John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
A random beardo is spreading surprise high fives all over the city.
High fives can go a long way toward temporarily lifting someone's mood. Dropped out of the blue on a grumpy dude with personal-space issues, they can also trigger a butt-kicking. Fortunately, that doesn't happen anywhere in this video from Meir Kalmanson, a random beardo who's running around New York slappin' the skins of people hailing cabs.
Kalmanson is an actor, director, and producer—but "most of all, a Friend," notes his Facebook page—whose last video project was a somber poem about how "[e]veryone seems lost." Perhaps due to the seriousness of that project, he's now done a complete 180 and smiles like a goofball as he drops surprise high fives all over town. His fivin' form is impeccable, too, with a little figure-skater aerial kick at the moment of contact.
Some people accept his slaps with a smile, others quickly retract their palms and give death stares. Kalmanson told Fox that the fiving marathon has netted him a "lot of positive feedback." (Sample Facebook comment: "I bet you're one hell of a photobomber too.") He also offered this motivation for doing it: "In a world of electronics, cell phones, and all that jazz—which is great, which is great—but, you know, we're just getting so caught up in that, sometimes it's great to just have a human connection."
If Kalmanson feels like this is his life's calling, maybe he should establish a more stable, less sneak-attack approach, like an artist in Italy who set up a "High Five! Station" outside the subway.