I don’t remember what exactly killed the high-five, but it didn’t die gracefully, that’s for sure.
In fact, I think the high-five suffered mightily. In its waning years of popularity, everyone high-fived each other. Politicians high-fived their constituents. Salesmen high-fived their customers. Principals, teachers and counselors gave high-fives. Instead of being the standard greeting or congratulatory gesture of the young, it was adopted by everyone, including our parents and other authority figures. And just like that, it became uncool to high-five.
Thankfully, a successor came along. The Fist-Bump gave us all hope. It was actually more subtle and understated than a high-five, since it didn’t require a protracted arm extension and audible hand-slapping. This of course, made it cooler. Plus, the fist-bump utilized a fist instead of an open hand. Again, cooler.
Eventually, the fist-bump even became a litmus test to detect who was “with it.” When someone stuck their hand up anticipating a high-five, maybe you gave them one, but you always looked over your shoulder to make sure nobody else was watching you do it. After all, better to “leave someone hanging” than be seen doing the outdated high-five. Seriously, publicly performing a high-five became the coolness equivalent of wearing a D.A.R.E. t-shirt after elementary school.
Yes, at one time it seemed like the fist-bump would carry us well into the next millennium. But that is no longer the case. Sadly, I’m here to proclaim that the fist-bump is dead. And Howie Mandel killed it.
Maybe you know Howie Mandel. He’s the host of one of the worst TV shows ever created, which is really saying something. His show “Deal or No Deal” was the first game show that clearly required no discernible skill or intelligence whatsoever to play. Of course, “National Bingo Night” debuted last month on ABC and instantly lowered the game show intelligence bar even further.
Anyway, Howie Mandel adopted the fist-bump as his way to greet and congratulate contestants on the show. The only problem is, he isn’t doing the fist-bump to be hip. He’s doing it because he is “germaphobic,” and figures that a fist-bump will spread fewer germs than a handshake. All of this is true, by the way.
To recap, let’s review what the fist-bump has now become intertwined with:
1. It is showcased nightly on a moronic game show.
2. It is being popularized by Howie Mandel.
3. It is deemed a more sanitary alternative to the traditional handshake.
Seriously, how can the fist-bump possibly survive that triumvirate of lameness?
I don’t know, I hope the fist-bump isn’t completely dead. But, I think we are safe to assume it is on life support. Frankly, after watching what the high-five endured, I think we should just pull the plug and shed a tear. It’s the humane thing to do.