Archive for the skills Category

106. Hook your Friends Up with a Sweet Summer Job

Posted in skills on April 30, 2010 by Allen

Granted, this is counter to #31 on this list of ways to be cool, but, hooking your friends up with a sweet summer job is pretty awesome.  Especially if you all get to work together.

What could that be, you wonder?  I picture working as the Marshall at a really shi-shi, prestigious golf course (you’d get to yell a rich guys to replace their divots).  You then hook up jobs for three of your buddies.  You’d get one of on grounds crew, one working in the pro-shop and another one as bartender.  Everybody gets free swag and unlimited golfing after 3pm. Your bartender buddy brings the booze, pro-shop friend hooks everyone up with top of the line clubs and your grounds crew buddy fixes any massive tire marks you leave on the greens when you all race your carts.

Everybody makes $50 an hour, work doesn’t start until 10 am  and you can all cover for each other if one of you needs to ditch work on a given day.  This will be the kind of summer you will tell your grandkids about.

103. Blow Smoke Rings

Posted in skills on April 18, 2010 by Allen

Smoking, in and of itself, is pretty gross.  It’s addictive, expensive and smelly.  If it doesn’t eventually kill you, the guilt of knowing that it’s supposed to likely will.  If you are going to smoke, however, being able to blow smoke rings is awesome!

You’re basically doing magic tricks with your lips.  The key here is to be casual about it.  Just spit out a smokey “O” and let the your onlookers coo in delight and approval.  Be the Dragon!  Awe those villagers with your mighty fire mouth!

102. Predict the Future

Posted in skills on April 11, 2010 by Allen

Anytime you can accurately predict something that’s going to happen is pretty cool.  This can range from precisely forecasting the final score of the game before it’s over, to naming the next hottest trend in music, to correctly calling out who’s on the other end of the line when your phone rings.  You’re basically bending the rules of space and time.

The real key here, obviously, is that you need to have someone around to hear you make your prediction.  The Oracle at Delphi would have just been some old lady raving in a drugged out trance were it not for the fact that a bunch of priests were there lapping up her every word.  The more confidently you call your shot, the more impressed your friends will be and the cooler you’ll appear.  It’s like calling “Off the car, backboard, swish” during a game of H.O.R.S.E.

97. Remember People’s Name

Posted in skills on March 23, 2010 by Allen

The truth is, we’re all hugely self-centered creatures.   When someone remembers our name, our ego gets a nice little stroke and a wave of importance and good feeling rushes through us.  Naturally, we project that good feeling onto the source, the person who remembered our name, instantly raising their status and cool-quotient in the process.  If you wanna reap those benefits, the cool thing to do is to remember names.

A variation of this is the Preemptive Re-intro. Let’s be honest, remembering names are hard.  Often you’ll find yourself in a situation where you know you know the person but you also know that neither one of you can remember the other’s name.  In such a case it’s best to sleekly address the pink elephant in the room by re-introducing yourself before things get weird.  Approach them with all the warmth of an old friend, “Hey, good to see you again, what’s going on?” and then immediately and subtly remind them of your name, “Allen”.  They will instantly reciprocate with their own moniker and everyone will feel an enormous sense of relief that nobody had to say the uncomfortable, “I’m sorry, I’ve totally forgotten your name”, phrase.

Or you can just  guess.  This worked once for me when someone I swear I’ve never met before came up to me and said, “Hey Allen, how are you?” at a university beer garden.  I stared blankly at her for a minute and then said, “I’m well….Jennifer, how are you?”  “I’m awesome!” she miraculously responded.   It’s risky because you have a 99.9% chance of being wrong, but the little adrenaline rush you feel when you roll the dice is pretty awesome.

93. Do a Hood Slide

Posted in skills, sweet videos on March 7, 2010 by Allen

The perfect hood slide is best done with no warning. You want to just launch into it and have your friends gasp in awe at what they just saw. With the two and a half seconds you’ll  save from not having to walk around the car you can stand back to bask in the glory of their admiration for your Dukes of Hazzard Hop.

Two important things to determine beforehand……#1 Is the car  strong enough that you won’t leave a huge dent?  The last thing you want is a pond forming on your hood every time it rains and…….#2 Is there a hood ornament?  Stitches are cool, but not down there.

Do this:

Or, for bonus points, do this:

But don’t do this:

92. Throw Up a Genuine High-5

Posted in skills on March 3, 2010 by Allen

A “Genuine High-5” should be completely spontaneous.  It should explode!  One only occurs when both participants are so overcome by the emotion of the moment that they have no recourse but to allow their arms and hands to erupt in a glorious collision of celebration. Your palm should sting a little.

There is no aiming, no watching the other person’s elbow.  If there is even the slightest hesitation the High-5 will feel forced, awkward and sad, like the participation ribbon at an elementary school Sports Day.

They are extremely rare, but oh so cool.  You’ve probably only been involved in, at best, 5 or 6 GH5’s in your whole life.  A Genuine High-5 only occurs when the conditions are absolutely right, when there is a perfect storm of passion, luck, accomplishment and euphoria.  Beautiful and awesome at the same time.  Like seeing the Aurora Borealis from the cockpit of a Russian MIG fighter jet.

