Pay No Attention To The Un-Cool Guy Behind The Curtain!

March 8, 2013


You never stop being a teen-ager, do you.  Not really.

I started rehearsals last night for a show coming up that’s a series of story-telling/monologues.  Basically a StorySlam, or like The Moth.  There’s several theater people, a couple people who’ve just had interesting lives, and a really good area hip-hop artist.

The hip-hop artist is one of those people with intense magnetism – he has a big laugh, he speaks with big gestures, and in a melodic flow of words that are imagistic as much as literal.  In other words, he’s very cool.  Now, I like to think I am not a total stranger to coolness.  I’m no Arthur Fonzarelli (Exhibit A: I use Fonzie as a benchmark of cool), but I’d like to think I wouldn’t be the first person cut on Survivor: Cool Edition.

We were throwing around our plans and one woman said she was throwing around 3 ideas: two light-hearted ones and a more serious one.  When she finished, everyone (rightly) said “The serious one!”  It had weight, substance, character growth.  Then I piped up with an idea to combine two of the stories.  Everyone looked at me like I had said, “You should add a talking camel to your story!”

I persevered.  I explained how the serious story leads to the light-hearted one, dramatically speaking.  My energy built as I said I wasn’t trying to Frankenstein her biography together, but it made for a nice transition from forced order as an MD, to organic chaos, trying to run the light board at a big country music concert (and it all going wrong – including the singer being in darkness, but floodlights blasting the people in the front rows).

I concluded with “it becomes a story of being happier now – with everything going wrong – than you were before with everything going right.”  This crescendo was punctuated with the hip-hop artist throwing a fist in the air and yelling, “Yeah!”

So that was nice.  But the embarrassing part is that the reaction in my brain was basically a non-verbal version of, ‘*gasp* Oh boy! The cool kid likes me!’



You know who never thinks “Oh boy, the cool kid likes me?”

That’s right.


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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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58 Comments on “Pay No Attention To The Un-Cool Guy Behind The Curtain!”

  1. List of X Says:

    I hate to admit it, but that’s pretty much the same feeling i get whenever you like one of my posts. On the other hand, Fonzie isn’t cool enough to make me watch Happy Days.


  2. Lorna's Voice Says:

    It’s good to have a role model, but aiming so high as The Fonz? You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. I mean, you’re great and all, but no one (and I mean no one) has the trifecta of hair, leather jacket cool factor and thumbs-up nuance that he’s got.


  3. Amber West Says:

    I do that, too. I think I am even worse with social media.

    “OMG, Cool person FAVORITED/RTd/liked my tweet/FB status!”

    It’s a sickness. 🙂


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I have a bad habit of replying to someone like Steve Martin, or Chuck Palahniuk, or Patton Oswalt and running through the whole series of events where the see my response, respond, we become friends, we hang out, summer together…


      • Amber West Says:

        I don’t know what you are talking about.

        (ahem. yes, yes I totally do.)

        I have to admit, that is the kinda awesome thing about social media. I’ve had interactions with awesome people that I otherwise never would. I mean, Wil Wheaton downloaded my book. (In my head, he loves it and tells his friends. In reality, it will probably sit on a Kindle for the next couple of years unread, but hey, I’ll never know, may as well imagine better than that. 🙂 )


  4. Go Jules Go Says:

    Umm, I seem to recall tales of bras flying off as the result of mere side hugs from The Byronic Man.

    This sounds very cool (as does your suggestion to the one woman) – emphasis on cool – does it mean you’re doing an autobiographical performance? How blog-worthy! *cough*

    P.S. – I found this post very hard to relate to.

    P.P.S. – Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Sigh.


  5. S. Trevor Swenson Says:

    The Fonz is a lofty goal to aspire to. These youngsters today need to watch them some Happy Days


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I just read an interesting article about Happy Days, and Gary Marshall – the creator – in particular. His goal was to make an honest, kind of dark show about growing up in the 50’s… and no one watched. So he made the conscious decision to give up all of that and just make what he thought would be popular. Still turned out pretty great.


  6. mistyslaws Says:



  7. rachelocal Says:

    I always thought grown up Opie was the cool one (that’s how cool *I* am).


  8. Elyse Says:

    All the cool kids think YOU’RE the cool one, B-Man.


  9. rossmurray1 Says:

    You seriously should have gone with the camel.


  10. thesinglecell Says:

    Go easy. Don’t jump the shark.


  11. Says:

    I wonder what it feels like to be “cool”.


  12. The Cutter Says:

    I think any story could be improved by the addition of a talking camel.


  13. pegoleg Says:

    Nah, I bet even the cool kids have their moments of curling up in a self-doubting ball. Aaaayyy


  14. k8edid Says:

    I haven’t a clue what you are talking about. Really. There are cool kids?


  15. Renee B-W Says:

    Do really cool people ever know they’re cool? It seems to me that people who do think they’re cool are usually just overly loud narcissistic douche bags. You probably don’t realise how cool you are BM, ergo you are already cooler than the Fonz…


  16. Dana Says:

    It would have been even cooler if the talking camel was blue or some other outrageous colour. Gotta build up the levels of coolness, B-Man. Take it from a pro.


  17. 1pointperspective Says:

    Looking at the Fonz…lives above someone’s garage, is revered by local high school geeks who are considerably younger than him, has nearly no prospects for doing much of anything with his life, can take a bra off a radiator with little if any effort. Was he really that cool?


  18. Ape No. 1 Says:

    Though quite likely the “Cool” hip hop dude was thinking afterwards, “Damn! Did I really fist pump at the end of that. Talk about looking desperate. Must always remember to say to myself What Would Tupac Shakur Do. I hope that cool Talking Camel guy didn’t notice.”


  19. Blogdramedy Says:

    So you’re “not the dreamer…you’re the dreamee.” Whoa. That’s cool.


  20. Maria Says:

    Aren’t you too tall to impersonate Mr. F?


  21. Sandy Sue Says:

    Henry Winkler is still the coolest


  22. Michelle Gillies Says:

    I hate to ask, but, was the fist pump enough to bring the others around to your point of view?


  23. Daile Says:

    Survivor: Cool edition would be amazing!


  24. Erynn Elizabeth Says:

    That’s how I feel when you comment on my blog.


  25. She's a Maineiac Says:

    So you’re doing a show?! What in the hell? You really should get out more, your life is so boring. Admit it. You are really the super cool hip hop dude.


  26. on thehomefrontandbeyond Says:

    agree with Maineiac – you are one of the cool kids!


  27. Richard L Wiseman Says:

    When I was secondary teacher some times students would say ‘You’re a cool teacher.’ and I’d reply ‘There’s no such thing as a cool teacher, being a teacher isn’t cool.’ If it helps I reckon I’m Ralph to your Fonzie. You’re doing a show man! That’s bloody cool! You write a funny, witty and intelligent blog! That’s cool! You’re cool in a way that ‘Hip-Hop Guy’ can never be. Trust me he’s looking at you and thinking ‘The cool guy likes me.’



  1. Next Time He Can Tell The Story Of Telling The Story | The Byronic Man - April 18, 2013

    […] It was a bunch of performers telling stories from their live; I wrote a little about it before, and my wanting to be liked by the cool kid.  People had been pretty scattered during the rehearsal/brainstorming get-together, so as of […]

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