Sunday, January 18, 2009

High Five

It is something most take for granted. The sacred coming together of two people's hands in an ever-satisfying *smack*. The classic high-five. The eternal symbol of, "Well done!" or "Good job!". When you get it, it feels good. Recently, I was witness to a perversion of all things that the high-five stands for, an absolute rejection of its historical foundation, a mockery of epic proportions.

A short history first though, to put this bastardization into context.

The high-five was first seen in pop culture in poet and playwright Daniel Kamenetz' play Among Combatants when he wrote, " a salutation of slapping palms," in 1850. The term "high-five," though, wasn't coined until 1980 with versions of it being seen, but not named, long before that. This includes Louis Armstrong high-fiving Perry Como in 1955, Dean Martin high-fiving Louis Armstrong in 1966, and even an attempted high-five in the 1944 film Cover Girl.The gesture was named in 1980, after the University of Louisville won the national basketball championship. Two players, Derek Smith and Wiley Brown had become well known for their celebratory palm slap during games. Winning the championship brought nationwide exposure to the team and the simple and interesting gestural acknowledgement of a job well done. The celebration took off from there, as high-fiving spread like wildfire around the streets of America. Now, the high-five has found its place as a staple of North American gesturing. Whether it's after scoring a winning goal in an important game or getting a Triple Letter Score in Scrabble, the high-five is the perfectly simple way to share the excitement of "Good job!" between two people.

So how, you ask, could something so pure, be turned on its proverbial head and manage to upset a lowly student newspaper writer? Well, at a recent party I witnessed something that high-five aficionados and historians would scoff at. It was a high-five competition. Who could take more abuse from the hardest slaps possible. It was shot-for-shot, except it was palms and not fists that were coming together. The combatants would square up and attempt at hurting the other person by slapping as hard as possible. The winner was the one who could take more palm punishment.

I figured out the premise of the pastime after I saw a guy get "left hanging," after attempting to high-five someone else. We made eye contact and I, thinking I was filling a void and helping an ego, acknowledged that I would make up for the high-five he'd missed out on.  

We stepped towards each other and, unlike the usual high-five preparation, he squared up and asked me, "Are you ready?"

I nodded yes, not knowing that my hand would soon be beet red from meeting his in mid-air. Our palms came together in an impressive example of kinetic energy turning into sound waves. The sub-sonic boom was immediately followed by a wave of searing pain that shot down my arm.

"Again?" he asked.

I declined the invitation, obviously, and began to ponder this disgusting display and perversion of a great tradition.  

"If the high-five isn't sacred, then what is?" I ask myself as the searing pain faded into a dull soreness. If, something meant to celebrate something is turned into a competition, how then do we celebrate that victory. I imagine the really "good" high-five competitors find it really hard to find someone to actually high-five. I cannot even fathom being rejected in every slap-attempt I'd make.

I continued to watch the party-goers battle. Massive smacks resounded off the walls and yelps of pain were followed quickly by "I quits". I shook my head, attempting to reason with the competitors.

"The high-five is something used to celebrate, not another venue of competition," I pleaded.

The reasoning was met with mildly illogical answers, "Everything's a competition man," for example.

There is a lot of competition out there, I agree. We compete for employment, hoping to beat others in getting that perfect job. We compete in sports, both recreational and competitive. We compete in school, trying to keep those marks higher than average so as to prepare us for the future. So yes, a lot of the stuff that fills our everyday lives is based on competition, but not everything. I hope that those individuals will realize the error in their ways and cut short the competition that would have the pioneers of the high-five disgusted because, in all honesty, is there not already enough to compete over?


The Napkin


Saturday, May 17, 2008


Twas' a sultry spring day in the backyard. Birds fluttered about, anxiously nibbling on whatever birds eat, squirrels chattered away in the trees above and faithful canine companions kept the company of their owners.

MacGregor was one such canine companion. An aging beast, he consistently displayed the loyalty that only man's best friend can offer. Some call him stoic, others regal. Anyway you put it, he's a damn good dog.

On this day though, he had made up his mind that he would do something only a mother could love. One of his loving human friends asked him, in playful fashion to "Get your toy!" The yellow beast faithfully obliged, seeking out the nearest "toy," Mac the Dog jawed what seemed to be a chunk of dirt. The human naturally asked him politely to drop the dirt but the alpha male wasn't having it. His jowls oozed with canine saliva as they lubed up his prize, preparing for esophageal peristalsis. His human friend then demanded to take the prize, but again MacGregor's stubborness took over and the pleas went unheeded. He was the man of the house and would not stand for some visitor telling him what chunks of dirt he could and could not eat.

The human friend then resorted to telling MacGregor's human roommate about this dirt digesting development, as attempts at yanking the chunk out failed. The human counterpart proceeded to yell at the beast, who had since slinked-tail-between-legs onto his dog bed. The shouting seemed to work as MacGregor began to reverse the movements of his tongue to eject the foul contents of his mouth.

It spewed out with a slight gag from the beast. Through the bubbly white canine drippings a discovery was made, this was no harmless piece of dirt ("God made dirt and dirt don't hurt." That's what I used to say when something that I wanted to eat dropped on the ground. I wasn't particularly religious in those days so I'm not really sure where that came from, but I digress.) It was the dessicated, quarter-decomposed body of a neighbourhood rat that MacGregor had decided to impress his human friend with. Needless to say I'm not judging anyone who has an inclination to use dead rats as toys, it's just not my thing.

