At the man-cave that is AOL’s lifestyle section Asylum, I cracked wise about the shame of being left hanging on a high five. You get to watch Ryan Seacrest drag a blind man into a faux pas. The sound of one hand clapping is apparently an awkward silence from the crowd witnessing it.
The high-five: that expression of a victory beyond any words.
“I have succeeded in my efforts,” says the gesture. “Let the thunderous clap of triumph inform the land of my deeds.”
But the higher the thrill, the further the fall, and there are moments when we are denied our due.
Here are some of the worst moments when a man goes from feeling hung like a horse to left hanging like a horse thief.
A few months ago, the U.S. bombed the moon, just in case our celestial prisoner was getting any notions about who’s boss. The guy in the black shirt must be important since he can’t even stick around after blowing up the moon. Take a moment for the high-five!
In his defense, NASA contains more Trekkers per capita than even the Internet circa 1994, so he probably knew better than to get near a red shirt. And, yeah, the latter shrugs it off with a jovial recovery, but that casual recline says different. Black Shirt Guy has denied his cohort his well-earned thrill, looked right in his eyes and said, “I don’t give two sticks of licorice for your lunar bomb, good sir.” This was an egregious, conscious decision to deny someone a once-in-a-lifetime, wholly appropriate high-five. Shenanigans!
Speaking of guys who rule the world and drink high-end scotch, here are some dudes who attend a hockey game in sport jackets.
You can pass that one off as simply turning the wrong way. If leaving someone hanging were murder, this would be involuntary manslaughter, much like this “American Idol” clip. However, if you want to see the show break new and uncomfortable ground, watch Ryan Seacrest anti-reverse-double-backflip to leave himself hanging when he high-fives a blind man.
In a way, it’s a mark of good character. Seacrest doesn’t see a disability; all he sees is a person — a person he has awkwardly dragged into his faux pas.
A converse of that is someone twisting in the wind with just cause. Watching this Tyra Banks clip with the sound off, you might think she’s chumping that lady whose head and hand she passes over again and again and again and again. But watch the man behind her.
If you give people free money, they’re gonna go crazy. But this is an extremely unwarranted high-five that still isn’t excused. In the first place, her hands are full of bills, so you’re celebrating before the job is done. Second, did you bomb the moon? No, you got free money, through neither luck nor achievement. Third, you’re a man at the Tyra Banks show. You don’t high-five anyone except the only other guy, and then only if it’s one of the 33 percent of episodes about Ms. Banks’ breasts.
Perhaps the most painful example on this list is where the shame falls not on the man, but all the men around him. Badgers QB Scott Tolzien can’t find anyone to high-five him after a touchdown.
What? A touchdown is exactly why the high-five was invented. Scoring one is considered the greatest moment in a two-year radius of a man’s existence, unless he scored a better touchdown or his wife had twins. It is the single time it’s permissible to pat another man on the butt, hoist him by the waist and carry him more than five yards.
Worse, that’s the quarterback, for crying out loud. Imagine if at the end of “Lethal Weapon 3,” everyone had jostled Mel Gibson out of the family photograph. Sure, we would have gotten a hilariously drunken screed as an alternate ending, but something would have been lost. That something is called due respect to the guy spearheading the battle.
Next time, Tolzien should take a page from Andrew Bogut’s book and high-five himself. The lesson is if no one gives a man what he deserves, he takes it anyway, even if he has to steal it from ghosts.