October 10, 2006

On Being Cool

My whole life, people have always taken me to be a goody-goody. Let me define goody-goody; better than that, let me give you a few examples. Wally Cleaver is a goody-goody; Eddie Haskel is not. Garth Brooks, goody-goody; Snoop Dogg, not. Mighty Mouse, goody-goody; Crusty the Clown, not. You get the idea.

Now I’ve always hated this reputation. Yes, there are worse reputations to have—for example, that of being a cannibal; that’s one reputation that people will never be able to, y’know, digest. But still, I hate being viewed as a Wally Cleaver. Mainly because I’m not one. Yes, I’m clean-cut and well-mannered and lactose intolerant. But, unlike others think, that doesn’t mean I’m na├»ve and shallow. I’m complex and dark and, well, I support masturbation.

Anyway, a couple months ago, some partiers started working at my bank. And it just so happened that this was a time in my life when I desperately wanted to make it clear, to others and to myself, that I wasn’t a goody-goody. I wanted to change my rep. So what did I do? I started partying with the partiers.

One night after work, we all went to a club. And everyone was drinking and having a good time and a coworker named Tina starting asking me questions about my sexual relationship with my wife. And I didn’t think much of it; y’know, she’d been drinking a little, was a little more loose-lipped than normal, no big deal, right?

The next Friday we all went to a bar. And it was real cool—I felt like I was in a Cheers episode or something. And I felt like one of the gang: F-in’ A, man! Y’know what I mean? And people started opening up, sharing funny memories. James, a bank officer, told of the time he lost his virginity: he was in Mexico, drunk, and his buddies paid for a prostitute. Then Tim started telling a story about how he once got sloshed at a party—and woke up the next morning with a girl in his bed, both of them soaked in his urine. Then everyone asked me for a crazy story; and, well, I couldn’t really compete.

A couple weekends later, I got invited to a party at my boss’s house. And everyone ended up playing beer-pong, which was kind of interesting but hardly the highlight of the evening. The highlight was…well, actually it’s kind of tough to say. There were just so many.

For example, there was the catfight between Jenny P. and Jenny H. No fists were thrown, just words, which proved to be worse. "At least I don’t need to go on a diet!" "At least I don’t have sex with every guy I meet!" "At least guys wanna have sex with me!" "At least I don’t have eighteen different STDs!" "At least I’m not forty pounds overweight!"

Later in the night, James, the bank officer, told another interesting story. No Mexican hookers this time. Just a vague memory of being "tea-bagged" in the forehead; someone later told me that this meant he inadvertently got a little too close to another man’s scrotum.

But the highlight of the night was probably the last event. After everyone was done playing beer-pong, they decided to play Truth or Dare. Except Truth or Dare turned into a game of I Dare So-and-So To Kiss So-and-So. For example, "I dare Gloria to kiss James." Before long, Gloria was kissing James, and then Gloria was kissing (make that, tonguing) Tim, and did I forget to mention that Gloria is married to Rick, but no matter because Rick was soon kissing (make that, tonguing) Justine, and then Gloria was kissing Jenny H., and then Jenny H. was kissing (or maybe tonguing) Jenny P., and then…

If we were in the Old Testament, sulfur would undoubtedly have been raining down upon us. But God was merciful and I was able to flee Sodom. At one point during the drive home, I adjusted my rearview mirror and my peripheral vision turned to a pillar of salt. But I made it home. And once there I thought it would be a good time to reevaluate my life.

And I realized that cool people tend to be, well, pathetic. Now I still stand by my earlier statement: I’m not Wally Cleaver. And anyone who takes the chance to get to know me can testify to this. But there are worse things to be. For example, I’d sure rather be Wally Cleaver than Wilt Chamberlain. Aside from, of course, Wilt’s superior basketball skills. And I‘d rather be Wally Cleaver than some bozo who, when he stands before God one day, won’t be able to say that he kept even one of the commandments. "Not one?" I imagine God saying. "There’s ten of them, you know. Ten! I knew some of them would trip you up, but every one? For crying out loud, you’re worse than the Different Strokes cast!"

[I’d like to apologize to my readers for the last joke. I admit that it's out-dated. And, given the death of Kimberly in 1999, perhaps a bit distasteful.]

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