MacGregor then looked sorrowfully at his roommate as the oozing rat corpse took it's place filthfully upon his bed. More yelling ensued as his roommate turned to the closet behind him to remove the rodent. The crisis had been diverted, all would be well in rat-eating-dog-land.

As the roommate turned back to be rid of Mac's foul prize, it was no more. All that was left was a gulping dog who had swallowed the entire rat in one fell swoop. His outstretched throat noises and a satisfying dog burp were the only sounds that penetrated the ears of the human onlookers. They blinked at each other in amazement at the rodent swallowing techniques of the beast that laid before them.

"That's disgusting," they agreed.

The aftermath of the incident saw a quick phone call to the local veterinary clinic which advised them that all should be well, although he might vomit the creature at a later time (which he has yet to do.) They also said it's not uncommon for dogs to eat such things (see: Serpell, James (1995). The Domestic Dog; its evolution, behaviour and interactions with people, p267. 0-521-42537-9.) Apparently domestic dogs have more scavenger instincts compared to wild dogs, because of their lack of hunting experience over thousands of years with humans.

I don't blame the dog for eating the rat nor will I hold it against him because like the scorpion said to the frog, "I'm a scorpion, it's my nature."

Chew on that.

The Napkin

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bon Appetit

Just testin' out the image portion of the mighty Google driven blogosphere. Pretty ballin' if ya ask me. More to come mon freres, meres, peres, stairs and bears, but who really cares?

Bon Appetit
The Napkin

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Caution Consumers of Caramilk

This is a warning to all ya'll out there who might want to invest in a delicous chocolate bar in the near future. Be warned!

One of the newest most cutting edge creations coming out of the Cadbury camp is called the Caramilk 2 Thick. 2 Thick, some might say, is a ploy to bring people who love a thick and chunky combo of caramilk and cocoa. Perhaps it is a challenge to those curious epicureans who want to take on the 2 Thickness. Maybe it is for those with monstrous mouths, who have yet to find a snack that compares to their gaping gobs. I don't buy it!

I think 2 Thick was a clever concoction by Cadbury to convey the Caramilks that just didn't fit. 2 Thicks are just the pieces of Caramilk that didn't make the cut, because they are TOO THICK! This isn't a joke people, the marketing for this bar tells you everything. Buyer Beware This Chocolate Bar is Too Thick for Regular Mouthed People! It doesn't ignore the issue of its gigantosity, it fully embraces it.

Through some solid research I've discovered the Caramilk Thick bar which, I assume is the smaller cousin (most would assume it's half as small since 2Thick should be twice as thick but that's not the case, Thick is 50 grams while 2 Thick is 80 grams. Rip off? Yes.)

Anywho, Caramilk 2 Thick's are delicious and I highly recommend those able-mouthed people to enjoy their girth.
Bon Appetit
The Napkin

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Newest Net Napkin

The beginnings of a blog. No one's really sure what it's going to be, or how it will play a part in the vastness of the landscape of the World Wide Web. All I know is that it's been done before.

I came up with the idea of The Napkin a few months ago, sitting in one of the most splendidly borific classes imaginable. As the dreary didactician made her way lazily through lengthy lecture notes I thought of a new way. A new way to get people to notice. Something novel.

Everyone knows that advertisements are everywhere. For the regular joe moseying on down main street average ad intake approaches 1 200 pieces per day (if ads were calories, we'd be f-in' FAT!) So I took it upon myself to create a local approach. Personalized, friendly and interesting. My grey matter greedily grilled calories from my steak sandwich I'd enjoyed for lunch, searching for the answer to such a task. I scanned the room. The answer didn't come from the awkward fresco of a satyr playing a harp to some forest maidens that adorned the roof of the theater-turned-lecture-hall. It did though come from a lowly napkin that had found its way onto the floor beside me.

That was it! The napkin, the most holiest of holy toiletries. Some may call it The Napking (for some reason I keep adding a G onto it as I type, oh well.) Think about it. Strong enough to remove the glueiest of goos from hands yet gentle enough to capture a 150 km/hour fastball of phlegm originating from even the rosiest of schnozzes. In a pinch napkins can even be used behind bathroom doors when the toilet paper Gods have forsaken thee. No one can forget wet naps, the soggy sister of the classic napkin. They are the perfect cure for what ails ya. Especially if what ails ya is sticky fingers.

Anywho, through thorough research methods I've found the napkin to be the perfect unassuming medium to manage your message. If all goes to plan I'll use napkins in all sorts of locales to pique people's curiousity (if they can detach their retinas from their High-Definition-Liquid-Crystal-Displays-boasting-1080p-and-a-whole-bunch-of-useless-stats-that-no-one-really-knows-the-definition-of-but-it-sounds-good-so-they-buy-it-to-keep-up-with-their-neighbour-who-just-bought-the-newest-most-High-Def-info-injector-which-skips-the-whole-TV-watching-ordeal-and-proceeds-to-inject-advertisting-straight-into-the-neo-cortex,-embedding-the-ads-so-he-can-dream-about-them-later-on. PS: It's not far away by how things are looking.)

So keep your eyes peeled (what does that mean anyway) for the newest napkins hitting local retail stores in mid-May. They'll be selling for $19.99 per pack of 12. Just kidding.

But seriously folks, this blog isn't celebrating celebs or any of that nonsense. It's just random nonsense from someone looking for a creative outlet online and hoping to inspire some along the way. I'd also hope that readers can learn a lil' somethin' somethin', that's why I'll have hyperlinks to words which I deem learn-worthy. You might see music, news, images and other media on this bad boy, so keep up and look sharp. There's more to come.

The Napkin