The Butt Stops Here
First of all, let’s see a show of electronic hands from those going to see The Dark Knight this weekend? I know I am. I haven’t been this excited since I discovered EL Fudge cookies. But if you are sitting at your computer sheepishly keeping your imaginary and literal arm at your side, I ask you to please head out and see the movie this weekend? Why? Two reasons.
A) It’s going to be awesome. B) I have a bet with my sister that it will take in more on it’s opening weekend than one of her chick flicks did earlier this year. The loser has to buy the other dinner. Holy Pass the Check Batman! At this point it seems like a forgone conclusion that I will be getting a free meal next week, but I don’t want to take anything for granted.
However, this is a sports blog not a “win Nathan a free meal” blog so I’ll move on.
Anyways, there’s one thing about sports I just don’t get. I love the games and the traditions, but sometimes I wonder – where on earth did the butt slap come from? I mean seriously. When we were kids the hand to the butt was something to be dreaded. Now all of a sudden it’s supposed to be a positive thing just because you’re in uniform?
Are the rest of us in the non-sports world allowed to give a little tap to our coworkers when they do a good job on a project? I’m pretty sure our employee manual specifically forbids it actually.
So how did this start? And who was the gutsy guy who got it started? I wonder how that went.
Bob – “Nice game, John” (smack)
John – “What are you doing you sicko….wait. I actually feel completely affirmed and valued as both an athlete and human being right now. Thank you Bob.”
I guess it just took off from there.
Well it may have worked for John and every athlete since then, but I’ve compiled a list of perfectly acceptable alternatives that should be considered.
1. The high five
At times, this may also be altered to a regular five or a down low five. It’s completely up to you. It’s quick, it’s affirming. The only challenge is that 1 out of every 100 people finds it impossible to hit the oncoming hand straight on. I am that one person.
2. The hand shake
Nothing says job well done like a firm handshake. It’s the international symbol of friendship, agreement, and success. What’s better, you don’t have to touch anyone’s butt to express all that.
3. The thumbs up
Sure, it’s somewhat impersonal, but if it was good enough for a Roman emperor it’s good enough for me.
4. The slap on the back
This would not be my first choice as it’s critical to find just the right amount of force. Too hard will cause the person you’re congratulating to lose all air in his lungs. Too soft will just create an awkward moment.
5. The fist bump
You can go either knuckle to knuckle or simply hit the top of the other person’s fist with your own. In this day and age it’s the most hygienically safe way to say “good job.” It’s kind of a win win because you make a person feel better and minimize the of passing germs.
6. Finally, there is the “beat the other person senseless over the head as they cross home plate” approach that many teams take.
Granted you lose some brain cells and the occasional eye. But it’s better than the innocence you lose when you get slapped repeatedly on the rear end by all of your teammates.