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Nick Friedell

No, that's not a peace sign, it's a fob sign!

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The people in this picture aren't crazy.

They're just fobbing.

Tuesday's create-a-caption reminded me of one of my favorite Chinese traditions ... the fob sign.

I didn't have a clue what one was until my buddy Sean spent a year over in China, and started sending me pictures like this.

He told me that the fob sign came from the V for victory sign used by Winston Churchill. He also told me that there are several different types of fob poses. "The jubilant fob" that occurs when a person smiles big with his or her fob signs in the air, and the "forlorn fob" which is when a person takes a picture without smiling but still manages to throw up the sign.

Of course, there are varrying reports on the exact history of the fob.

According to wikipedia, the fob sign was actually made popular in Japan by an Olympian.

From wikipedia:

During the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, figure skater Janet Lynn stumbled into Japanese pop culture when she fell during a free-skate period—but continued to smile even as she sat on the ice. Though she placed only third in the actual competition, her cheerful diligence and indefatigability resonated with many Japanese viewers, making her an overnight celebrity in Japan.

I guess the fob sign eventually migrated over to China.

I bring all of this up because I am certain that the fob sign will become the "it" thing to do at the Olympics in Beijing. There is no doubt in my mind that we will see Olympians fobbing for the camera everywhere.

So if you're headed over to Asia, start practicing your poses. Just remember no matter how goofy you think you look when you fob, there will always be somebody who looks a little goofier.

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