One of the things that were decidedly uncool at that time were rubbers. Now I know in the popular vocabulary "rubbers" has another meaning and I am not talking about those kind. I am talking about the ones you slipped over your feet and nowhere else. Actually you pulled them over your shoes, sort of sox for the outside.
All the ones I saw then were black and shiny. They were made of a rubbery material, the same stuff boots were often constructed from. They were waterproof, which was the whole purpose. When it rained I would hear my mother yell, "Put your rubbers on so you don't catch a cold!"
That was the last thing I intended to do. No way I wanted to be caught, even caught dead, wearing rubbers. I would try to slip out of the house without them, but sometimes my mom was hovering about me and I had no choice but stretch those ugly black shells over my shoes. Once outside I would look for a place to ditch them where I could retrieve them after school.
It was just as bad come the winter snows, only then it was galoshes, by golly gosh! These were
I tried my level best to avoid clamping those on my feet as well. They just weren't cool.
No, it was much more cool to sit in class all morning with wet feet and cold soggy sox, risking a chill and ruined shoes.
Another thing to be avoided as all costs, when I was a boy, was the book bog. They existed. My misguided parents even gave me such an object for my birthday one year. Better to gift such an atrousity in June in time for the next school year than at Christmas halfway through. It was a very fine
At least it wasn't embroidered with lassos spelling out Roy Rogers.
It was my intent that it should never see the light of day. It would have been humiliating enough in elementary school, I couldn't imagine the slings and arrows I would have suffered lugging that piece of luggage to Junior High.
No, it wasn't cool. Being cool was carrying your books, hooked by you hand and supported by your
This was not easy. Some books tended to be slippery and tried sliding away from the stack as you walked. Sometimes an edge cut into the flesh of your forearm, which grew more and more uncomfortable as you journeyed along. Occasionally you might try switching the load from your right arm to your left, but when balancing several tomes and a notebook it was easy to lose your grip. There is little of coolness it picking up your fallen schoolbooks and even less if you are chasing papers down the street that have fallen from between their pages. And what if that expensive History book should land in a mud puddle and your parents have to pay to replace it. Yike!
Nope, better to struggle home and then stand, after dropping the stuff on the table, with a sore wrist, numb fingers and a tinkling arm.
Now today when I see school children they are wearing back packs. It apparently is not uncool to do so, because every single one seem to indulge in this practice. Even outside of school you see them ambling along with backpacks on to carry their video games to friends houses or whatever.
I wonder why we didn't think of that when I was a boy? I was in the Boy Scouts and all we Boy
Of course, these examples are only a couple of the many no-no's if you wished to look cool. However, it didn't make a hill of beans if you avoided all the pitfalls of uncool paraphernalia or how much you dressed yourself up in hip (as we said once upon a time) couture and sunglasses, with cigarettes rolled in your T-shirt sleeve with one a-dangle from your snarling lips, you somehow never quite made it into that cool crowd you so envied and hungered for acceptance from.
You know, those guys sniffling from the cold they got not wearing their rubbers (and sometimes things they got from not wearing those other kind of rubbers either), with the sprained wrist from toting books while eschewing book bags and with the infection in their arm from carving their girlfriends name down its length with a
This is probably because you lacked the true essence of Cool, that four-letter synonym, D-U-M-B, dumb!