How to be cool

People often ask me, “Dr. Behooving, how come are you so cool?” There’s no cool way to answer, so I don’t. But I’m having a break from being so cool at the moment, in preparation for the beginning of semester next week when I will have to be cool quite a lot. That means, this week, I can answer.

First, let’s pause and consider the utter hopelessness of city life. Take Paris. It’s meant to be the city of love, is it not? But it’s totally hopeless. I don’t know if you’ve been there. I have. It’s awful.



The greatest source of hope and transcendence for most people—screwing—seems fine, until you realise it is just a trick the unborn play on the born to get us to bring them in on our current act. Well let me tell you sperm, we ain’t doing nothin’, just trying to put you into ova so you can do likewise. You’re better off where you are.



If you’re still not convinced of the utter hopelessness and banality of urban life, consider a new service coming to middle aged blokes who ride bikes in London: for a fee, your daughter’s hot friend will come fix your flat tire. For just fifty quid you can watch her, stalk her online, and shake her hand.

Being cool is our only relief from lives lived in Paris and/or getting our jollies through contact with hot chicks in service jobs, which is why being cool is so important. Where most people go wrong, is they accept some golden calf substitute for genuine coolness like a car, an overseas holiday, or a house straight out of a catalogue. Thus begins the downward spiral of commuting and work and imagining your willy is as big as the willies you’re watching in porn flicks. Anyway, you know what to do:


Now you’re in control of your life, do what the Italians do. Find a dense but affordable city. Forget the Big Apple. You’re not Frank Sinatra. Save yourself even more dough by living a few miles out of town, along a nice bike route. Get a wing man, a mate who has read this blog post. Pick a cafe and also a bench looking over a park or some water. Over dress. Both of you, get yourselves vintage bikes. Meet at your cafe and your bench at the same times every day and act as though you’re hitting on every woman in town. Your wives will be jealous and therefore more attentive. Guys will be jealous that you are your own masters. And the women will all think they’re attractive—to someone. And you sir, will be interesting. Visible. Cool.


All things come at a cost though. With coolness comes the duty be an example of some genre de vie. In other words, to teach the young and/or uncool how to be. In two words: start fads. It might be a fad for playing guitar, wearing eye liner, going barefoot, but if I may make a suggestion, it would be better if you were known around your cafe and bench for starting a bike craze. Not only will you be helping the planet and the value of your flat a short ride away, but it is far more likely you will be interviewed by David Michon  for The Urbanist podcast. And that would be cool.


  1. Luke says:

    a) I recognised the place where the cool old bloke is cycling, even though I’m not from Milan. Does that make me cool?

    b) I will try to sneak a photo of Robin, our local cool old(ish) bloke who is, as you advise, a regular at the local cafe. Not only does he have an old bike, a tweed jacket and a scarf, but he speaks fluent French to the owner and his numerous visiting family.

    • Steven says:

      recognising that location is very cool indeed. If I had something worth mailing to England I would give you a prize! Robin sounds perfect. How about a video interview?

    • Luke says:

      I’ll try. Problem is that Robin is just so cool it’s hard to talk to him.

  2. rdrf says:

    I photographed an old guy in Maastricht some years ago: immaculately pressed trousers (no clips), tweed jacket and waistcoat, tweed hat. Riding in a relaxed, confident and entitled manner. Smoking a pipe. Cool, huh?

    An even older guy in my cycling club smoked a pipe and continued in the rain with it turned upside down. No, I don’t know how either. I think that’s a different kind of cool.

  3. rdrf says:

    On a different and serious point, people WILL need help with basics like fixing punctures, maintenance, secure and convenient home cycle parking , cheaper equipment (including bikes) and maintenance.

    You can’t solve the puncture issue at £50 a pop – it needs to be subsidised I say.

    • Steven says:

      When we get rid of motorised vehicles from our cities and jack up the densities, we can then roof over the street and replace the asphalt with smooth marble tiles. We’ll ride on 200psi track tires that will neither wear or get flats.

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