Anyone who has ever met me will probably agree that I can not really be categorised as “cool”. Not by a long shot. Well, certainly not in terms of mainstream coolness. I was not a cheerleader at school. This was partly due to the fact that I didn’t grow up in an American sitcom, but if I had, I would have been the nerdy anti-hero. Or to be truly honest, I wouldn’t have even had a speaking part, I would have been one of the extras who weren’t even nerdy enough to be one of the uncool main characters.
If I may paraphrase a concept of my dear Terry Pratchett’s, un-cool is the true opposite of cool, it’s out through blandness and out the other side. I am simply lacking coolness. If extreme heat burns, and extreme cold burns, they are true opposites, like cool and uncool. I am somewhere just above 0 celcius. Just nippy enough to be uncomfortable, but not cold enough to make ice-cream. I could probably keep your salad fresh for a bit though.
So, like many people before me, I’ve always wondered what exactly makes people “cool”. What are those subtle differences that differentiate those who get to sit at the back of the bus on school outings? If one is to believe educational movies such as Grease, for example, the key to becoming cool and getting the guy you want is dressing in insanely tight trousers and taking up smoking. Ahhh, different times. So, is it the clothes, the attitude, what?
And then, out of the blue, as I was sitting in the Ikea restaurant, half way through a meatball, with a dribble of lingonberry sauce running down my top*, the answer popped straight into my head.
Cool people wear sunglasses, even when it’s dark.
Cool people wear hats, even when they’re inside.
Cool people wear vintage clothes when they could easily afford new ones.
Cool people wear corsets even though they don’t have back problems.
Cool people wear fleece-lined ugg boots on the beach.
Cool people lie on UV beds even though they have no vitamin D deficiencies.
Cool people drive cars that go way faster than any legal speed limit, can’t get over speed bumps and have ridiculously small boots**.
Cool people take horse tranquilisers even though they’re obviously not horses.
That’s IT! It’s all about wearing or using potentially useful things that you DON’T NEED.
Right. Next time I go out clubbing, I’ll be wearing a retainer, ski boots, a hazmat suit with an adult nappy over the top, I’ll be carrying a pickaxe and a beach umbrella in my Ikea Big Blue Bag, and I’ll drive to the club in a golf cart.
Coolness here I come!
*This ALWAYS happens. No matter where I am, what I’m eating or how expensive the top in question, I will always dribble a drop of sauce down my front. Such is life.
**Boots as in trunks, for the Americans and other aliens who may be reading this. although it would be cool if cars ran on hundreds of tiny little booted feet rather than boring old round wheels.