When you are young, to be cool is everything. Let us just establish that little factoid up front. From the time little boys and girls start to understand that there is something called cool and that some kids were the coolest and others suffered from extreme dorkness (the opposite of cool) the race is on. We begin early on to spend countless time, energy and hard earned cash in the need to be if not cool then at least not a dork.
Some people it seems have the cards stacked against them in this race. They are cool-challenged with severe, sometimes insurmountable, obstacles to be cool. We have all seen the kids that were either too short, tall, skinny, fat, slow or just had a huge honking nose that no matter what you did would scream 'Un-Cool' to the world. You could take these kids and try to make them cool but these efforts are mostly in vain no matter what Hollywood would want you to think.
As time goes on the race gets brutal when little boys and little girls start to notice each other in different ways. Things are much more intense now because sometime somewhere with someone love could happen and folks let me tell you, Nature takes that activity seriously.
Something wonderful happens though when you have your own kids. Suddenly you are cool. And not just a little cool, no sir. You are Mr. "Look my name up in the dictionary" Cool. In the eyes of your kids there is no one (not even that jerk at the end of the street with the stupid corvette) cooler than Daddy. And the best part is you get it for free. You can let yourself go physically, wear old clothes, be a total dork and it does not matter. You are Dad, thus you are cool.
However this is a short break because in no time at all the kids turn 11 or 12 and without much warning Daddy starts to loose cool points like the stock market in 2002. And since you have been out of touch for the last decade there is no way that you can learn to become cool before anyone even remembers that once you were on top of the cool pile. So you get desperate.
Case in point, “The Fair”; two little words that should harness memories of bright lights, food on a stick, and exciting rides. We went to the fair and at first things were going just peachy. We had some food, watched the kids risk life and limb on mechanical contraptions that twist, shake and thunder at break neck speeds. Then we turned a corner and there it was “The Big One”. This was no ordinary ride; this was death on a 185 foot pole.
You can't use your ride tickets on this monster, this one is cash only. Sign two or three forms about liability and in no time at all you are strapped to a seat on the "Extreme Scream" waiting for bungee cords to snap you up the thing in less than second as your internal organs follow a nanosecond behind.
And as you stare down at the earth slowly turning under your feet one question is bouncing off the inside of your skull. "What am I doing up here?" The answer "So my 11 year old daughter will think I am cool" is of little comfort as some maniac below pulls back the lever and your suicide canopy plummets, passing flocks of migrating ducks, to the earth and you are screaming your head off (minus 10 cool points for screaming).
I am done man. It is time to give up and let it go. I may not be cool, but I am Dad. I guess it is time for me to become Mr. Wise instead of Mr. Cool and be ready for when life slaps cold water on her face too.