The Hand Slap

The Hand-Slap is now an essential skill which you are expected to develop in high-school. Without it, you’d be seen as an awkward or socially-inept child who doesn’t fit in with the other “normal” kids. If you desperately need to fit in with everyone else at school, have no fear: I am here to help you. What exactly is a “hand-slap”, you say? Why is it even in quotation marks? And how is it strange? Well, let me tell you the way of the hand-slap. It goes something like this.

Whenever anyone makes a joke, the joke-teller sticks out his or her hand and patiently waits for someone to slap it. When someone slaps the hand, it is seen as a sign of congratulations (i.e “good joke” or “well done, you made a joke, good for you”). This whole process takes less than a second and is like some sort of system which everyone seems to know about. If no-one slaps the hand and the joke teller is left “hanging”, the joke-teller can get offended because it is seen as an insult to the joke-teller as if he/she told a bad joke. On the rare occasion that no one slaps the joke-teller’s hand, the joke-teller quickly slaps his/her knee or any other body part to avoid any humiliation or awkwardness.

For example, let’s say there is a group of 4 people sitting in a classroom. One guy makes a joke and everyone starts laughing and randomly touching each other (at least now they have a “valid” excuse to do so) with playful slaps, pokes, punches and hand slapping. The joke-teller holds out his hand and the other three people slap it. For the joke-teller, to have been hand-slapped more than once for the same joke, there is no higher feeling of jubilation or sense of honour. If no-one slaps his hand, the joke-teller will try to get over that awkward moment and slap his knee while quickly starting a new conversation with the closest possible person.

Often times, people compete for the highest number of hand-slaps in one conversation. The winner gets a sore hand and a short span of happiness and sense of accomplishment before he/she forgets about it. Based on what I’ve observed, there are actually RULES to this handslapping concept. I’ve outline the major ones below for those of you who are new to this.

  1. NEVER leave someone “hanging”. It is seen as very rude and antisocial if you don’t hand slap the joke-teller, whether they deserve it or not.
  2. DON’T have sweaty hands. No-one likes being slapped by a sweaty hand.
  3. Make sure you slap the whole hand firmly. Don’t slap it halfheartedly or unenthusiastically because it implies that the joke wasn’t funny.
  4. Smile when you slap the hand. If you don’t it means you didn’t get the joke, implying that you are stupid or that the joke wasn’t funny.
  5. ONE SLAP ONLY. Don’t get excited and overdo it with more than one slap. If you slap the hand more than once, it means you are being sarcastic and pretending that you thought the joke was funny.
  6. SLAP the hand. Don’t shake it or grab it. Just a plain slap.
  7. Make eye contact when you slap the hand. It is rude for you not to look the joke-teller in the eye.

I thought that if you laugh at a joke, that generally indicates that it was a good joke. You don’t need someone to slap your hand to realise that your joke was funny. Apparently, this is not the case. Now we have developed a system of the hand-slap where we can evaluate how successful our jokes are. I believe this is just the beginning; I actually know people who say “LOL” out loud because they believe that some jokes deserve something better that hand-slap (I know what you’re thinking, “Better than a Hand-Slap?! How can this be possible?!!”). That, however, is a whole different matter entirely…


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