October 5, 2007

The Great Slapbet Conundrum

Posted in Media at 11:23 am by Caleb Winn

According to How I Met Your Mother, a Slap Bet is:

A bet between two parties in which the winner gets to slap the loser. In the event that a slap is administered in error, the slapee shall receive a specified number of extra slaps, as deemed by a pre-appointed third party. (“Slap Bet Commissioner”)

Though this brief summary doesn’t go into detail, there is an interesting wrinkle in the administration of the Slap Bet. The loser of the Slap Bet is given a choice between (a) 10 slaps to be administered all at once, or (b) 5 slaps redeemable anytime, anywhere, throughout eternity.

Which to choose? The immediacy or the uncertainty? The greater pain for which one can prepare, or the lesser pain that takes one unawares? It is a dilemma of Gordian proportions, rivaled only by such controversies as “In a fight between astronauts and cavemen, who would win?”

Barney “Swarley” Stinson chose option (b), 5 slaps administered anytime, anywhere. This spared him immediate pain, but causes him to now live in constant terror, waiting for the next time that Marshall will claim a piece of his prize.

Well, ladies and gentlemen…

It’s coming.

. . .

I could try to spin this into a discussion about how it is better to deal with problems head on as they arise, instead of trying to put off problems until they can be put off no longer. But really, all I want to say is:

Watch How I Met Your Mother on CBS every Monday night at 8/7 central!


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