Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Death of Cool

image You have reached the “Always Home and Uncool” blog.

Kevin Uncool can’t come to the blog right now, so fellow at-home dad Ron Mattocks (the Clark Kent’s Lunchbox blog, the hilarious book Sugar Milk) will be subbing today with a probing tale about the probing of his tail. Maybe.


* * *

This week I had a checkup with my gastroenterologist. It’s been several years and I figured it was time. Or, in other words, he shut off my prescription refills until I scheduled an appointment.

As we headed out to the his office, my 8-year-old stepdaughter, Allie, asks me, “So, Ron, is the doctor going to give you the finger test?”

What the

clip_image002I chalked the question up to her mother who derives a great deal of amusement from coaxing my stepdaughters to interrogate me on all manner of invasive subjects, like say, “the finger test.” Still, I felt compelled to determine Allie’s level of comprehension on the matter. Based on previous experience, I find it helpful to know such things as it comes in handy when filling in the blanks for the girls’ teachers after one of them uses share time as an outlet for enlightening classmate on the gory details of, in this case, their stepfather’s encounter with the business end of another man’s probing, latex-sheathed digit.

“What’s the finger test, Allie?” I asked as if it were no big deal.

“You know,” she responded. “When they take your finger and prick it to make blood come out.”

I chuckled both out of amusement and relief.

“No, sweetie. Not today.” At least I didn’t anticipate one. Still, it wasn’t out of the question either, and I shuddered at the image of my doctor spreading lubricant along his extended pointer finger as if he were squeezing the contents of a ketchup packet onto a hotdog.

At this point you’re either laughing to yourself, screaming, “TMI, TMI,” or shaking your head in disgust over the relative ease with which I willing to divulged the gory details of my partially defunct digestive track. Incidentally, in case you’re curious, no finger tests of any kind were preformed on me; however, it was the physician’s opinion that I needed a colonoscopy.

And there I go again.

* * *

The vast majority of you have no clue who I am and yet here I am guest posting with my proverbial pants around my ankles. Not exactly a great first impression, I agree, but then again first impressions aren’t exactly my forte, something Mr. Home and Uncool himself will attest to after we had the opportunity to meet this past February during CureJM’s participation in the Austin Marathon.

There we sat at a late lunch — his wife, charismatic, personable; his kids, adorable, funny; and Mr. Uncool, witty, intelligent, there in support of a cause bigger than himself. And then there’s me — stilted and awkward, the greasy juices of a hamburger streaking from the corner of my mouth. In fact, were it not for my lovely wife who balanced the conversation out with her natural charm, I not so sure Mr. Uncool would’ve excused himself as soon as the moment presented itself.

This ranks among a litany of occasions where my better half has bailed me out when meeting other bloggers like The Stiletto Mom, and Mr Lady who claimed to “orgasm slightly” after being introduced to the piano bench autographed by Tori Amos for my wife. I couldn’t make a mangy, starving dog come using a dumbbell-size Milk Bone, and yet my wife can induce that special tingly feeling in another woman merely by showing off a few of her prized possessions.


Yes, cool I am not. As alluded to earlier, even furniture retains more points in this category than I do. Want more? I like Coldplay. Not cool. I’m a faithful fan of America’s Next Top Model. So not cool. I got all teary-eyed watching Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Matthew McConaughey might be cool, but the premise of the movie may have you wondering why I haven’t made an appointment to have my estrogen levels checked.

Thus, I consider it a dual irony that I, an uncool person, am guest posting on a blog advertised as “uncool” by an owner who is so not uncool. It baffles me further to be invited to guest post after my latest bout of uncoolness.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Uncool e-mailed a bunch of us dad bloggers, questioning the validity of a Top Dad Blog award we had all been informed we had won. The catch to such an accolade: the organization bestowing this great honor was a medical transcription service. Exactly. This minor detail obviously warranted suspicion, and thus Mr. Uncool’s e-mail wasn’t so much of a, “is this legit,” as it was a “who do these cats think they’re fooling.”

