Bill proposed to make the “high five” Missouri’s official state greeting

Charlene Sakoda


Missouri State House Representative Courtney Allen Curtis has introduced House Bill 1624 which reads: “The ‘high five’ is selected for and shall be known as the official state greeting in the state of Missouri.”

Why the high five versus other fine greetings? For instance, the fist bump? Representative Curtis told KTVI Fox 2, “Didn’t want to go with the fist bump, because we’re not New Jersey. That’s the truth.” Odd News contacted Rep. Curtis’ office to ask if the low five is also out. To which they also amusingly responded, “We’ll leave the low five to Kansas.”

On the website promoting HB 1624, Rep. Curtis said, “This bill was designed to actually get children involved in our political process. These type of bills are used to engage our youth, many of whom I visit with in my district.”

The House Democrat said that the high five is his greeting of choice when on the Missouri House floor. It’s something he uses to connect with other representatives and promote a friendly environment. He hopes that if approved, the official greeting will encourage bipartisanship. Rep. Curtis spoke to WDAF Fox 4 News and explained, “It’s promoting us working together. Sure we want to work all the time, but when tensions get raised you know to a certain level, it prevents any productivity from actually occurring.”

The proposal backing the typically jubilant gesture isn’t getting much of a positive reaction. Yvette Hanigan of Missouri said, “It sounds kind of fun!” Though she continued, “It just doesn’t seem like something to me that it’s something to spend money on.” Missouri resident Michael Sherrill agreed saying, “I think they have probably better things that they probably could be concentrating on instead of hand shaking and high fiving.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Mark Schlinkmann has already declared this bill as the, “silliest bill introduced in the Missouri Legislature.”

Rep. Curtis further explained, “Are there more serious things that we could be addressing? Yes. Sure. Hopefully by introducing this it will allow the tensions to not be so, so high that we can work on things such as Medicaid expansion or fixing the school transfer issue. So if this brings the tension down a little bit. No it’s not silly.”

In a state with an official state dessert, an official state invertebrate, and an official state dinosaur, perhaps it’s not so odd to have an official state greeting.

When asked for his take on the unique bill, Odd News contributor Will Lerner stated, “Let’s hope they don’t keep this bill…hanging.”

Videos and more info: KTVI, WDAF, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch