Uncool but not that uncool

I was cool for 3 months in the Summer of 1989. This was the summer between my freshmen and sophomore years of college (okay, that
is a lie…this was the summer between my freshmen year and my second freshmen year). This Summer of Coolness lasted exactly 3 months, not more and not less. I was never cool before this summer and never after. This summer was when I drank with my 4 other roommates and I slept on the floor of the apartment on a mattress (and I actually convinced a few young ladies to join me there). That summer I dated a dancer (easier to do than originally thought…very little competition from her male dancer friends), a photographer (from Boston to the horror of my family), and a former cheerleader (she might read this blog, so no comment here). This summer was one of beer and Southern Comfort and watching Michael Bamman sleep on the apartment sofa…he now has a PhD. So drinking to abandonment and sleeping on a sofa for 3 months does not ruin your academic future.

That paragraph seems to imply that my coolness was based on my dating prowess (I had none…just a fortunate string of events that resulted in meeting young ladies who didn’t immediately see through my bullshit), drinking to “abandonment” (not necessarily a cool factor, but an
extremely true statement for that summer), and living in crowded college apartment conditions (very true…and because 3 of them were of legal drinking age…well you get my point: I DRANK A LOT that summer). The real reason I was cool that summer of 1989 is because I felt cool and feeling it is what makes it so. I felt it because a mattress on the floor of an apartment bedroom is better than living at home. I was so cool that summer that the following December I was “invited” not to return to Middle Tennessee State University. Do any of you (other than Michael Bamman) realize how hard it is to be kicked out of MTSU? Only the cool kids (see Michael Bamman) got kicked out of MTSU…which
led to a period of uncoolness (I enlisted in the Army in January of 1990).

By the way, it takes earning a 0.08 GPA to get kicked out of MTSU. That, for you non-cool kids, is four Fs and one D. I got a
D in philosophy…I think the professor felt sorry for me or assumed I was going through a personal philosophical experience. Damn right I was! A lot of Southern Comfort leads to a significant amount of philosophical discussions.

Why am I discussing my lack of coolness…well I just spent 12 days doing one of the most uncool things in the world. I just took a 12 day cruise through the Aegean Sea and there is absolutely nothing cool about cruise ships or their passengers. HOWEVER, what I lack in coolness I
make up for in observation skills.

Here is a list of my Aegean Sea cruise experience in no order whatsoever (well other than the order in which I wrote them down in my
ever present notebook…and some would argue that is some subconscious order):

Cruise ship stateroom art is ugly and confusing. There was a single “painting” in the stateroom and I didn’t notice it until about day 6.
Now all stateroom esthetics are lacking, but this painting was actually disturbing. It looked like stick figures drowning in water. I don’t assume this was what it really was, but I am your average art aficionado (which means I have seen some art…some really famous art…but I don’t buy expensive art…I get it though) and if an average art viewer thinks it looks like people drowning…well then it is people drowning. People drowning is not what I would consider appropriate cruise ship art. Then again, what do I know…I saw some of Jackson Pollock’s shit and I thought it looked…like shit.

Not all “romance” mix tapes are made the same. While on a small Turkish boat touring the crystal clear waters of the Aegean, there was a bad mix tape playing over the speakers. Wait for it…wait for it…that awful Celine Dion Titanic song came on. Now art that MAY look like people drowning is a bad idea. A song from a movie about people drowning is fucking horrible. I guess it got lost in the cultural divide. Maybe Titanic wasn’t a big hit in Turkey…but I was thoroughly amazed.

Food. Lots and lots of fucking food. Everything you have ever heard about the tons of food on cruises is not true…there is actually more than you have been told. Supposedly the average cruiser gains 14 lbs per trip. There was so much food that I actually started skipping meals and running more. I gained approximately 2 lbs on the cruise (this was a result of the ship offering my favorite German beer and nothing to do with the all-you-can-eat boat itself). However, I wasn’t hip checked by any grannies at the buffet this time…but I was slightly shoved by a pissed old lady on her way to the all-you-can-eat sushi bar.

