Anecdotal Evidence: Kool Thing

Excerpt from mail sent in 1999

Oh, Kool Thing! That song got a lot of airplay in its day.

It was around that time that a bunch of geeky Computer Science students found themselves, against all odds, at a New Year's Eve party at the house of an art teacher. There was an art teacher. There were art students. And there were some works by some of these students, works which the teacher had particularly liked. One of the intended party activities, I'm guessing, was for the art students to say nice things about each others' pieces.

One of the computer science geeks was the Art Teacher's nephew. Thus were we there. We did Not Fit In.

One piece was, like, a sheet of foam core with some of those rub-on letters applied to it. It was, like, a poem. It was about Cool Thing. Cool Thing does this. Cool Thing does that. It wasn't quite the lyrics to Kool Thing, but it sure seemed similar.

I and another geek were looking at this piece, then looking at one another. The teacher drifted over and said something like, "Do you like this piece? It's funny, isn't it?"

I said, "Well, it's like that song." The teacher looked kind of puzzled. One of the art students started looking at us really intensely, frowning, squinting, everything in her posture saying, "Shut up, man." I guess the art teacher didn't know about the song. I guess the student liked that ignorance.

I shut up.

The art teacher delivered a mini-rant--lots of people didn't know that art could be funny. But a sense of humor was important blah blah blah. But I think we understood the humor of the situation a little better than she did.


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