89. Catch some Big Air when you Jump

Posted in skills on February 19, 2010 by Allen

Whether it’s snowboarding, bungee jumping, pole vaulting, or just bouncing on a trampoline, catching big air when you jump is a sure-fire way to impress your friends and make you look cool.

There has always been direct relation between how much height you can get and  how cool you are.  Michael Jordan revolutionized basketball, not because of his competitiveness or his ability to make the players around him better, but because he was one of the first to play the game above the rim.  He brought extreme style to extreme jumping.

For thousands of years, man has longed to soar freely through the air but has been clumsily bound to the ground by the shackles of flightlessness.  Those who are able to break free of these shackles, if only for a moment, are the one’s we truly admire.

Ask any lady what she would rather do on a date: go to some cave underground or soar around the city by air?  It is for this reason that Superman will always have better game then Batman.  You see, it’s not about having the hot car.  It’s about being able to fly.

84. Make a Paper Airplane that Soars!

Posted in skills on January 29, 2010 by Allen

Understand this:  I’m not knocking origami.  Beautifully crafted miniature animals created out of fine decorative paper.  Pretty little things for your coffee table or bookshelf.  An incredible display of form.

If you’re looking for the true triumph of both form and function, however, nothing beats the paper airplane!  With it’s graceful flight and streamlined design, a well made “Foolscap Flyer” is a marvel to behold.

It defies all logic.  A sheet of paper simply should not be able fly like that, and yet, with enough practice and just the precise number of folds, your plane can make a mockery of this petty thing called gravity.  After witnessing it dare to soar to such fantastic heights, your friends will all clamor, “Hey, let me have a try?!”

And remember, before there was e-mail, MSN, texting, facebook, or twitter, the only way you could get a message to your friend across the classroom was with a well thrown paper airplane.

78. Agree to Take a Photo for a Stranger

Posted in skills on January 6, 2010 by Allen

You know the story.  You’re walking along, minding your own business when suddenly a tourist asks you to take a photo of them in front of a steam-clock or something.  They’ve picked you out of the crowd for being trustworthy enough not to run off with their camera so you’re now faced with a big responsibility, and a perfect opportunity for cool.  Remember these 3 rules:

1) Know something about digital cameras.  Nothing undercuts your cool like uttering the phrase, “Where’s the zoom on this thing?” or “Is the flash on?”

2) Know something about photography.  This means you have some sense of framing and lighting.  Create for them a better photo then they could have taken themselves, and, most importantly…

3) Know something about people.  The only thing people care about in their photos is that they themselves look good.  Mentally rate your subject.  If they are a 6 in real life then they damn well better be at least a 6 in the picture.  If not, that’s when you utter the phrase, “One more for safety”.  Now, if you can make a 6 look like and 8, you’re not just playing cool, you’re playing God.

76. Carve the Turkey

Posted in skills on December 30, 2009 by Allen

Eating the turkey is delicious, but carving the turkey is gross.  It’s bony and greasy and it slides around.  It’s doesn’t cut straight, it’s rubbery and usually it’s steaming hot.  But damn it, it needs to be done.

The carving of the turkey is the final peg in an enormous military-like operation of timing, precision and display.  The potatoes have just been mashed, the stuffing is being put in pots and the cranberry sauce is on the table.  The meal is moments away and, for everything to sync up properly, the toughest job, the carve, needs to be carried out quickly and efficiently.  That’s where you come in.

In the clan’s eyes, you will be the Messiah of the Meal.  As you place those perfectly cut slices down on the table, everyone will forget that you sat around all day drinking beer and watching football.

74. Speak in Rhyme

Posted in skills on December 18, 2009 by Allen

(in the cadence of Dr. Seuss)

Speaking in rhyme is a skill that’s as old as that time long ago when first stories were told.

Poets and Criers and Bards used the style to dazzle their listeners and make people smile.

The tradition caught on, it’s been used like crazy, from Shakespeare to Keats to Whitman to Jay-Z.

As children it helped us to learn things in school and now that we’re grown it just sounds oh so cool.

But what truly we love when we hear someone rhyme is the magical way that they wrap up each line.

Cool Freestyle Battle

Posted in skills, sweet videos on November 19, 2009 by Allen

Note:  it’s all in good fun, but if the occasional racial barb gets you down, you probably want to skip this one.

67. Catch a Fish

Posted in skills, sports on November 16, 2009 by Allen

DSCF0023_thumbMake no mistake, fishing is not easy.  It requires patience, timing and charisma.  It’s not enough to just know the “hotspots”.  Your lure has to be shinier, sexier and downright cooler than everything else down there, otherwise the fish just won’t be interested.

If you’re the only one on your boat to pull one in, all the better.  Your fishing mate will ask you how you did it.  Tell them that, “The ability to catch a fish is intangible.  It exists somewhere out there in the ether.  It’s something you’re born with.  You may as well be asking me to teach you how to have blue eyes”.

Also, catching a fish rules because it reminds nature of our dominance over her.  There are more human attacks on sharks every year then there are shark attacks on humans.  It’s just a little payback for all the hurricanes and wildfires that nature puts us through.

