Handflippers

By Josh Dugan 
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It really got to me that some guys could do the handflippers thing and some couldn't. It was like some kind of fad that everyone wanted in on.

Jay tried to show me how to do it. You had to hold hands, then switch hands, then clap each other's switched hands together, flip-clap each other's hands fast and then switch back and clap each other's hands, then flip-clap your hands again. That's how you got four hands.

And I couldn't get it. Jay could. So he had four hands, and I didn't. I burned with envy and shame, but mostly envy. But Jay understood, and tried to help.

"You clap, flip, clap," he said, trying to show me. It was hard for him to show me, since he had four hands now, too many to do the handflipper thing since they got in each other's way. I tried flipping hands with him anyway. It felt good touching so many of his hands and fingers, but it didn't work again; I still only had two.

Ernie was knocking on the door, and Jay let him in. "Four hands," Ernie smiled, holding up his four hands. How could Ernie have gotten it? He was such a dope. I envied him his four hands. They made him look so good, just like Jay.

"Who'd you flip hands with?" Jay asked Ernie.

"Foster," said Ernie. "He's flipped hands with everybody."

He noticed me. "Sorry," Ernie said.

"That's all right," I said. Foster didn't get it either. And Foster was a smart guy. So I tried not to feel so bad.

So we hung out at Jay's like we always did. It was okay, but they did everything four-handed, and they kept talking about who'd flipped hands with who. All I could see was their extra hands, even when they forgot they had them.

Jay was bringing sodas, one for Ernie and me, his bottom hands hanging down as he held the soda cans in his top hands, passing the cans to us.

Ernie and Jay laughed as Ernie had a momentary confusion of which hand to take his soda with, his top hand or his bottom hand. He finally took the can in his top hand, letting his bottom hand hang down like Jay's.

"Maybe you could flip hands with Thao," Jay suggested. "He's got such big hands, it might work for both of you." Thao was the envy of all of us, a handsome boy nearly seven feet tall and still growing.

"No," Ernie said, but sympathetically. "Thao already flipped hands with Randy, and now they've both got four hands."

"Awesome," Jay said.

"I know," Ernie said.

As he set down his soda can, he knocked it over accidentally with his lower hand, forgetting it was hanging down under his top hand. A clumsy rush of his four hands failed to catch the can, which rattled along the table top, spilling soda everywhere, getting Ernie's four hands wet with fizzing soda.

"You idiot," Jay laughed, as he set his own soda down successfully and jogged off for a towel, his four hands jangling loosely together.

"This is too many hands," Ernie laughed, as he and Jay laughed and struggled to pass the towel between them, their four hands getting caught up in it.


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