There comes a moment in life when you realise you may not be as cool, hip and happening as you think you are — and it can be quite a shock.
My first such moment was back in standard six, when, after years of thinking I was one of the ‘cool kids’, I was brought back down to earth with a bang by one of my not-so-cool friends. We were walking to the parking area, where our parents would collect us after school, and my pal was humming a strange tune.
When I asked him what song he was humming, he told me it was a tune called celebration by a band called Kool (with a K) and the Gang, and it had been around for a few months already. I had never heard the song, and when, soon afterwards, I heard it on another friend’s record player (it hadn’t hit the state broadcaster’s radio station yet), I was horrified that even the uncool kids knew about the song before me. After that, I never took the cool-kids status for granted.
Of course, as one matures, it is less important to be cool, as other priorities take precedence, such as work, family life, rent or mortgage. Nevertheless, when someone called me a “badass” the other day, I couldn’t help a conceited smile to myself.
If you think a badass is like the speaking donkey in the Bible story who quizzed his master, the prophet Balaam, about unfair punishment, then let me educate you using that Bible of nerdy cool, the Urban Dictionary. Badass is youth slang for one who is “uninfluenced by fads”; basically, a cool guy.
What did I do to earn such praise? I was telling the story of how some years ago, I was at home trying to open a tin of corned beef — you know, the KMC tin that has a key to save the consumer from having to use a conventional can opener?
As I was somewhat impatient to get to my corned beef, I managed to break the key and foolishly decided to force the can open — something you should never do — and in the process, managed to slice my thumb open and redecorate my kitchen with blood splatter.
Try as I might to staunch the bleeding with my handkerchief, I couldn’t. My thumb was gushing like a newly struck oil find and needed medical attention. I asked my neighbour to take me to the nearest hospital emergency room for medical attention.
When I got to ER, as they were stitching up my thumb after using the spray on local anaesthesia, I discovered to my horror that the spray had not worked and I had to have my stitches done without painkillers.
My pal thought that undergoing surgery without anaesthesia was badass. I didn’t argue, as I enjoyed the idea. The question now is, how badass are you?