64. Put Animals at Ease

Posted in skills on November 2, 2009 by Allen

cesar_millanRemember that scene in Crocodile Dundee when he hypnotizes the water buffalo?  That was awesome.

Whether you’re soothing a barking dog or calming a spooked horse, when you put an animal at ease, you put people at ease.  That’s cool.  Especially if you do it by whispering in it’s ear or gently stroking it’s head.  You should try to make it look like you’re using some kind of Voodoo/Dr. Doolitle ninja trick.

At the end of the day, being “good” with animals is like being “good” with children.  It won’t make you rich or famous, but it looks classy and it makes women melt.

60. Haggle with Style

Posted in skills on October 20, 2009 by Allen

Whether you’re in a flea market, a car lot, or Mexico, you need to be able to haggle.  We all have one friend who isn’t afraid to disagree with an item’s “suggested” cost.  That’s the friend we bring with us to the craft fair.  We love that friend.

Look, haggling is a sport.  It’s not about getting the best price, it’s about playing the game with flair.  At the end of a good session, both parties should feel invigorated.

Sure, it can be intimidating, but remember that since the dawn of man our entire economy has been based on this negotiated give and take  (spices for livestock,  glass beads for Manhattan Island, dinner and a movie for sex).  The entire notion of a set listed price is counter to human nature.

P.S.: It’s bad form to start bargaining if you don’t actually intend to purchase, but, if the vendor doesn’t want to play properly, you need to be able to walk away.  You’re setting the tone for the next haggler.

54. “Get” someone else’s Obscure Movie Reference

Posted in skills on September 26, 2009 by Allen

ebertroeperpartwaysLook, the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, but, if you can pick up on other people’s film references, you may be able to rival the Devil in sheer “cool”.  CAN YOU DIG IT??!!

It may seem Inconceivable!!!, but there is a powerful respect and awe that is formed when two people recognize that they share a common movie lexicon.  So powerful, sometimes,  that it may  go to 11.

I realize that nobody puts Baby in a corner.  

I’m not suggesting that all Jedi had was a bunch of muppets.  

I never said that I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture, and kill them.  

But, if you’ll agree that you can’t fight in here, this is the War Room, and that what I love about these high school girls, man, is that I get older and they stay the same age, then I must finish by telling you that I have one simple request, and that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.

51. Deliver an Intoxicating Neck Massage

Posted in skills on September 14, 2009 by Allen


But how do you offer one without seeming creepy?   The trick is not to ask for permission but to just tell them you’re going to dole one out.  “You look tense.  Here, I’m going to give you massage.”   Remember, everyone wants a neck massage.  Everyone.

It doesn’t need to take a long time, it just needs to be effective.  Commit to it for 3 minutes.  Use a controlled variety of kneading, pulling and tapping techniques.  If done properly, it should make your recipient feel slightly drowsy. If you’ve done a really good job, they will have drooled a little.

When they turn around afterwards, stare at you with glazed over eyes and say “Thank you”, what they’re really saying is “Wow!”  

Wow is the word most often used to describe cool people.

49. Learn some Yo-Yo Tricks

Posted in skills, sweet videos on September 8, 2009 by Allen

kjyy10The perfect accessory for loitering.

You’re leaning against the lamp post, zipping it down and up, down and up, down and up, down and AROUND THE WORLD, WALK THE DOG, CATS CRADLE,  GUILLOTINE, TRAPEZE, RIPCORD, TETHERED  TODDLER, BUCKET O’ CLAY and up, down and up, down and up.  Your not even trying to be cool but the yo-yo just can’t help itself.

One part Filipino weapon, one part West Side Story prop, the yo-yo is the very essence of “just hanging out”.

Eventually you can get this good….

47. Have Ninja-like Balance

Posted in skills on September 1, 2009 by Allen

2949083190078732785iIbWcI_fsOk, here’s the game:  You need to get from the front steps of the courthouse to the parking lot.  You can only walk on rails, fire hydrants, large rocks and the edge of the fountain.  The ground is lava.  Only the coolest shall survive.

Remember, it was Daniel San’s incredible balance, despite his leg injury, that allowed him to deliver the mighty Crane kick against Johnny in the All Valley Karate Tournament that led to the defeat of the Cobra Kai.

44. Create a Mighty Cannonball Splash

Posted in skills on August 21, 2009 by Allen

3789340737_e3ffd05436Remember when you were a kid and you were at your friend’s pool party and your friend’s older brother (who was in high-school) came home and practically emptied the pool with a seismic cannonball?  Yeah….that kid’s older brother was cool.

The perfect cannonball should hurt a little.  You should go momentarily deaf as the water vacuums back against the sides of your head, effectively boxing your ears.  Your sinuses should sting as you swallow chlorinated water through your nose.  You should become briefly disoriented at the bottom of the pool.

But, if you’ve performed this cannonball correctly, everyone sitting within at least 3 meters of the pool’s edge should get wet.  Sure, some of the tanners might complain for a moment or two, but you tell them, “Hey, that’s just my way of letting you know it’s time to turn over.  You’re looking kinda red.”

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