The King of Uncool

That´s ´70s GeekI am uncool. And let’s just be clear, I am not saying that I am a nerd. So don’t think I’m one of those ass cadets ostensibly mocking their nerdy lifestyle knowing full well that being a nerd is so cool right now that if Orville Redenbacher were alive he’d be getting more play than Tommy Lee pre-dreadlocks. We’re not talking about liking science or reading books.

I am uncool and it’s a totally different thing.

There are symptoms of being uncool: weekly Facebook posts about cats and bodily functions, there are sweater vests, a true like of broccoli, and (at 38 years old) a weekly call to my mom. My homepage alternates between Wikipedia’s Recent Deaths page, Prague’s public transport time schedule, and a dating website on which I have not met another human being in two years (their robot emails me once a month, I guess just to check on me).

I am also linguistically uncool. I say the word ‘jeepers’ often. In the last week I have used the words sharp, slacks, trousers, short pants, neato and handsome all to describe pants. On occasion I add the suffix –izzle to verbs and nouns, which I thizzle is annoying, my frizzle.

Though I can keep my uncoolness at arm’s length most of the time, it does attack now and then.

Today it’s two things.

The first thing is that I am – at this moment – wearing a monochrome outfit. I am wearing blue sneakers, jeans and a light blue button down shirt. This is something I miraculously pull off at least once a fortnight. Last week I wore olive drab trousers, a green shirt, a brown jacket and brown shoes. My bag was also olive drab. There is a brown insignia in the middle of it. I looked like a giant poop walking down the road listening to music. This was not a cognizant decision.

Still, my uncoolness is really evident in terms of music. With the exact opposite musical instinct as might boast a hipster, I catch on to a musical trend about fourteen years after everyone else.

As my primary school classmates talked about Faith No More and Duran Duran, I told them (with vigor, by the way) about my sister and I singing along to Man of La Mancha. Nobody was impressed. I enjoyed my first Duran Duran concert in 2001 in Pittsburgh. And as my friends waxed nostalgic and mocked the 80s atmosphere I pretended to be joking with them and yet found myself secretly mystified by this Rio lass and wondered why she might be dancing on the sand.

I found more show tunes in high school, along with 1950s Doo-wop. While my friends were wearing flannels and listening to Pearl jam and Nirvana, or other friends were wearing tie-dye and listening to The Dead and Phish, I had graduated to Dion and the Belmonts and Jesus Christ Superstar. I got the Evita Soundtrack for my 16th birthday.

I suppose I am thinking about this because of the theoretical sadness I felt about Ray Manzarek’s death the other day. My friends and brother (who is almost certainly disowning me as he reads this) posted about it on Facebook and there were other visual tributes. I came close to posting something until I realized that I just didn’t care in the least. I mean, aside from someone being dead – which is almost always sad – I had no feelings toward this whatsoever. I know he was in The Doors, a band which had taken their name from a book I had read in my short-lived (2 week) psychedelic phase. And that is the closest connection I can make with the cool.

Besides, I think Jim Morrison was a prick anyway. But I bet I could do a grand monochrome outfit with those leather slacks he used to wizzle.

  1. #1 by Kelly on May 23, 2013 - 1:50 pm

    Well sheeeet. That was a bit of a wake up call. I always thought I was cool, only now to find out that things like posts about cats, a broccoli affinity and regular phone calls to my mommy indicate that I may be the opposite. No joke, I eat broccoli (along with cauliflower and carrots) for dinner nearly every single night and it is not yet 8 0’clock in the morning and I have already texted with my mother. Plus, I say “that’s bonkers” more than I care to admit. I did see that thing about the Doors guy and thought, I remember having to like that movie in high school lest someone say “You DIDN’T like The Doors?!” and casting me out of the table where the people with skate boards sat. This is funny. I’m actually doing something similar on Monday. And PS, although Orville Redenbacher makes a delicious snack (my desert after my vegetables every night, alternated with a weight watcher’s ice cream) I wouldn’t bang him.

    • #2 by Damien Galeone on May 24, 2013 - 10:39 am

      You really wouldn’t bang Orville? But the suspenders, the suspenders! My favorite food is spinach (I know, I know..), so we should start a club of some sort. And when I read about your Battlestar Galactica marathon, I said “How could someone think that’s not cool?” and then it all became clear. My marathon is Colombo. I am not wearing a rain coat.

  2. #3 by Kelly on May 23, 2013 - 2:06 pm

    Oh! And I don’t know how this happened but I am immersed in a Battlestar Galactica marathon on Netflix right now! I’m going to try and score some heroin or something today to try and even this shit out.

  3. #4 by Chris on May 23, 2013 - 2:47 pm

    Pants description is hilarious. But boo to you.. Ray was a good dude. Jim Morrison may have been a prick… But maybe you didn’t like him cause he epitomized cool.

    • #5 by Damien Galeone on May 24, 2013 - 10:33 am

      I think Steve McQueen epitomized cool. And I have no problem with Ray. Question for the ages: Do you still epitomize cool if you die in a bathtub?

  4. #6 by Tiffany N. York on May 23, 2013 - 5:03 pm

    The sweater vest thing made me wince a bit, but you are a professor after all.

    I say Groovy, awesome, and dude a lot. Trying to recapture my youth? It’s not uncool; it’s pathetic, i think.

    And I will only admit this here: I used to work out to the Evita soundtrack (the Madonna Evita).

    Just remember this–a sense of humor trumps all.

    • #7 by Damien Galeone on May 24, 2013 - 10:32 am

      Oh T, with your groovies, awesomes and dudes and my shazbots, jeepers and jiminy crickets we make quite an uncool pair of bloggers. Is it true that humor trumps all or is that a thing women say to funny guys? Sort of the personality equivalent of ‘size doesn’t matter!’

  5. #8 by Tiffany N. York on May 24, 2013 - 6:21 pm

    Humor is the ultimate aphrodisiac. I’ve heard many a woman say that if a man can make her laugh, he’s in.

    I remember telling my boyfriend in college before we started dating, “You represent everything I despise in a man.” But he was wicked smart and bitingly funny, and annoyingly persistent and he wore me down and won me over. Didn’t matter that he was pasty white with chicken legs.

  6. #10 by Tiffany N. York on May 26, 2013 - 7:13 pm

    Absolutely! Humor + Intelligence = lethal combination (but lethal in a good way)

  7. #11 by Andy on May 29, 2013 - 10:12 pm

    My wife will never let me live down the time I exclaimed, “Now THAT’S some good going-out-on-a-Friday-night jazz!” when a Charlie Parker tune came on the radio. Even more amusing was that it came on as we were heading home on a Friday night…at 8pm…listening to NPR.

    Sigh. Collin really IS cooler than me…

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