Cool Central

You are now entering Cool Central.

Leave more Cool Queries Here. I shall be adding further lessons in How to be Cool, or more correctly, how to know if you are cool, later today. In the meantime, an earnest writer asks "Are Museums Cool?" What about Coffee Shops?" I have reposted my reply:
Are Museums Cool? They certainly are.

Every single museum on the planet, from the niches ones, like the Barometer Museum: to the British Museum are all, very safely within the margins of cool and you can visit, safe in the knowledge that Buddy Holly or Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix would be just as interested in how things work and the way things were, as you are. Indeed my Rock Star friends always do museums when they are over from LA.

And now the very important issue of Coffee and Coffee shops. Coffee is cool. It will never be not cool. However, when entering a coffee shop, ask only for a "Normal, medium Coffee" or a double espresso. All the rest - the skinny lattes and the machiofellatios with marshmallows are for interior designers, people who like Elaine Paige and people who iron their duvets and Peter Mandelson. Am I making myself clear? Don't buy the muffins. They are made of children from third world shitholes or recycled tires. To sum up, buying fancy coffee with names that, until recently, you had never heard of, is not only not cool, but you may as well give up and wear a baseball cap with "I am a dick" written on it.

And while on the subject of hats: This is tricky. I depends on the hat and where it is. A hard hat on the parcel shelf of a Mondeo is not cool. It does not really imply you are a civil engineer charged with repairing the Forth Road Bridge, it is more redolent of "I'm on the move, I'm a hod carrier and a member of a Village People tribute band. I wear a black french beret from time to time, but only with my battered black leather coat, which makes me look as if I am in the French Resistance or The Stranglers. Women should wear hats. I like a woman in a hat, so that when she takes it off her hair falls out of it and makes her look wild.

Reflective jackets are not cool, even if you rely on them to stay alive, such as on a motorcycle. Motorcyclists do not generally consider "staying alive" to be a priority. Marlond Brando did not wear a dayglo jacket in The Wild One or smoke Camels with health warnings. There are clues, if you look for them.


Jim Baxter said...

Only self-coloured heavy black leather wear is cool on a motorocycle, which must also be black and of no less a capacity than 1,000 cc. Black, steel-toe -capped boots are cool and required for taking out pedal cyclists, Vespa riders, and the door mirror of any car with an aerofoil that you happen to pass.

The green Kwakker Ninja rider is to be pitied unless the rider be a giggly woman who thinks the colour is funky. The male rider in red and white or black and yellow leathers on a red and white or blue and silver machine is merely an ice-cream van driver who is too stupid to understand one of the essentials of his chosen trade.

When wearing black leather in summer always drive fast enough to maintain your cool, remembering that if there are any vehicles evident in your mirrors then you're not riding the bike properly.

It is especially cool to enter coffee shops en-route which are populated by old ladies likely to be returned unopened (but not on the bike - that is merely boorish -park it first) with your jacket and visor dripping with the juices of the many large insects and sedge warblers with which you have had recent rendezvous. Be sure to carry a large chisel to remove these remains when they dry, and so have served their cool-enhancing purpose. Otherwise you'll wind up looking like the ice-cream van biker yourself in a matter of days.

Ruth@VS said...

Not sure I agree on hats for women - methinks that's a WW fantasy...

Hamish said...

Is that video on your main page of you bopping with Mrs W cool?

Spartan said...

On the subject of motorbikes l just can't ever see myself on a crotch rocket and definitely not dressed up in one of them all-in-one suits. For me, it has to remain the Harley but definitely not dressed up like a bloody christmas tree ... to do this should be a capital offence!

Black leather jacket, black leather pants but jeans are also ok, not a full face helmet and if you can ... go without, good black boots whether to the knee or not, wrap around sun glasses.

On subject of appearance ... if you're going thin on top ... shave your head! No buts, no if's ... it has to be done.

Whiskey and Bourbon ... drink it straight!

Jim Baxter said...

I drove a Harley once, on a test drive out of the late lamented Harley shop at the foot of Leith Walk. So lamented that I can't even remember the shop's name.

It was a 1340 cc job with the high sports pegs. I took it out the Forth Bridge Rd. as far as Dalmeny thinking I could really open it up. Well I opened it up. So there was me, me and this bike, bike on the ground kinda big and sorta round, then the shaking started, the whole world was in an earthquake as I wound the accelerator half way up to my elbow and I thought, this is it, this is it, here comes the power band and then.... and THEN.... nothing happened and kept happening after that.

When I got to Dalmeny I swear four labourers in a field turned their heads when they heard me coming, expecting me to be the tractor they were waiting for.

It was a fortnight before my eyeballs stopped vibrating. And that was just my eyeballs.

Spartan said...

Jim ... sounds as though you were riding a shovelhead :)

l rode my Lowrider as often as l could when l was in the States. Performance was never Harleys strong point indeed they never meant it to be when the company was reborn n the 80's under new management. The speed/performance was left to the Japs.

Saying that, you could do a lot with Screamin Eagle parts. It may be just me but l love the sound of the big V-Twin ... the Jap ying-ying doesn't do it for me.

My first bike was a Thunderbird but l'm sure it was the forerunner of Stephen Kings Christine as it seemed to always be trying to kill me.

Jap bikes certainly have the performance but park it next to a big Harley and l know which people will look at.

l have to say that my Lowrider was very comfortable and the sit up and beg riding position suits me cos l'm built for comfort not for speed. :)

Jim Baxter said...


I don't like the yingers either. They sound like mosquitoes with their arses on fire. But the Yam FJ 12 thundered. No ying or yang. Just low-down grunt. No power band either. It was all power. WD 40 on your engine fins of a morning. Ahhh. I love the smell of WD 40 in the morning.

Oh, and it was Alvin's, the shop. They dealt in stardust for the soul.

Spartan said...

Hats WW ... my favourite being the Ushanka hat (people know it as Russian fur hat) when it's winter. l wear it a lot in Bulgaria but also wore it for the first time in the UK at Rock and Blues weekend in Jan because the weather was really bad ... very cold and snow.

l like to wear it with the flaps undone but not down because as you walk it makes the flaps go up and down.

Silly l know but the women just loved it! l constantly had them saying how much they loved it, could they buy it, where was it from. lt truly was a babe magnet and must rank as ultra-cool! :)

Came as a complete surprise because in Bulgaria it is just a hat and no-one gives it a second glance being as they are so common.

Richard said...

Jim/Spartan - my definition, my archetype of uncool is a relative of my wife, who is a country solicitor, has a stammer like you've never heard and no chin. He rides a big fuck-off Harley, complete with tassels and leather 'saddlebags'. Well, I say he rides it. He rides it to rallies. He uses a car for work. His jacket and trousers have tassels too. And he wears wrap-around shades. He is so uncool, CRU are thinking of using him as a poster boy for global warming.

Jap fours, Power Ranger suits, all agreed. I'm in black leather when it's warm and dry, black Cordura when it isn't, but I do wear a full-face helmet. I might not be pretty, but I sure can't afford to be any worse.

The ultimate cool motorcycles?

Ogri's Norvin
1970s Ducati 900SS
Moto Guzzi S3
Yamaha XT500