Fall 2000.

Why I Am Not Cool... Confessions of a Bar Hag

by Mary Panza

There it is. I have said it. I have put it to paper. I am not cool. Never have been, never will be. Not in this life and probably not in the next two. I have been kidding myself for many years. True, my friends are among the coolest around; I am mere comic relief and not the cool kind either, more like the clumsy-girl funny. My curse, I look like Sophia Loren and move like Curly from the Three Stooges. Let me say this much; I think I look like Sophia Loren, but I don't care if I really don't. It is all in the attitude. I am very clumsy. That part is truth. Folks fear me when I walk in anything but flat bare feet. I trip over my pants, (which is why they are rolled up), I trip on flat surfaces, and I run like there is an earthquake. I fall up stairs; I poke myself in the eye almost every day. With that said, I will now tell you ways to find out if you are not cool. Cool can go unsaid, but not cool screams like the first time you try anal sex.

  1. TV - I watch a lot of it. Not Bravo (although James Lipton is such an asshole he is good for a laugh), not IFC, not public TV. Not cool cable access programs. I mean TV - "E's Fashion Emergency", "National Enquirer TV", soap operas (fuck Daytime Dramas), ALL "Behind the Music's", "E's True Hollywood Stories", "The Simpsons", "Ally McBeal" (just to see if Ally eats anything - now there is one skinny, scaggy bitch. I watch every week just hoping bad will happen to her and justify my existence. I do this while eating Oreo's), "That 70's Show", and of course "The Real World". (Hawaii is probably the best one I have seen yet. It was so awful, the gay guy left. Now that is class.) I love TV. I make no apologies. I am not deep. You want to be deep? Be my fucking guest. You want to try and make me feel stupid? Pack a fucking lunch. Bring a chair too, you may get tired.
  2. God - It would never enter my mind to put into question your faith. That is personal. You want to be deep? Again, be my fucking guest. Peace.
  3. Black - I wear it to look thinner. I am fat and need all the help that there is out there. I also wear cotton underpants, support hose (black), and maxi pads. Why? They are comfortable. I have no feminist, political, or fashion statement to make. Coo, coo, cajoob.
  4. My Car - I believe in brand new cars. I have no bumper stickers on it. I get it washed once a week. (Salt Eats Cars) Once a month I vacuum the inside. OK, I pay someone to do it. The joy of having a job - I can afford it. I love my car. You want the cool, used, beatup, statement-making death trap? Be my fucking guest. In January, at 30 degrees below zero, my car starts and has heat and I can get to the Chinese Buffet. I want to see your super cool 'Free Any Number of Any Kind of Political Prisoners' (who happen to be the cause of the moment anyway), Daily Affirmation, 'Meat is Murder'-mobile get you to your rally or organic food co-op. (I have nothing against organic food or its distributors.) I guess what I really want to say is "Ha, Ha, my car starts." P.S. - I also have AAA.
  5. My Taste in Music - I hate icons. I will not reveal their names since most of the people I know are musicians and have threatened to not be my friend if I tread on this sacred ground. Let me just say any if any of their icons are 'rock stars' considered poets and addicted to something that killed them or made them look like death, I fucking have no use for them. I don't feel their pain through "music", I don't think it is poetry, and I wish they would OD already. Music for me is personal and I almost never discuss it because I have been told I have the worst taste in it. Forgive me Father for I have sinned; I buy 80's compilation CDs.
  6. Drugs - I believe street drugs are kids' stuff. Snorting cocaine went out with fan bands and acidwashed anything. Those who still do this shit deserve to be bald, divorced, forbidden to see their kids, and stuck with ugly partners. I can't believe we learned nothing from that movie Less Than Zero. Sniffing glue - please. Heroin means you have too much time on your hands. Run into traffic already. I have a prescription for Pepcid. Very uncool.

Let me finish up with the rest of the reasons I am the uncoolest person on earth. I have a job. I have called in sick to my job three times in ten years. I live by the motto SHAKE IT OFF. I don't get vague references. I don't swing dance or care for pink martinis. Let me put it to you this way: GIN IS GIN NO MATTER HOW YOU DRESS IT UP, PUT IT IN A FUNKY GLASS, CHANGE THE COLOR AND GARNISH WITH SALAD FIXINS. YOU WILL STILL HAVE A HANGOVER THE NEXT MORNING!!!!!! I fail dress codes. I like hanging out with my mother. I learn from my mistakes. I have gray hair in my eyebrows. I am sure the universe doesn't revolve around my problems and me, although I think it should. I am dyslexic. I have webbed toes. I am happy when my friends get the success they deserve.

What more can I say. I am uncool - Now get on with your lives.

AMY ABDOU is stranger and smarter than you.