by James Cooper

I present to you a scenario in which I was primed to make a stir at a pool party, then forced by heated circumstances to seek out physiological “cool”, and ended up stumbling upon social “cool” in the process.

(Note to reader: some or all of the details in this story may have been altered or altogether fabricated).

Unleashing the banana ap-peel

I was quite smug as I came out of the pool house sporting my new Euro-chic yellow Speedo which, according to the girl in store where I bought it, was more accurately a colour called “banana ap-peel”. I also had my chest and chiseled six-minus-four-pack abs freshly man-scaped for the pool party. The saloon-styled doors of the pool hut clattered behind me as though I was the latest lonesome cowboy in town in search of gambling, whisky and women. My entry sparked the interest of a few female onlookers wearing trendy oversized sunglasses as they sunned themselves on patio lounge chairs They onced me over head-to-toe, then looked at each other and giggled among themselves.

“That's right, Capt. Cooper. The yellow submarine machine has got it goin’ on,” I thought to myself as I puffed out my chest and sucked in my abs, while giving the ladies the triple threat salute they were yearning for: a wink, a nod and a smile.

As I paraded across the patio to the beat of Bob Marley's Jammin’, trying my best not to move like the white man that I am, I experienced an olfactory overload from a medley of aromas: coconut-scented sunscreen; inflatable plastic pool floaties heated by the sun; sweat (which could very well have been from me since I had, moments earlier, done some physique-priming crunches on the pool house floor); and smoke and the decadent effluence of searing “Memories of Meat” veggie patties with simulated beef and pork flavours, billowing from the magnificent Silver Giant barbecue.

Although the array of smells was stimulating, my attention was easily stolen by the many sun-soaked, golden girlies scattered around, frolicking and applying sunscreen on each other in this backyard Xanadu.

Too hot to handle
Then, it really started to hit me. It had been a hot day to begin with but the bikini barraged, flesh flooded landscape made it sizzling hot — so hot that, factoring in all of the exotic aromas, I was starting to feel like I was in one giant, steaming human stir fry. I thought I’d
mentally prepared myself for this kind of heat, but apparently I hadn’t.

Now I needed something to cool me down. I needed relief.

Quest for cool

I considered jumping in the pool but my hair was so on-the-money th
at day that I didn’t dare risk getting it wet because, although this tactic would have led to my coolness in the physiological sense, it would have detracted from my coolness in the social sense.

“What else could I do?” I wondered.

Could I remove any articles of clothing? Unfortunately, no, I could not because it would involve peeling my “banana appeel”.

There must be another answer. Think, dammit! Think back to first year biology! That’s it: homeostasis. You must achieve homeostasis, but how?

Oh, of course. Drink. I must drink something cool, but what?

So I moved briskly, now oblivious to the grooviness that Bob Marley was pumping out, to the tiki hut bar at the other end of the pool to find a suitable beverage.

Drink dilemma

At the bar, my first instinct was to grab a cold beer, like a Corona or a nic
e Colt 45. But then I thought: why not drink wine? Good idea, especially since my pinkie wouldn’t be a problem thanks to the wine tumbler I had had the foresight to bring from home (see Machismo Meltdown in the May newsletter). OK, so wine it is, but it would have to be white because the red, soupy from the heat, would not quench my quest for cool.

So I looked in the cooler, behind the bar: beer, vodka coolers, malt liquor, ready-made Caesar, no wine. Then I looked in the little bar fridge: more coolers, more beer, jello shooters and wait, what have we here, a bottle of Cabernet Franc Rosé?

“Blaaa. I’d rather be castrated than drink that girlie crap,” I said to mysel

So I went back to the cooler to double check for some white wine. Still none.

Panic was setting in. I was in dire need of a drink, my heart was on fire for wine but there was no way — I mean NO WAY — I was going to drink a rosé.

A Cooper catastrophe was looming.

Punctuated persuasion
Then, as I stood there behind the bar deliberating my drink dilemma and combating heat exhaustion, this strawberry blonde suddenly popped up from nowhere, like a cork from a champagne bottle, and asked me for a drink.

“Uhhh, what would you like?” I replied as a bead of sweat the size of a grape tomato dropped from my forehead onto the bar.

“I’d like some rosé if ya got any, Mister,” she said in her cute little southern drawl.

“Uhhh, yeah, I think there’s some in here,” I said as I hesitantly and awkwardly grabbed the bottle from the fridge and started to pour out a glass for her.

“I just love a man who’s not yella’ to admit that he likes to drink rosé,” she said.
“Cute yellow gitch you got there, by the way.”

And without a flinch, I started pouring the rosé into my wine tumbler which was on the bar top.

We walked off together across the patio to a couple of empty patio lounge chairs in the shade.

My quest was complete. I had found cool.


I was recently at Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery where I tried t
he newly released 2007 Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet Franc Rosé. That's right, a rosé. As difficult as it is for me to admit that I like such a wine, it is pretty good stuff. I think it will be especially good when it comes to the pursuit of cool in the hot summer months. You can pick up a bottle or two at the LCBO, Wine Rack stores, or if you're in Niagara, at the J-T Winery. I think they might even include a straw and an estrogen patch with every bottle (joking).