High Five, Wi-Fi, & Dares

Posted on April 16th, 2012 by Viveca in Gallimaufry

I have a hillbilly friend who stays here once a year for the unicycle festival. I also have an old wooden chair shaped like a hand. It was my grandmother’s. In my family we call it the hand chair. Among my friends we call the hillbilly either Kentucky John or Boomhauer, because he talks like the character on King of the Hill. He talks constantly, so I don’t always listen. I was washing dishes so I couldn’t hear anyway, but I knew he was talking. When I turned off the water, I realized he wasn’t talking to me; he was talking to the hand chair. Actually, he was playing high five with it. Kentucky John would hold up his hand and say, “Up high” or “Down low.” When the chair didn’t make the connection fast enough, Kentucky John would pull away his hand, taunting, “too slow.” Not sure who was winning.

Before he stayed at my house, Kentucky John spent two nights at my friend Rob’s in South Williamsburg. Rob showed him how to enter his home wireless password into his phone and Kentucky John was excited how much faster it made the phone work. But over the weekend when we were out at Governors Island, Kentucky John brought the phone over to Rob to show him the wireless wasn’t working any more. Then miraculously when we went back to Rob’s for a party that night, it started working again! I bet it isn’t working now that John’s back in Kentucky though. Fickle wireless.

At that same party out on Rob’s stoop, his super-cool 11-year-old kid Caleb challenged me to a game of “Dares.” Rob’s kid, not Kentucky John’s that is. Anyway, I’d never heard of just Dares, but guessing it was like Truth or Dare, I answered, “Sure, I dare you to kiss Kentucky John.” Caleb said that was no fair and I couldn’t do that and whine, whine, whine. He said first of all I was supposed to start little, and then if he did it he got to challenge me to something bigger, and second of all nothing involving any of the people we were hanging out with. So I gave him something easier: Steal Keith’s hat, put it on, and unicycle down the street waving the hat on a pole. I wasn’t specific enough though: Caleb just walked over to Keith and asked him politely to borrow the hat. So he pulls off my dare easily, and then, dammit, dares me to slap Kentucky John! I was mad! I mean, come on, he tells me kissing him is too much for the first round, but then he steals my idea for his very first dare to me. Whatever. I have no fear. I walked up to Kentucky John, slapped him back and forth, and then grabbed his face and kissed him just to show Caleb I’m not fucking around.

The game progressed from there. We each had one big advantage in this game. Caleb’s edge: his father put the kibosh on all my seriously illegal and dangerous ideas, so he didn’t even have to wimp out. My edge: I have no shame.

His dares included getting me to kick a stranger in the balls and having me put a Pringles can in my pants, run in front of the film crew down the street, and shout “I spent the night polishing my knob!”

I got him to offer a bag of garbage to a passing Hassidic family and to jump under a parking car, pretend it hit his foot, and writhe in the street howling in pain.

In the end I won though because he wouldn’t cut his hair. I only dared him to do it because he claimed he was cutting it off the next week for school. He’s got total rock star hair. But I play Dares like a rock star. Don’t fuck with me. I own 11-year-old game brinksmanship.

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