Two nights ago, Russell Westbrook was flipped off by an overgrown eight month old in an Iverson jersey. The guy looked like he’d won a radio contest for those seats. One of those call in things where you have thirty seconds to name fifteen different kinds of pop, or list every song they’ve played in the last hour. Do you think ole boy would be able to beat up a twelve year old? Do you think he could even run a mile?
There are two different ways to flip someone off. The first is where you fold your pointer, ring, and pinky fingers down with no additional support from the thumb. Seth Rogen gave us the best example of this in Superbad. He flips double birds at that burning, exploded police car. The one him and Hader let McLovin shoot at in that abandoned parking lot. I couldn’t find a video of it. The thumb stays out, accompanying the middle finger. It looks like you’re making a really busted L if you’re doing it with your right hand. Coincidentally, an L is what dude caught himself last night. Paying for court side seats and getting tossed seven minutes into the game? Woof. My friend Evan texted me, though, and I agree with him: What a way to go out.
The second is where you fold all your fingers down, thumb included, so the only finger visible is the middle one. That’s what ole boy did in Philadelphia last night. For my money, this is the stronger choice. It makes the middle finger more prominent, gives the whole act greater juice. The finger sort of glows. Towers up over the rest of the hand. He added some verbal flair to the proceedings, too: a “(expletive) you,” also directed at Westbrook. I don’t really know why I know this but I’m certain that the guy, when he screams, and he probably screams a lot, has a very high voice.
I’ve watched the video of him flipping off Westbrook way too many times. I’ve entered the ‘I’m-living-on-my-boat-Robert-Downey-Jr-in-Zodiac‘ phase. After you watch the video over and over, letting it wash you, cleanse you, make you stronger, you start to make up stories for what happened just before the camera got to him. I think Russ, as he does, celebrated. We can see that in the immediate aftermath of the shot and foul. He always has some salient points about something dope he’s just done. I throw no stones. If I was out there doing the things he’s doing, I’d run over to the scorer’s table between every bucket of mine, grab the mic, and say “Did y’all see that?! Bring me gifts!”
Ole boy’s gathering himself when we meet him, readying his hands, amassing energy. His birds come and they come heavy. He’s reckless with them; really, sloppy about it, too raw. They were strong but flashy, his hands shaking, scared. You can feel the adrenaline radiating off them and you can tell it took too much out of him to let them go like that. There’s no way he can exert that kind of energy for 48 minutes and still be the same fan he was at the beginning of the game, no way he gets better. The profane can become art if it’s done well. Ole boy was a motel painting.