Saturday, March 29, 2008

You are Rarely as Cool as You Think You Are (PART 2)

This is part two of a two part series. Read Part One here.

It seemed my knowledge of popular of music remained forever hindered after that. However, I did not realize the extent of my popular music handicap until years later in Mrs. A’s 9th grade Algebra class.

Humming a pop ballad before the bell rang to signal the start of class, I sat at my desk behind Bobby. As I opened my text book and began locating my homework from the night before, Bobby turned around in the one piece desk and chair, and asked in a highly agitated voice, "Why are you humming that stupid ol' song?"

"It's not stupid. And it's not old," I retorted. "It is a pop song. As in a song that is popular. Duh."

"You really think that song is popular," he asked. "What radio station do you listen to anyway?"

"I listen to FM 100,” I retorted grasping the name of one of only a few radio stations whose weak, static-filled signal made it to our small town. “What do you listen to?" I asked.

"Ha! That is an old lady station." Bobby said, "I knew it! You are a nerd. Rock 95 is what the cool kids listen to. Don't you know anything?"

At that moment I wondered if I should have said Sweet 98, but realized it probably would not have mattered much, so I continued to defend my original answer.

"I am not a geek! FM 100 is a fine radio station. They play all kinds of popular songs like Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow!"

"Oh my gosh!" Bobby snorted, "You are worse than I thought! Have you ever even heard of Ratt?"

Confused by what farm varmints had to do with the discussion, I paused, unsure of how to respond.

"How about Metallica?" he continued, "Motley Crue? Def Leppard? You'll never be cool like me."

Finally, the bell rang interrupting our debate.

Bobby turned around, stuck a wad of chewing tobacco in his cheek, returned the can to the back pocket of his tight jeans that had a round, weathered imprint of the circular container in the middle of the stitched "W". He straightened up the collar of his plaid western cut shirt, kicked his cowboy boots out under the desk in front of him and slumped in his chair, now fully prepared to sleep through the upcoming lecture.
Wow. Isn't that cool?


  1. Your little sis, MichelleMarch 31, 2008 at 10:11 AM

    So glad you're back writing Debbie. I love reading the stories of your childhood!

  2. Michelle,

    Hey, it was your childhood too. At least somewhat, right?

  3. i can see how neil diamond and barry manilow were not exactly a ticket to popularity in high school. i suppose you learned to keep that on the down low after that?
    i'd sure love to see what bobby's up to now. probably more of the same.

  4. Michal,

    That was a bit of a turning point for me and I raised my popular music bar a few notches after that day. In fact, I became a bit obsessed with Casey Kasem's weekly countdown.

    It was soon all about Hall & Oates, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, Prince, Van Halen, Culture Club, Lionel Richie, Madonna, Phil Collins and the like.

    However, I never did become much of a Ratt fan.


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