Gimme’ Five

Gimme' five
Gimme' ten
On the side
Round the bend
Backwards five
And now, a low five
Use your foot to give a toe five
Way up here
Another HIGH five
Fingers out
Let's try an EYE five

-B.C. Byron
For some reason, the eye five has never gained the popularity of the high five

I’ve seen some pretty elaborate high five routines, some taking several minutes to complete. High five, knuckle bump, elbow bump, face slap, finger wiggle, robot, nose pinch, high foot, all ending with “duuuuude”. Then another friend enters the room and the ritual starts over again. By round ten, the now red-knuckled, exhausted pals have forgotten why they came by in the first place. In high school, everyone group of friends seemed to have their own unique sequence and I was the only one that could never get the whole thing down. It was almost as difficult as memorizing the 30 extra lives code on Contra (an original Nintendo game). Was it a-b-a-b-up-down-a-b? You also had to get timing just right or end up rebooting the Nintendo and waiting a whole minute to try again. In the case of high five rituals, poor timing risked a poke in the eye or an awkward pause that kills the whole greeting.

For some reason, my eye five routine never really caught on with the other kids. I tried a few other fives as well – The hug five (for the girls), the throat five, the scream like you’re on fire five, take a bite of each other’s lunch five, nostril five – all complete bombs. There was apparently some unspoken set of high five rules that I wasn’t privy to.

This internet age has seen a decline in high fiving as so many social interactions are done through screens. I think we need to invent a digital equivalent of the five. You might be thinking emojis fill that role, but I would disagree. Emojis lack that hand-stinging, personal space invasion. A mere picture of fiving hands is not enough. Perhaps phone makers could install an impact detector on the screen side of your mobile to facilitate the new age high five. Users could smack the screen when a friend’s face appears and the detector triggers a success sound if the power of the hit registers as numbing-pain level. We might need to make tougher screens and bulkier phones, but somehow we’ve got to keep these important traditions alive.