Marginally Less Dorky
My day job has had me so busy the past few weeks that I haven't been able to put many blog posts out. Now that I'm off work for a few days, I find I don't know where to start.
How about the ever-important question of looking cool? Not being cool, mind you -- as a self-described geek I think actually being cool is probably out of the question. But looking cool can be achieved so long as we're clear that by "looking cool" we mean "taking steps to ensure that I look somewhat less dorky than I would have otherwise."
That goal is achievable.
Take bicycle helmets, for example. I bought a new one today. Let's compare. Here's the old one:
Here's the new one:
I mean, the new one is cooler, right? I think I'll kind of look like the Silver Surfer cutting through the mountain trails with that helmet on.
And there, you see, is our big problem. Some would argue that there is no coolness to be found anywhere in any reference to Silver Surfer whatsoever. But more up-to-date hipsters (See? I'm hopeless) would probably argue that there is something reasonably cool about this:
...but something very sad indeed about this:
No, seriously, brace yourselves.
I'm not kidding.
In point of fact, I can only hope to be slightly more cool with the new helmet, and the less said about which Marvel villain-turned-superhero I imagine it makes me look like, the better.
However, since we're on the subject, I don't believe that I possess either the coolest or the dorkiest bike helmet in my household. The coolest helmet belongs to my wife:
Schwinn logo notwithstanding. And we won't get into whether this headgear makes her look like any particular Sith lord.The dorkiest helmet belongs to my daughter:
Whoa. Smurf City. Of course, this one dates back to her childhood. How nice that we've been potentially head-crushing-accident-free since she was 10 or so when I bought her this almost unbelievably dorky helmet. These days, as a proud, independent college sophomore, I believe she borrows either my helmet or the cool helmet when she goes out riding. Or she may do the coolest thing of all -- not wear a helmet.
Now some are going to argue that wearing a helmet really is cool. Just like not smoking is cool, not drinking is cool, saving oneself for Mr./ Ms. Right is cool, never eating fried foods is cool. Sure, whatever. Look, people, I don't make the cool rules, so don't blame me.
Anyway, I will point out that the most serious bicycle riders -- the Tour de France wannabes you see out there on the streets, resplendent in their multi-hued spandex -- always wear helmets. But are they cool?
So anyhow. Here, finally, is the reason that I will never be anything more than marginally less dorky than I am now. I will not allow myself to go helmetless. Why not?
It's all about the brain. Imagine you had a hard disk that couldn't be backed up or replaced, and on this disk you had a record of every important thing that ever happened to you. In fact not a record, but really the record. The only record that really matters. Moreover, let's say that hard disk not only had all these important files on it, but that it was also the boot disk for...well, you, not to put too fine a point on it.
So if you're going to put that precious hard disk on top of a couple of wheels and let it roll around a city street or a mountain trail for a while, are you going to be satisfied with the manufacturer's casing, or do you think you might spring for some additional foam padding -- just in case? If you're me, it's a no-brainer. As in:
"No thanks, I think my brain is better situated here inside my skull than spread whimsically around a random rock outcropping / patch of asphalt."
Of course, cool people just don't look at it that way. Which is hardly the only reason, and is in fact not even one of the more significant reasons -- let's face it, it's probably not even in the top 50 reasons -- but is still nonetheless one of the reasons that I will never be cool.
Thanks for your attention.
[By the way, if you're wondering where you read the phrase "marginally less dorky" before, it may have been here.]