The social contract of the high five is simple: If you put your hand up to receive one, you should get one, barring some strange circumstances. To deny a high five seeker—to leave them hanging, in the parlance of our times—is to convey such massive displeasure that it suggests a real rift, some kind of huge disturbance. It’s not cool.
What, then, do we make of Royals outfielder Alex Gordon so cruelly turning down starter Jason Vargas’ request to slap some skin after Gordon went deep against the Angels on Thursday?
You can see Gordon express his feelings and Vargas’ rather direct retort, but we’re robbed of the context that makes the former’s denial of going either up top or down low understandable. Is Vargas one of those dudes who high fives way too hard and makes your hand sting and hurt? Are his palms always weirdly sweaty and gross? Does he always mess up and go for the wrong celebration—a fist bump when you extend a hand for a shake, or a bro clasp when you’re looking for a full hug? Or is he a jerk who pulls the “Too slow” pull away of his hand every time, and Gordon’s just tired of it?
Whatever the reason, spare a thought for Vargas, left un-high-fived. Maybe next time, he’ll get what he wants.