Monday, December 10, 2007

I've Become What I Never Thought I'd Be

I've become what I never thought I'd be: cool. I know, I'm as amazed as you are. But I have it on good authority. A young lady mentioned this to me in an earlier post, and unless I grossly misunderstood, she has nominated me for the realm of cool.

I've spent most of my life being as cool as high-button shoes and a black eye. I had given up on being cool about eighteen years ago. It seemed a safe bet that if I hadn't achieved cool by the ripe old age of eighteen, it just wasn't meant to be. I have grown to accept that, but now I am suddenly thrown back into the ring and I am a little startled to find myself in this position. I don't know what to do.

Sure, my kids think I'm cool, but honestly, how hard is it to convince a 3 and a 5 year old that you are cool? A few funny faces now and then, build some blanket forts, make some noodles, and explain how to drive responsibly while doing it and you are a shoe-in.

My wife thinks I'm cool, but that is only because she has to. No one wants to admit that they married a totally uncool life-partner and they kept them around for ten years because they could sew on a loose button and light the pilot light when it went out.

No one else thinks I'm cool other than my brother-in-law. He started out with very low expectations of me, and I've managed to live up to them.

Now in order to defend my new found position, I am obliged to verify the credentials of my source. I list them in no particular order: she has her finger on the pulse of the nation's political scene like no one I know. (cool) She is a vegan. (cool) She lives in California. (cool, but only if you like that sort of thing) She has a biting wit. (very cool) She comes from America's heartland. (kind of a John Mellencamp kind of cool) She smokes and drinks. (cool) She has a sister that plays hockey like Gretzky. (when looking at cool, it is best to hold them up against their peers, just to see if they pass muster, and they both do) She has a "bad boy" boyfriend that goes by the super cool street name of Spooney. (ubercool) I'm sure there are other things that I can't think of now, but I believe the list is complete enough to demonstrate that the young lady knows cool when she sees it.

Now that I have established her credentials, let me provide you with her statement. It reads as follows: "Doc, I think you underestimate the value of merely knowing that someone like you, who likes to sit in the hot tub, and tell stories about kids in junkyards, and writes kick-ass punch lines about nougat, and apparently speaks Klingonese, and compares himself to Alice Cooper of all people, is out there. I am very very happy to know that you are out there. Plus, you believe in God in a way that seems very cool and dignified. And these days I have to remind myself that that is even possible anymore."

The only correction that I could add to this would be that I don't know any Klingon, but Flannery can carry on a simple conversation in it, even though she sounds like she has a bad chest cold and is trying to move some phlegm. I'll own up to the hot tub, the junkyard, the kick-ass punch lines, Alice Cooper, and God. (there is a sentence I never thought I'd see in print) I can honestly say, without any reservation, that I have never been accused of being cool or dignified before. Also, I have never been known to spread any happiness, other than by my absence.

There you have it, in it's entirety. And now that I find myself amongst the cool, I can begin to ask for things that most people don't get, such as cutting in line, a really good parking space, and answers to my questions, like what makes you cool, or, who is the coolest person you know?

Please respond with haste. Cool people hate to wait, or so I'm told.



  1. And yes Dear, I'm out there. Way out there. Thank you so very much. Now I can have a grand Christmas.


  2. Anyone who builds blanket forts is cool.

    The rest are just poseurs.

    And I am not kidding.

  3. You're cool.

    My daughters are the two coolest people I know. They would've intimidated the hell out of me at their age.

  4. Doc, a word of advice if you want to hold on to your cool:

    If you're at the beach and someone challenges you to jump over a row of sharks on water skis, DON'T DO IT !!!!!

  5. You know somebody who has a sister that plays hockey?! That's way cool.

  6. Doc, dang it, you are going to make me lose my cool by being so nice to me. I can't stand it when people are nice to me.

    P.S. The only thing more amusing than me being referred to as a "young" lady (or a young "lady," for that matter) is referring to Spooney as a "bad boy." But he'll be similarly flattered that you thought so. And I'll tell him, as soon as he gets done working on his coin collection.


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