s, but they only got it half right. The "Heil Five" is a classic example of being "left hanging".

Al Jolson does a celebratory low five in the 1927 film "The Jazz Singer." Take that, Nazis!

There is a mind-blowing version of "slap me five" in the Abbott and Costello movie "In the Navy" (1941), with the Andrews Sisters singing "Gimme Some Skin, My Friend." Warning: Watching this might cause all your awesomeness to flee your body. It is the whitest thing I've ever seen.

Here is a cool video of a cyclist in New York City, high-fiving unwitting people hailing taxis.

From now on, I think I will go mega-old school and simply proclaim a hearty "Huzzah! Huzzah!"

(Photo by Getty Images)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:15 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays


Don't forget the "Top Gun" High 5. You know, after the "need for speed" line where Goose and Maverick High 5 only to keep the momentum going and slap hands at the bottom. Did I mention the volleyball scene is totally hetero?

I love the picture :o)

Hey Bro Montana, is that a picture of two cats high-fiving?? KUDOS.

I was digging the triple-high five Lily gave to Barney last night on how I met your mother... it was kudos for his wearing of the three-way-belt. after seeing the show, my goal for the remainder of april is to make the triple high five happen in baltimore, raise up your hands and ready your palms for triple hand slappin action friendos.

Another great high five video... A guy gives out over 2,000 high fives on an escalator in an NYC subway station:

Now do a piece on the history of secret handshakes...

No wifi this morning. I think of high-fiving as a bar thing. That's about the only place I experience. I don't recall my doctor ever doing it.

Now that I think of it. How awesome would it be to start doing really inappropriate high fives. With police, doctors, maitre d's, servers, just everyone. HUZZAH!

A triple high five?! I haven't seen the show yet. How timely.

P.S. I "sampled" the heil-five line from Seinfeld. I think it was the episode where Jerry buys a car from David Puddy who high-fives too much. Jerry refused the five and Puddy started adding extra charges to the bill.

Colonel, goofy handshakes is a whole other matter.

Cats high-fiving? Adorable. Wait, the Owl doesn't do adorable.

Hand-washed beer glasses, hand blow driers, high fives. Is it Midnight Hand week?

LOL, LL. I wrote most of this three weeks ago, so I was surprised by the accidental theme week. If I was smarter, I would have ended the piece with the hand jive.

This is video for National High Five Day! hilarious.

Colleen Smith made a cute video and has hints on how to high five strangers.

Today is National High Five Day!!! Woo hoo!!!

It's only 10 and already my hand is swollen, purple, and throbbing. Must persevere.

I can't wait for exploding fist bump day.


My favorite is the Feed the Chicken

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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