Not Cool.

Not Cool


I always liked to think I was cool when I was younger. People told me I was cool without me soliciting an opinion. Even up until recently, I still felt like I was a cool guy. You may disagree, but that doesn’t matter. If I’m cool in my mind, then I’m cool. That all changed this week. Here’s my story.

My wife was involved in a minor traffic accident recently. Nothing major, she was yielding at an intersection and waiting to merge over, when some idiot hit her from behind. His explanation was that he wasn’t looking in that direction.

I don’t know what they’re teaching in driver’s education these days. When I took it, we were taught that you should look in the direction your vehicle is moving. In this case, when moving forward, look at what’s in front of you! He probably had an important text to send and looking where he was going wasn’t a priority at the time.

Anyway, I finally took it in to be repaired at a local body shop. What’s very convenient is the rental car agency that I would be using, is in the same building. I dropped off the car and walked over to pick up the rental. That’s when it happened.

The guy behind the counter told me they thought I was coming in the next day. I explained I had called the week before to set up the day. Also, I was holding my rental car confirmation slip from the body shop with the date on it, which was that day!

“Yeah, we have kind of a problem. We don’t have any cars.”

“Well, I have kind of a problem too. I have no way to get home.”

“I will be able to accommodate you tomorrow at 8 AM.”

It was four in the afternoon at the time.

“That’s really not helping me, is it? Unless you think I’m going to overnight in the waiting room.”

A female employee called him over and they began to whisper to each other. I should have known something was up by the way they kept looking at me. They had these strange smiles. I swear, I’m pretty sure I also heard demonic music playing in the background. He walked back up to the counter.

“We do have a mini-van.”

The sound of it echoed through my brain.


All I can say is, the moment I slid in behind the wheel of that mini-van, any shred of coolness that existed, was sucked away.

If you own one, you have to know what I’m talking about. It was probably a tough decision. I’m guessing it involved having children. But, think back about how you felt. The minute you walked into that showroom and said you were interested in a mini-van, you had to have heard taps being played for your youth.

I knew there was no way in hell my wife was going to drive this monstrosity. So, this is my ride until her car is finished being repaired. I feel like such a geek. For the first time in my life, I don’t feel like exceeding the speed limit. I’m stopping at intersections and letting old ladies cross. This is horrible…What the hell happened to me?

The only other time I drove a van was at a summer job when I was in college. I worked at the McKees Rocks Boys Club and was the only one who could drive the van for field trips. That wasn’t un-cool. Since most of those kids would end up incarcerated someday, I just pretended like I was driving the prison wagon.

Bad news today. The car was damaged more than they thought and it may be another week before it’s finished. My wife laughs at me now and calls me “A Van Guy.” The neighbors give me funny looks and point when I drive by. I don’t know if I can stand another week of this…I swear, I used to be cool.

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