November 29, 2007

Flap ‘n’ Snap PSA

The prospect is simple: a slacken-jawed subject flaps their face to and fro as fast as they can while camera wielding onlookers snap a photo. Without fail, hilarity ensues. But as fantastically hilarious as it is, the practice known as “Flap ‘n’ Snap” hides a much more terrifying dark side.

A few months back a friend was lured into a few harmless flap ‘n’ snaps. But, lo! The next day he found himself in the hospital. It turns out he’s a hemophiliac, a fact unknown to all but him. The doctor told our friend that he was bleeding between his brain and skull and that flap ‘n’ snaps weren’t good for anyone, most of all a hemophiliac. Those intrepid among you may connect these dots to form the conclusion that we all bleed between our brains and skulls while performing a flap ‘n’ snap, but we’re able to clot that bleeding. Luckily, our friend is fine.

I love flap ‘n’ snaps as much as the next person, possibly quite a bit more, but I would be remiss in not telling you this cautionary tale. Like drinking, drugs, and politics, you take your life into your own hands when you flap ‘n’ snap.

Will this stop me? Nah. After all, my body can magically clot blood! But, for the rest of you, especially hemophiliacs, please be careful. I’ve updated the Flickr group with an appropriate warning. Flap carefully.

Commentary (26):

1. Stevie K says… nov 29, 2007 | 9:25 am

Knowing that it’s dangerous just makes me want to do it more.

2. Greg Hoy says… nov 29, 2007 | 9:25 am

I will always flap and I will always snap. I also drink and eat well-marbled meats, which is not good for me either.

3. Ian says… nov 29, 2007 | 9:57 am

“Wahhh! Wahhh! I almost died from Flappin Snappin.”

Tell me, was the result worth it?
That’s what I thought.

4. sutter says… nov 29, 2007 | 10:04 am

We’re just trying to have a good time. Why are you trying to ruin our fun, narc! Hey, this guy is a narc!

5. Steve says… nov 29, 2007 | 10:21 am

Rob told a few of us this story at a web conference and shook his finger at us… Ruined Flap n Snap’s forever. [besides the fact that mine always suck, my face has no flappage]

6. Todd says… nov 29, 2007 | 10:53 am

Perhaps one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read.

Made me teary eyed.

7. Jason Beaird says… nov 29, 2007 | 11:06 am

I’m amused that flap ‘n’ snaps are the most PSA worthy thing web geeks do at conferences. Perhaps we should all go jumping off of bridges into shallow water or something.

8. Jim Doran says… nov 29, 2007 | 11:29 am

I think that’s probably a bunch of medical jargon hooey. Remember the fen phen scare? Exactly.

If you want REAL danger, do it on a skateboard.

9. Jenn Lukas says… nov 29, 2007 | 12:16 pm

Every time I hear this story it makes me want to throw up (…on to Mark’s side of the desk).

10. Rob Weychert says… nov 29, 2007 | 12:18 pm

It should be noted that I was well aware of our friend’s hemophilia. And of course it’s always been patently obvious that I should try to avoid punching him in the face or running him through with a broad sword. Before this incident, though, it simply didn’t occur to me (or him) that Flap ‘n’ Snap was a strictly non-hemo activity. Now we know, and knowing is half the battle!

11. bearskinrug says… nov 29, 2007 | 12:51 pm

So that’s what I needed to tell you to keep you from running me through with a broadsword?

12. David Holtz says… nov 29, 2007 | 1:15 pm

Slapping is not required at all to create this effect. It’s called shake face. I can’t believe people would actually slap each other for this. There’s a whole web site dedicated to this, too (slapping not required cause its stupid).

13. Jason Santa Maria says… nov 29, 2007 | 1:22 pm

David Holtz: Nope, read again, I’m not saying “slapping”, I’m saying “flapping” or “snapping”. The flap ‘n’ snap photos we take are done the exact same way as the shake face or the jowlers (and this is the way our friend hurt himself).

Though there might be something to a slap ‘n’ snap…

14. David Holtz says… nov 29, 2007 | 2:08 pm

Phew. Good. Not to sound like some ultra-pacifist, but that just doesn’t sound like fun. I guess its just one of those activities that everyone thinks they’ve invented so we’ve all come up with our own names for it.

It’s always surprising to hear that we can use our own bodies to hurt ourselves. You can shoot your partner in Contra and he doesn’t feel a thing.

15. Sally Carson says… nov 29, 2007 | 2:21 pm

Um, hell-oooo! Has no one here heard of Third Bass’s Gas Face? Where were you guys in the 90’s? I don’t know about you, but I was doing the Kid ‘N Play in hammer pants at middle school dances.

16. Steve says… nov 29, 2007 | 2:25 pm

Okay, so what your saying is slapping and snapping is the safer way to go. Got it! ;)

17. Sam Hardacre says… nov 30, 2007 | 9:48 am

The triple flap ‘n’ snap with Rob W makes me piss myslef every time. I think I might have to jump on the bandwagn and give this a go with my mates : D

18. Steph Mineart says… nov 30, 2007 | 9:53 am

I’m not having any luck finding it on the google now, but wasn’t there recently an actual “slap and snap” thing going around, where kids would video themselves slapping their friends, and people were up in arms about it?

Nothing to do with flap and snap, really, but also probably requires a heath warning.

I’ve probably jostled my brain around too much already…

19. Sam Hardacre says… nov 30, 2007 | 10:24 am

@Steph Mineart : Not sure if there’s a difference in the States to the UK, but what you describe is, over here in England, referred to as ‘Happy Slapping’.

It’s a sort of depressing thought that kids are doing this for enjoyment. Have they never heard of cartoons?

20. Jared says… nov 30, 2007 | 1:01 pm

I actually hurt my neck a few times trying get the perfect snap of the perfect flap. Was it worth it? You bet it was worth it!

21. Shane Guymon says… nov 30, 2007 | 2:43 pm

Thanks for the notification

22. Matt Davis says… dec 3, 2007 | 3:32 pm

You could probably develop a hemophilia friendly alternative to this ritual by using the air compressor at your local gas station. Just don’t put your lips on the nozzle.

23. Andy States says… dec 4, 2007 | 6:07 pm

I don’t know why but the female degree of flappage doesn’t even come close to the magnitude of the guys. Maybe we can find a grandma with some serious neck muscles.

24. Oliver says… dec 4, 2007 | 7:09 pm

Flap ‘n’ Snap has been hijacked!

25. Sam Zenner says… dec 5, 2007 | 12:39 pm

I guess we were all living on the wild side… unknowingly :) Those ignorant days were a bless were they not?

26. Matt says… dec 12, 2007 | 9:55 am

amazing shots, I need to get a camera and start doing this.