Was I ever cool?
I have often sat with a cup of tea and more bourbon biscuits than you can shake a stick at wondered what it must be like to be ‘cool’ – it is something which has plagued my mind from an extremely early age.
I know such beings exist, but in all truthfulness they are about as rare as a difficult ‘viewers’ question on Dickinson’s Real Deal. A friend once told me with the exception of Johnny Depp there are no modern day Style Icons, this is due to the inner-stubbornness that each of us have built in as standard from the very moment we are conceived.
You see, a bloke finds it incredibly difficult to acknowledge a man’s talents – so to commend a brother on his accompanying good looks is a nigh on impossibility.
Is the quest for coolness solely centred entirely on style? For example, in my opinion His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie, who was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930-1974 was stylish within his own right, the fact that at the time of his reign he was the most be-medalled possibly makes him cool – in my eyes anyway.
The rarity of a cool man is there for all to see, if you were to ask any man for a list of their top 5 cool men, firstly, we would struggle to compile such a list, it would be akin to the FA having to essentially do what they are paid for, and compile a list of suitors to Fabio Capello… Secondly, the content would undoubtedly include the usual suspects consisting of James Dean, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando and possibly Al Pacino as Tony Montana from the film ‘Scarface’ a fascination I have always found peculiar, I imagine that this short list would most probably have some type of direct correlation with the canvas prints adorning their apartments living room / diner.
The point is, why do we bother? There is not one person who would describe me a cool and similarly I would return the uncomplimentary gesture, yes, people can be smart and extremely humorous but is that really as good as it gets?
As I reluctantly forge my way into my thirties, I am beginning to slowly think that my days of being cool and stylish are receding as quickly as my hairline, my steady decline is reminiscent to that of Bryan Robson, the legendary Manchester United midfielder once dubbed in the 1980’s as ‘Captain Marvel’. Robson was irritating in the fact that he had everything (bar looks), but once his legs started to go, he could no longer keep up with the pace of the modern game, indeed his last season at Old Trafford and subsequent only season as a player at Middlesbrough saw him running around the pitch scything people down half his age, the point being that decline can happen overnight.
I have tried to pin-point my decline, and I have reached the conclusion that I never actually had ‘it’. When the school disco was in full swing with the likes of Haddaway pumping away, perched against the school’s assembly hall were Doncaster’s version of the T-Birds, here they were drenched in Joop as opposed to my Mr Sheen accompanied with a Puma King Roll neck. Not only did these incumbents have the confidence to approach girls, they could also dance and look the part, I often thought where did they learn this? I was a subscriber to ‘Look In’ and it certainly wasn’t in that publication, where on earth did they learn to perfect the ‘curtain’ haircut, my attempt was something between that of a lion tamer from the Russian Circus or Screech Powers the character from Saved By The Bell, which is why instead of being asked back to parties etc. I was often left to be picked up by my dad who always had a bag of chips waiting for me on the passenger seat, even he could pre-empt how such nights would un-fold for his chubby son, he, like I do now, knew.
Nowadays my gradually progression to Radio 2 has already arrived, when I suggested to my girlfriend that I should look into the possibility of elasticated trousers she laughed in a way that she doesn’t when I tell a joke, I am in danger of not even being allowed a mid-life crisis, my arms have too much hair so that rules out a tattoo, unless I have one under my watch, which opens all types of assumptions far worse than those of growing old.
These days the only compliments I receive are to say that my glasses look ‘nice’, which is a real sucker punch as my previous three girlfriends said my eyes were my best feature.
The only advantage I have is that this blow is similar to supporting Wolverhampton Wanderers and their relegation – you knew it was coming even if it is slow and painful. As I look at those slightly older than me, those with the beer belly of Russell Grant, the hair style of Keith Harris and the dress sense of Rod Hull, I am left with a feeling of warmth that they can’t see this coming – but I can, and the fact that at one time they had ‘it’ makes me happy – slightly.
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