Social logistics of the high five

Lindsay and I were discussing the high five today; a man must have invented it, I concluded. Only a man would invent a method of social greeting with less contact than a handshake. I did a little research today and found that many people have researched this topic before me. We can thank the British for this definition: “The slapping of hands above the head which two people do to celebrate.” Unfortunately, this definition does not encompass “down low” fives.

Slate has done a history of celebratory sports gestures that includes the origin of the high five. The history is definitely worth reading. The high five was only invented in 1980! (By a man.)

Also worth visiting: Proper high five technique and, to the apparent amusement of Dutch children, high five tomfoolery.

Sir, the tee is yours

I went to the driving range today. It was a beautiful day, a day that demanded people be outside. So, Jonny, Jeff and I went to the range. Get one thing straight: I am not a “golf guy.” I am a “putt-putt golf guy.” There is quite a difference here, mostly in the general golfing ability (less) and general fun had (more). Basically, when I swing at the golf ball, it’s not a rare occurrence for me to miss; but I don’t mind.

Say, however, that someone watched me as I golfed. Say this watcher sat mere yards behind me as I drove the range. Say he perched on his metal bench, clutching his bag of clubs, with his little golf beret low over his eyes. Say you could imagine his whispers:

“Your time is up, boy. The range row is full of golfers and you’re the worst. Give me the tee.”

Most golf guys would have been perturbed — offended or disturbed even. Yes, I may have been the worst golfer on the range. Yes, I may have been an embarassment to golf. But, sir, you did not scare me.

Though you may look like Alec Guiness, I am not susceptible to your Jedi golf powers. I am a proud putt-putt golf guy. I will yield the tee when I run out of golf balls or when my swing knocks me unconscious. No sooner.

Patience Wait

Reading Washington Technology magazine on Tuesday, I came across the most interesting byline: “Patience Wait.” I checked the tagline to see if this was the writer’s real name, and it was. (“Staff Writer Patience Wait can be reached….”)

I thought about writing here then, speculating on how she got the name, but e-mailing her proved far better. Her thoughtful and funny reply arrived this morning:

Actually, I came by my name quite legitimately. It’s my real name.I had a great-great-grandmother in Massachusetts in the 1800s with the name; she married into it, but I was given it deliberately.

It was a difficult name to carry when I was a kid. We moved a lot (my dad was with a corporation that transferred him frequently), so every two or three years I had a whole new group of friends who would tease me about it until they got used to it.

But about the time I really got into the workforce, I discovered it was an advantage because everyone I met would remember it. (Or something like it — I got called Prudence or Faith or Constance a lot, too.)

The drawback to the name as an adult is the same as the advantage. There are people I met once, 20 years ago, who still remember me; unfortunately, my memory is not nearly as good as theirs!

Years before I got into journalism I worked in product marketing in the computer industry. My company put me in a sales training class, and the very first session the trainer asked everybody in the room about their ice-breaking techniques — you know, how to strike up a conversation with a stranger. When it was my turn, I just picked up my name card and said that for some reason it’s never been a problem for me.

I don’t mean to be so long-winded. I guess it just demonstrates that I’m finally comfortable with it. Thanks for asking — it is fun to hear that people notice my byline, whatever the reason!

Media notes

Country singer Lyle Lovett has been trampled by a bull. He’ll live, but circumstances beg the question: What’s worse, being trampled by a bull or being dumped by Julia Roberts?

In other news, coming soon to a theater near you: “High Crimes.” According to its advertisement, Morgan Freeman plays an “outcast lawyer with nothing to lose.” That said, please visit Modern Humorist’s Movie Trailer Cliche Theater. Tell your friends, especially if they write movie ads.

Finally, WGN News at Nine reported the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s return to Norfolk, Va., today. In describing the return, anchors noted the carrier was “back on American soil.”

NYC’s coolest cop on CD

New York police officer Daniel Rodriguez has released an album. Rodriguez blew me away when he sang “God Bless America” at Yankee Stadium during the baseball playoffs. The man has pipes.

Dannon, the official yogurt of Big Daddy Records?

Choobakka’s “She’s Feeling Me” feat. Lady J is now in rotation on BET’s 106 & Park. Choobakka is new on the national rap scene and little has been written about him. But, judging by his video, one thing is obvious: This man loves his yogurt.

In the video, Choobakka and Lady J repeatedly rap up the dairy aisle at the supermarket as they pose in front of the yogurt shelves. Dannon “Fruit on the Bottom” gets major play. I’m not quite sure of the significance, but that won’t keep me from theorizing.

Choobakka — African-American and Latino — is a product of diversity, like the Mixed Berries style of the Fruit on the Bottom. Also, Mixed Berries, like Choobakka, is often found near the Big Daddy Records studio in Mount Vernon, NY. (Type in the Mount Vernon zip code, 10550, on this page for the proof, courtesy of your local Dannon retailers.)

Whatever the reason, the song was good and danceable. Just like Dannon’s yogurt. Sort of.

And the remote control lands on…

Nobody’s Perfect, a 1989 classic with all the bad movie trimmings. The plot in three sentences:

1) Steve (Chad Lowe) gets kicked off his collegiate men’s tennis team because he falls madly in love Shelly (Gail O’Grady), who is on the women’s tennis team.

2) To get her, Steve pretends to be Stephanie, the foreign exchange student who quickly becomes the star of the women’s team and, of course, Shelly’s roommate.

3) Hijinks — albeit unfunny hijinks — ensue.

Watch the trailer.

The movie’s highlight by far is the moment when Steve tries to think of a topic for his English paper. “Dickens… David CopperfieldGreat Expectations… [eyes light up, jaw drops]. Orphans! All of those guys are orphans!”

It’s amazing this movie was done as a romantic drama. But all of the gender switching makes you wonder. Did the movie encourage Lowe’s wife, Hilary Swank, to play Brandon Teena/Teena Brandon in Boys Don’t Cry? How much of that Best Actress statuette belongs to Mr. Lowe?


I’m dropping the whole imaginary trip idea. I don’t have the creativity to go through with it. I’m a journalism major and not an English/creative writing major for a reason. Sometimes I forget that. If something noteworthy happens this week, I’ll post about it. Otherwise, I’m taking the week off.