My salad dressing days


I might yet be cool…
August 21, 2005, 10:18 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I was never cool. Granted, I was never exactly plankton in the ecosystem that was school, but I was very far from being a Great White Shark. I was more like the fish that fed on the fish that fed on the plankton. Am I making sense here? Or shall I drop this metaphor and cut to the quick?

But I harbour fantasies that I might YET be cool.

And this is why, even in the age of Amazon, I occasionally visit independent record stores.

So it was that I found myself in my local indie record shop last weekend. Primed with information on the latest ‘cool’ bands (obtained from my youngest sister and her boyfriend), I sauntered casually into the 6ft by 6ft no-room-in-here-to-swing-so-much-as-a-gerbil shop.

I instantly relaxed: playing over the shop speakers was ‘Prince – Greatest Hits’. Hey! I can tap my foot to ‘Little Red Corvette’ with the best of them! I may even have bobbed my head a little. Just a little. C’mon, I am COOL, right?

I shimmied my way round to ‘Pop and rock’ and then froze. What was the name of the band again? It was ‘something and something’. Oh Gawd.

I considered the options:
(a) Walk out without buying anything.
(b) Call my sister from the shop to ask her to remind me.
(c) Ask one of the shop assistants.
(d) Browse ALL the artists from A-Z until I hit upon said band.

Well, (a) was a non-starter. If I walked out, I would have revealed myself as the uncool fraudster I really am.

So I considered (b), which would have required me calling her from inside the shop, for the reason set out above:

UC: Hey, sis!
Sis: Urb?? Is that you?
UC: Can you remind me of the name of that band…
Sis: Whaaaaaaaat? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!!!!!!! WHERE ON GOD’S EARTH ARE YOU?????
UC: Shit.
[Hangs up.]

Maybe (c) then:

[UC approaches shop assistant, who exudes cool from every pore of her being, even though her outfit looks like a hand-me-down from her grandmother. How do they DO that? If I wore some hand-me-down from my grandmother, it would look like I was wearing a…hand-me-down from my grandmother.]

UC: Hi! I wonder if you can help me?
Shop assistant: OK…
UC: I’m looking for an album, sorry, CD – don’t expect you call them albums now, do you?! Sorry. Yes. It’s a band. And they’re called ‘something and something’. I think they might be Scottish. It’s a boy and a girl, well, man and woman. Actually, maybe they are brother and sister? No! That’s The White Stripes, isn’t it? [Amaze myself with what little knowledge of popular music I DO possess.] You’ll DEFINITELY have heard of them. Well, I think you will have. My younger sister recomm… [Blows cover.]
SA: [as her eyes glaze over] Ummmmmmmmm…

Of course, (d) was the only real option, despite the fact I had just 17 minutes left on the clock before I had to resume responsibility for the chicklets, who were out in the park with their grandparents.

Thankfully, I got lucky. The band in question was ‘Belle and Sebastian’ (praise be!). Awash with confidence, I grabbed another couple of soi-disant cool CDs, and, feeling rather pleased with my(hip new)self, sashayed past ‘Easy Listening’ on my way to the till.

But then I flunked it. Matt Monro isn’t cool, is he? And that shop assistant, in her polyester dress and bell-bottomed jeans, knew it.

Damn.

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10 Comments so far
Leave a comment

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The best part was when you were rocking along with the plankton and White Shark metaphor and talked about not being able to “harbour” illusions. That was FUNNY!!! xoxoxo

Comment by mireille

I was the fish that pissed off the great white shark, but was always able to outsmart it. Kind of.

I quit trying to buy cool music long ago. I stopped getting the “cool new music” memos.

But, thanks to my satellite raido service – I am the only person in the USA who can get BBC Radio 1! Well, me and everyone else who subscribes to Sirius Satellite Radio.

Comment by The Lazy Iguana

hehehe, I’ve given up on being cool, and I often forget what I’m looking for in music AND bookstores.
I’ve enjoyed getting caught up on your posts–they’re great! I love the noo shoos, btw.

Comment by actonbell

Great post! And don’t worry, we all think you’re cool, Belle and Sebastian fan or not.

Comment by Meegan

I love this post.

I remember those vinel record covers, and going in every week to check what was there! It was thrilling to sift through the covers, hoping for new discoveries…Not like going to Tower records today (where there are no records) waiting to buy CDs.

Comment by BarbaraFromCalifornia

Heh, loved this.

And being cool is totally overrated. It requires expending extra effort, extra cash, and extra time: three things I am unwilling to part with simply for the sake of being cool.

Besides, “uncool” is actually the new “cool.” I don’t have any independent confirmation of this, but I am choosing to believe it anyhow.

Comment by katiedid

Dorks rule! At least, that’s what I choose to tell myself. Oh wait, you didn’t say you were a dork. How dorky of me. Anyway, I think you’re totally cool.

Comment by Crabbi

This was a fab post that I can so relate to. I hate that I love music and sing all the songs on the radio, but have no clue who the artist is. When I ask my teenager, he just rolls his eyes at me.

I totally got the plankton and shark metaphor, keep them coming.

Yes, you are Uber Cool!!!

Comment by KGrams

Got told to turn off Adam and the Ants by my five year old, cos he said it was rubbish.

What does he know ;o)

Hey UC any chance of a Link back to my blog?

Comment by Aginoth

hmm, just as well it wasn’t the zutons eh?
Don’t you secretly want to try the polyster dress/bell bottom jeans thing? I think it looks like fun but probably doesn’t work unless you’re 23 and live in a squat in a groovy part of London..
I’m proud of you though, such a role reversal – to think how I used to treasure your compilation tape b’day presents (“Bopping in the bedroom” was truly great)

Comment by suburban bantam




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