I was already familiar with this scam. I had posted the award’s badge on my site, not suspecting anything until later noticing a line in its HTML coding directing people to an online MBA program. Further investigation revealed this coding gets your site flagged by Google as a spam site.

So, wanting to earn some “street cred” with the other dads on the e-mail, I responded with these details. Ah, acceptance at last.

Nope. A few moments later an e-mail comes back: “What did Google flag you for? Gullibility?”

Reading this, I envisioned these guys hanging out behind the school doing what cool kids do – laughing their asses off at me. Yeah, you got flagged for gullibility. Ha, ha! Good one dude.


I suppose the lesson in all of this, if there is one at all, is that the worst thing I can do is try to be something other than myself. Admitting to everything above or the unabashed way in which I portray myself in this other thing I wrote (no, no, scroll to the bottom of that post—not the crap at the top), doesn’t concern me. My hope is that if my kids can see how comfortable I am with myself, they will one day reach a point when they shrug off the futility in trying to be what the world says they need to be, and instead, they tackle life as the person they really are.

In the words of cartoon legend, Popeye “I yam who I yam, and that’s all that I yam.” Profound indeed.



As I was finishing this post, Allie walked into the office and sat down. “Hey, Ron, have you ever read the book, The Golden Finger?”

I ignored the question. If her mother was behind this, I didn’t care. My head was still throbbing as a consequence of pounding, Lord only knows how many Zima’s the night before at the happy hour party celebrating my recent promotion to Content and Social Media Director at Clark Kent’s Lunchbox. There might have been karaoke? I may have sung “Dancing Queen” … shirtless.

* * *

Want to do something totally cool? Go here and vote for Cure JM to receive a $250K grant to be used in the fight against Juvenile Myositis. We finally reached second place, now we need to hold this position until Sept. 1!


  1. Oh, Ron. Your bravery never ceases to amaze me. You have blazed new trails in self-revelation. I thought some of the stuff you mentioned in your book took nerve. But there is no way that I would ever, ever admit in a public forum to drinking Zima.

  2. Wow! Someone even more uncool than I yam. Since we're both happily married, could we just be uncool friends?

  3. Ron,

    We really need to hook up one day. Kevin can come along too. We would all get along just fine.

    And our kids? They could make fun of us all they care to . . .

  4. Salute, bro! Thank you for raising the flag on behalf of us uncool types ('cause if being uncool is the new black, I must be Johnny Cash!) hehheh

  5. I like Coldplay and have no blog of my own. I am really uncool. My kids will back me on this one.

    Funny post. Thanks.

  6. Coldplay.

    (shakes head sadly; walks away)

  7. @BetaDad, Next book title: "Pop Tarts and Zima: One Dad Stumbling Through Delusions of Coolness"

    (PS - My wife would leave me if I really drank Zima. She's barely tolerating the Coldplay.)

    @Cheryl, Sure! We need all the uncool friends we can get. The bigger our group gets,the more nervous the cool kids get.

    @Tysdaddy, I'm totally for that. I could see the coversation being like a Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell kind of thing... or maybe Jay Baruchel (that would be me).

    @Gumbo - "If uncool is the new black, I must be Johnny Cash!" That needs to be on a T-shirt or bumper sticker. Pure genius!

    @Mom of 2, To me, you're cool. You're making a statement. "I don't need no stinkin' blog." But if you change your mind, the world is woefully devoid of blogs dedicated to Coldplay.

    @TwoBusy, I get that a lot for some reason (scratching head and watching you walk away)

    My only hope of salvation is my Nirvana box set... Nirvana's cool right? Right?

  8. Dude. Ghosts of Girlfriends past? I take back that tweet I just sent about your awesomeness. :)

    Hey save a Zima for me would ya?

