I remember the first time I truly understood that there is injustice in this world. It was when I learned about fingerboarding.
“Jeremy,” I said to my bully at the time. “Look at these guys. Why are you slapping my hocks when these dorks are pretending to skateboard with their hands? You’re choking down hamburger when you could be dining on steak!”
“I’m not sure,” Jeremy shrugged, his bowl cut hiding a pair of thick, befuddled eyebrows. “I know with certainty they should be attacked, and yet I do not feel like attacking them.”
“They go unmolested for finger-miming a better hobby, but I get pushed in the girl’s bathroom for pretending to be a wizard? At least wizards are cool.”
At this point, Jeremy began beating me savagely. The school principal actually saw it and moved to step in, but I waved him away.
“I deserve this one,” I said. And he just nodded. He understood.
Anyway, let’s learn what happened to the most embarrassing fad this side of erotic pogs.
It’s crazy that fingerboarding caught on, since none of the videos from the ‘90s even tried to make it look cool. They were named like kung-fu pornography:
And featured socially maladjusted children with terrible haircuts looking like they’d died of boredom hours ago and only rigor mortis was making them smile. Here’s what’s supposed to be a wild fingerboarding party…
There’s no glamor in that photo — no child saw those poor bastards crammed unhappily atop the kitchen counter, huddled around a splayed Ukrainian exchange student who looks like he’s trying to explain how other people have fun without accidentally having any himself and thought, “that could be me — that should be me!”
But an entire industry popped up around fingerboarding, with commercials and everything:
This ad promised that “like real street skating, you can earn respect by shredding new obstacles!” And it was the single greatest lie of a generation. You fingerboard once and the word ‘respect’ is erased from your memory. You will laugh every time Aretha Franklin comes on, wondering aloud “what is this fucking idiot trying to spell?!” This blatant falsehood kickstarted the Truth in Advertising movement which now makes it illegal to promise that Carl’s Jr. is actual food, and not an elephant laxative.
This commercial started with a bored kid playing internet, only to find his hand has become sentient and fled his keyboard in favor of a fingerboard set…
Look at the abject fear on that child’s face. He does not want this to happen. He does not want to discover this about himself. It’s like he’s unearthing a shameful fetish for the first time, and can already feel decades of society’s judgment crashing down on him.
Yet another commercial features children fingerboarding everywhere — at school, at home, even on the bus! Yes, this brash young man grinds down the bus seats, even doing tricks over a strange woman’s legs…
I am 100% certain that ‘fingerboarding a pop shove-it’ over an unconsenting woman’s lap is sexual assault, even if it’s to a degree so low that the mace to defend against it is cinnamon flavored.
Then one child makes a terrible mistake: He playfully ‘grinds’ his bus fare into the receptacle…
Forgetting that all public bus drivers are one shenanigan away from a stabbing spree. The director cuts away. We do not get to see this child die.
And yet, even with all of these advertisements that function like dire warnings, people kept fingering their boards. Here’s a Wikihow from last month, still advising people on how to start fingerboarding, rather than directing them to seek the help they need:
Even the How-to guide for fingerboarding refers to it as a ‘micro-sport,’ which is a bit like calling sniffing used socks ‘micro-sex.’ Even avid fingerboarders feel compelled to post polls asking other fingerboarders, “is fingerboarding stupid?”
Self awareness is banging on the door — begging, pleading to be let in — and they’re diving headfirst out the god damn window.
I’m not surprised that 69% of fingerboarders do not think fingerboarding is stupid, but I am surprised that 31% of fingerboarders recognize they have a problem and are simply helpless in the face of it.
But here’s the real problem with fingerboarding: A lot of time has passed since the dark age when Tech Decks ruled the Earth, and that means many of its modern practitioners are adults. Here is what an adult fingerboarder looks like:
If you are a parent, please check your hand now. You will be surprised to find that you have unconsciously removed your phone from your pocket and already dialed the police. You can hang up now, but do take solace in the knowledge that your primal parental instincts are keen.
Now, let’s hop into an interview with him:
Women, please check your panties. You will find that your genitals have sealed shut like a fallout bunker on doomsday. This is normal. This is a normal response. You don’t need to visit your doctor — you just need a long hot bath, some kitchen tongs, and to never read this next part:
I told you not to read it! Damn it all. I’m sorry, ladies, but you now have one less hole in your body.
Photographs of grown men fingerboarding evoke the kind of quiet, aghast horror normally reserved for Scientology documentaries and forensics techs examining the apartments of adult fingerboarders.
Look at that screencap from a nightmare. That promotional still from an Eastern European horror movie. Just picture coming across that scene in a remote rest stop, when he slowly turns to make eye contact with you. Both of you know there’s no help for a hundred miles. Then it’s all darkness and pain and tiny wheels across your body, on your lips, moving down, inexorably down….
Every single grown man talking about fingerboarding is really talking about what they’d do to a RealDoll of Emma Watson if they could ever get enough fingerboard sponsors to afford one.
I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that, in some dark corner of this Earth, there are people still gleefully fingerboarding. You’d think they would have died from wedgie complications by now. I simply cannot imagine a thing less cool than pretending to skateboard with your fingers-