The well-known ‘High Five’ celebratory hand-gesture between two people looks set to become just a little more complicated for Americans when it is upgraded to ‘High Eight’ from 1 January. System requirements for the newer version are basically having two hands with at least eight digits between them, in any combination.
‘For the average Joe, the High Eight is going to require a process of selection,’ explained Dr Frank Pardoner from the Washington Institute of Celebratory Hang Gesture Policy Studies (WICHGPS). ‘Full right and perm any three from the left will be the norm, but we immediately foresee a whole range of other combinations also gaining cult followings.’
Benny Dustmeister from Brooklyn, who has studied under Dr Pardoner, says he’s already well-practiced in High Eight variations. ‘I’m currently trying out four from each side, optional thumb,’ he said, ‘with the rule that if the two people match finger choice, we let out an audible ‘yo’ to increase the intensity of the celebration.’
Despite the advances in the High, Dr Pardoner sees little room for expansion in the future. ‘Only the other day, a guy suggested a High Ten. We just looked at him as though he was crazy.’
But people like Benny Dustmeister see a great future ahead for the High Eight. ‘I’m working on a version which incorporates a Chinese burn sneaked in between raising the hands and making physical contact. I’ve called it the High Burn Eight.’