  9. PS: Also, just so everyone knows it is very true that Ron's wife Ashley is so amazing she induces "girl crushes".

  10. We just learned A LOT about you, Ron. I salute your bracing and frightening honesty.

  11. Hahahahah
    Bravo, Ron.
    You should read Goldenfinger.

  12. Dude- I have that dysfunctional digestive system and let me tell you that it makes for great blog fodder. Some of my greatest posts are focused on that, but I'll save those for later.

    I think you are awfully clever for using the "I'm not cool" move to prove that you are cool. Really, I appreciate that and only wish that I had done it first- you bastard. ;)

    Nicely done.

  13. If you are uncool, then I am waaaay below that my friend.

  14. Ummmm I'm not sure how I feel about all that... a bit unsettled.

    But I am very happy you were... you know... yourself.

    Must bleach my eyes and brain out now.

    Thank you.

  15. You may be "uncool", but you certainly are brave...Ghost of Girlfriends Past? Seriously?

  16. But why didn't I get the award? I'll send as many people to as many MBA programs they want! I'm not afraid of Google! It'll come back begging!

    Your wife has a Twitter? Cool! My wife does too, by the way.

    Oh, and I just wrote a post about your book.

  17. @Stiletto, True, she does induce girl crushes... and no, I don't count as one of them because I admitted to the whole movie thing.

    @Pirate, That shipment of surplus truth serum the CIA was selling off on eBay arrived shortly before writing this. Tastes like Zima.

    @Sybil Thanks... oh, and that Golderfinger book... it's a pop-up

    @Jack We need to do a sort of Will Ferrel / Jack Black buddy blog using our colons and their humor. I'm betting we've got enough combined material to keep that thing crapping out posts until it dies off from prostate cancer. Imagine the sponsors though--Preparation H, Charmin, Pepto...

    @DC, I highly beg to differ on that point my friend.

    @Shelle, unsettled like my stomach after OD'ing on Zimas unsettled? or I need to talk to a professional unsettled? Just asking 'cause I've got the number to a doctor for each depending =-) (and Thanks)

    @PJ You know what the definition of brave is right? Being openly bold and equally oblivious.My wife Tweeted about catching me tear up. Her friends have taunted me for weeks about it.

    @BloggerFather, Google's overrated and conceited. I bet they Google themselves at least 5 times a day.

    Started following her account - her bio line made me snort.

    Thanks for the post! Heading over there now.

  18. You tell me when and where and just as soon as my ass finishes its work we'll be on our way. ;)

  19. They still make Zima? That was my first Gatlinburg, TN in 1993. It was Zomething different. Zomething that made me think riding in the back of a pickup truck and barking like a dog was a good idea.

    Oh yeah, I like Coldplay, too. Have seen them live 3 times. One time, was <10' from Gwyneth Paltrow, my seats were so good. Still uncool? I think not!

  20. @Muskrat, when Zima hit the scene I was a dumb PFC at Ft Hood. Me and my buds hit 6th St in Austin one wknd and got thrashed on that stuff. (Then we told it was a girly drink and swore never to speak of that night again)

    You've got me beat by 2 on seeing them. They're always in H-Town when we're gone. It wouldn't matter though - my wife hates them because Coldplay was the primary make-out music for the girlfriend prior to my wife. Bad Juju. (Gweneth - SCORE! I'm buying you a round a Zimas at M3 just for that alone!)

  21. I laughed so hard over Golden Finger that I could have woke everyone up! You sir are so funny I'm flagging you now!

  22. Actually, I didn't like Coldplay because they seem derivative, bland and unoriginal. But now you've given me a super really good awesome reason to never want to hear them again. Can you go re-do my Valentine's video now? And pick out some makeout music for us? kthxbai :)

  23. @Dr Shawn, I wasn't laughing when I found out it was a pop-up book

    @Awesome Wife, *GULP!*

    @John - Thanks


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My Uncool Past