On-board entertainment isn’t…in the traditional sense. There was a house (boat) band, there were dancers, jugglers, acrobats, and possibly a juggling acrobat. None of them were entertaining because of their abilities…they were a fucking riot. The boat band, I believe, was from Thailand and did Jimmy Buffet and Rolling Stones covers. They actually wore Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses…all the time (day or night). There was an acoustic guitar player (again…I think from Thailand) that I dubbed the Asian Jim Croce. He literally made every song he played sound like Jim Croce, which is slightly disturbing if you think hard enough about it. I once overheard a Johnny Cash request from an Australian passenger, Asian Jim Croce knew no Johnny Cash…but he knew the complete Jim Croce hippie catalog. Needless to say, you have to have pretty shitty tastes in
what you call entertainment to be entertained…which means I have shitty tastes because I was completely entertained. I wasn’t laughing with them…

Dr. Kevorkian is right. Kill me before I get on a cruise ship in a wheel chair or walker. Plain and simple…kill my ass.

You don’t have to drink to feel drunk. I was not meant to be a sailor because I felt slightly drunk floating the Seven Seas. It’s just a constant buzz, well really more like that slightly stumbling walk kind of buzz. Unfortunately the only goofy thoughts I had were related to Jim Croce.

There is now porn pay-per-view. In an earlier blog I busted on bad cruise ship television. I will now eat crow (or at least fondle a butt plug) because they now offer porn…seriously the wheelchair and walker bound are now a market for porn. Who knew? SERIOUSLY???? Who knew?

Slutted-up grannies. Speaking of porn. Evening always brought this delicious anticipation of what you were going to see in the COCKtail dress category. I guess after watching porn, these older female passengers felt the need to get their slut on. Cellulite and high slit skirts do not match…trust me. But backless gowns and thigh high boots do…trust me.

Enough…I could go on and on about my observations. I may even fill in more details later, but I can’t seem to get a certain slow (and old) bump and grind couple out of my head…Jim Croce deserves better.

I am not cool, but I am an expert in identifying those who are more uncool than me. Obviously my MTSU education has paid off.


5 thoughts on “Uncool but not that uncool”

  1. i have long held the accurate assumption, that no matter if i tried or in the case of the years 1988 – 1991, didn’t try, i was around some cool people. regardless of our social/fraternal/university standings, we owned opryland usa, the campus pub, and murfreesboro tn in general for that matter, during those years, which is why most of that time is absent from my memory. during those years i took road trips to some fairly exotic locations with other cool people, saw a ton of cool ‘stuff’, and did some pretty damn cool things. last week, upon hearing about the passing of one our roommates that summer of 1989, i really searched my memory for that time in my life. as irresponsible and idiotic as most of my behavior was at that time, it sure was damn fun and aside from not attending class for 3 straight semesters, i wouldn’t change a thing. fyi, i did have a bed in that apartment, i think i just passed out on the couch most nights. heil 5 to you shawn, and are you a turtle?

  2. Dude, if I ran a cruise ship, EVERY song would have a water theme, and as many as possible would involve drowning. I might even record a song myself about drowning Celine Dion.

    Also, I vaguely remember something from nursing school about retirement-age folks now acquiring new STDs at a higher rate than any other age group. I think you might have found the primary reason. Time to submit an article to the Journal of Public Health!

  3. slutted-up grannies is hilarious & paints quite the vivid image for us. nicely done & far better than a photo. far, far better.
    but the cruise ship stateroom art description was less so. stick figures drowning? were they drowning in stick water? how does that work? i’m picturing something i would draw as draw poorly. that can’t be right, can it?
    forgive me but i have to ask – did you get a photo of that piece? i really would like very much to see that.
    the idea of cruise ship stateroom art that depicts stick figures drowning, really drowning, i find extremely amusing. actually, i find it hysterical, i have been literally laughing out loud thinking about it & i promise i am not drunk or high right now.
    i can’t help but think it must be the work of a clever design team with a pathetic budget but a well-endowed sense of humor that knew their passenger type well & expected those passengers to be too busy eating & slutting it up, among other things, to ever notice it & if they did, as well-heeled cruisers they would find the humor in it.
    but i’m probably being simpleminded & you’re likely right that it’s really the result of cultural differences.
    i would love to see a photo of it, though.
    how many days did you say it took you to notice it?

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