Thursday, 14 March 2013

How to be really, really cool....

This morning there was ice on the pavements that didn't even start to melt until about 10.30.  Freezing cold day! I was watching two schoolboys out of the window.  They were dressed as if for spring, as is the habit of teenage boys in winter because it proves prove how hard and cool they are.  I wrote a very short story about them.

~ So cool he had hypothermia ~

Danny shivered all the way to school.  He slid along the icy pavement, hands in pockets, freezing frosty fingers feeling their way through the material of his not-thick-enough school trousers.  His also-not-thick-enough grey school blazer gave little protection against the 'wind chill factor', whatever that was.  Sounded bloody cold, anyway, and it was.  Under his blazer he wore a white shirt and his school tie, the same as he did in the summer.  His mam had tried to wrap him up in a daft duffle coat type thing and some stupid hat, but there was no way on earth he was going to school dressed like that.  Only the geeks and nerds wore hats and gloves, the sort that handed their homework in on time, were scared to smoke and couldn't get off with any girls. Kids.  Geek chic hasn't reached this part of the North East yet.  Danny was hard and cool, and he lit a tab just to prove it.  His hands were so cold he could hardly light it.

Further down the road he met up with Jake and  Matt. They, too, looked cool and macho in their thin blazers and shirts.  Matt's lips were a weird shade of purple; no, he wasn't turning Goth, he was just cold.  Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to be a Goth, Danny thought - at least they got to wear big black coats.

Jake lit two cigarettes from the stub of Danny's, and handed one to Matt.

"Look at that gay twat over there," he said, teeth chattering, as he pointed at a lad from their class, shuffling along on the opposite pavement, dressed in a parka and a Peruvian style hat, patterned, with a bobble on the top and long flaps over the ears.

"Twat," agreed Danny, though he was so cold he could hardly get the words out.

When they got to the school gates they joined one of the groups standing outside the gates, smoking cigarettes before they went in.  One of their classmates, Oliver, wore a huge padded coat, like a skiing jacket, and one of those warm black Thinsulate hats. He was laughing with a couple of the girls, clapping woollen gloved hands together.

"Your mam get you all togged up for the cold this morning, did she?" Matt said, through lips that were turning from purple to blue, now.

"Aye, did she give you your Ready Brek too?" Jake said.

Oliver looked at him, and laughed.  "It's the middle of winter, man."

"You look a right mammy's boy!" said Matt.

 Oliver raised an eyebrow.  "So caring what prats like you think is going to keep me warm, is it?"

He walked off, arm in arm with a girl called Freya, who Danny had fancied for ages.  

Next morning, Danny wore the coat and hat. 

And the moral of this story is ~ 

a) Trying to be cool guarantees that you aren't
b) Not caring what people think is the coolest thing of all
c) Few things suck worse than being a teenager and having to go out in the cold

(ps: my husband is 47, and still refuses to wear a hat, gloves and scarf....  )


  1. really good story Terry. When my friend's son was 12 he absolutely refused to wear any kind of jacket, winter or summer, and his parents just had to accept it. Postman wearing shorts in winter is another macho anathema. In the recent snow I asked a postman if all postmen wore shorts whatever the weather - he said: "only the nutty ones"!

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  3. Haha! My twelve year old has refused to wear a coat all winter. Think I should make her read this :)

  4. Thanks for reading and commenting, Geoff and Jane! As for Anonymous... I don't want to have to make my blog so that I have to approve comments first, so please stop posting adverts for your flights to India, anti smoking devices and whatever on my blog. It's pointless (because everyone knows its just spam and they don't read them), and really irritating. Bugger off!

  5. So true! When I was a teenager in Canada I always wore a winter jacket and gloves, but never a hat! NO WAY, it would ruin a puffy 80s "Do". The worse was that us "cool" kids never wore snow boots. Three feet of snow and we would walk to school in trainers! If the snow was really deep, 1/2 the time your shoe would slip off and be left behind. Yea, looks real cool hopping on one foot to go back and dig for your shoe! Now I love my winter boots! Best part is with a nice plushy thick pair you can get away with slipping into them barefoot!

  6. Great little story. So true, the lengths people go to just to be cool.

  7. "Gloves" rhymes with "puffs".

  8. Ha ha ha... thanks for that! My son actually listened and wore one. It was my daughter that refused, but wore a scarf and gloves - not sure how that's going to help when they get soaked by the rain! Oh well :)

    1. Your tweet made me laugh and made me remember this story - oh, I bought husband a scarf for Christmas and insist he wears it.

      I think you should give your daughter this story!! x