You Know, I Used To Be Kind Of Cool Once

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Vol 35 Issue 15

Stuff On Floor

LODI, NJ—The moist, brownish pile on the Gehrke living-room floor is either cat food or cat shit, it was reported Monday. "If I had to guess, I'd say it's cat food," said Lydia Gehrke, 44, staring at the mystery heap. "But the way Oscar's been digesting lately, cat shit is definitely a possibility, too." Though a long shot, Gehrke noted that it could also be cat vomit. "Whatever it is," she said, "it came from the cat."

Computer Analyst Unable To Fashion Crude Tools, Grind Wheat

SEATTLE—According to reports, computer analyst Isaac Glenn, who earns $120,000 a year organizing and upgrading computer networks, does not know how to fashion crude tools or grind wheat. "I guess to grind wheat, you'd probably cut it off the stalk and then maybe use some kind of crushing device to mash it until it's powder," Glenn said. "I don't really know what you'd do with it then. Maybe cook it, I guess." Glenn added that network administrators should use jacketed, certified cat-5 cable and keep runs perpendicular to electrical lines to prevent data integrity problems in 100BaseT networks.

HBO Presentation Fails To Deliver Promised 'Brief Nudity'

JACKSON, MS—As far as local resident Nate Childress can tell, the "brief nudity" promised in the HBO original movie Total Disclosure was not delivered at any point during the 93-minute film. "Were they talking about when you could see that one girl's bare back?" Childress asked. "Or maybe they meant the part where you could almost sort of see that blonde girl's ass through the panties. If that's what they meant, that's bullshit." Childress said the brief nudity may have occurred during the 10 seconds when he raced to the kitchen for a beer, but noted that he went for the beer during a scene set in a police station. "I highly doubt that any girls took their clothes off during the 10 seconds of police interrogating that I missed," he said.

Hasbro Pledges Additional 30 Marbles For Hippo-Hunger Relief

PAWTUCKET, RI—With global famine worsening, Hasbro pledged an additional 30 white marbles Monday to hippo-hunger relief efforts. "To see those starving, starving hippos just lying there, not knowing if they will ever get another chance to click and clack for life-giving marbles—it's too much for anyone to bear," Hasbro spokesperson Lisa Reiderer said. "We cannot stand idly by while these sweet, plastic creatures slowly die. It is up to all of us to get the most marbles for our hippos."

The Return Of SDI

Alarmed by the development of nuclear weapons in China, North Korea, Iran and Iraq, Congress recently approved a scaled-back version of the 'Star Wars' missile-defense system of the Reagan Era. What do you think about the revival of this program?
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Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

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Family

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

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  • Night Out Consecrated With Opening Exchange Of High-Fives

    CHARLOTTE, NC—Kicking off the evening with their customary expression of excitement and camaraderie, a group of friends reportedly consecrated their night out on the town Friday with a ceremonial opening exchange of high-fives.

You Know, I Used To Be Kind Of Cool Once

You know how, every so often, something you haven't thought about in the longest time will just sort of pop up out of nowhere, and all of a sudden you're like, "Hey... Wait a minute"? Well, that happened to me last week, when it occurred to me that I actually used to sort of be cool once.

I guess, like everybody else, I've gotten used to thinking of myself as, you know, one of those guys on VH1. Some vaguely "adult contemporary" artist like Billy Joel or Elton John or somebody. The sort of musician you'd find your dad listening to or hear really quietly in the background at the bank. I mean, "cool" is the last thing I'd normally think of myself as being.

Looking at it now, who would think that the composer of "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You" used to be cool? Sounds crazy, huh? It seems ridiculous, but it's true. I was kind of hip, in a way, if you think about it.

Isn't that just so weird?

It hit me the other day, and it was like, "Whoa—that's so bizarre." I was sitting at one of my pianos, working out some chords for my forthcoming album The Tepid Heart, when the wife asked me to pick up some diet soda. Since the staff was off (it was a Sunday), and the kids were due home from football practice soon, I said sure and drove down to the cornershop.

When I got there, the kid behind the counter had a tape playing that sounded oddly familiar. It wasn't really my cup of tea—polyrhythmic and uptempo, with intense emotional energy and electrically amplified guitars instead of acoustic. And the kid was, to be honest, playing it a bit loud. But instead of being annoyed, I found it compelling in a weird sort of way. When I asked the kid who it was, he said he'd found it in a bag of stuff that used to belong to his older brother. "It's old, but I like it," he said. "It's kind of reggae, but it sounds punk, too."

Well, several weeks went by, but it kept nagging at me. Then, finally, last Thursday, I figured it out. I was in the den, watching some figure skating on TV and reading Parade. (Isn't it funny how these things always hit you at the oddest times?) Anyway, there was an article about a policewoman who volunteers teaching schoolchildren about pet safety, when suddenly, it clicked: That kid was listening to Outlandos d'Amour, the first record by my old band, The Police!

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Wow... I haven't thought about The Police in years." And neither had I, but you know what? It sounds nothing like what you'd expect after hearing "Fields Of Gold." At first, I thought, "Wait... Is this just my memory playing tricks on me? I mean, I recorded the love theme from The Three Musketeers with Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart, for Christ's sake. How cool could I possibly be?" But then I dusted off a bunch of the old LPs and, boy, was I amazed. Those records were actually pretty rockin'! You wouldn't think that kind of stuff would come from me, but, hey, the opening track, "Next To You"? Come on! And the rest of the album, too: "So Lonely," "Born In the '50s," and you've got to admit that "Sally Be My Girl" is one cool song. I was like, "Did I write this stuff? No way!"

Come to think of it, I did lots of cool things back then. Sure, now we all think of me as starring in duds like The Bride, but I was in Quadrophenia, too. Heck, I was even in Urgh! A Music War. Remember that one? I'd totally forgotten until now. Man, I used to watch that on USA Network's Night Flight back in the '80s, and I just thought it was so awesome. It had X and Devo back when they were really punk. Even the Go-Go's were hardcore in that show! Shit, man, things sure do change.

And it wasn't just the early years. The whole Police catalog was pretty cool. I mean, the chorus on that one song, what was it, "My wife has burned the scrambled eggs / The dog just bit my leg / My teenage daughter ran away / My fine young son has turned out gay"? That one actually had the mosh-pit kids slamming. Can you believe it? Teenagers, moshing to me of all people! Sure, nowadays, most people think of "(Don't Stand So) Close To Me" as a deodorant commercial, but at the time, it was pretty out there, what with the whole Nabokov-pedophilia thing.

I know the idea of me being cool doesn't seem to make sense (it didn't to me at first, either), but just listen to those albums. Even Synchronicity isn't bad, and I didn't start really laming out until "(Don't Stand So) Close To Me '86." Go figure, I guess.

Then again, Eric Clapton, of "Tears In Heaven" fame, really used to tear it up, too, come to think of it. Or, hell, just take Paul Westerberg. Now there's one to ponder.

Makes you wonder, you know? I mean, I guess it just really goes to show you.

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