After many months of denial, sixteen-year-old Percy Smith has finally faced up to the painful truth that he just isn’t cool. ‘OK, so I’m not a cool dude,’ he says, adding, ‘as I think a cool dude teenager would say.’
He thinks the rot set in when he joined his father as a member of the local bowls club. ‘I guess when I was spotted on the green in my white suit, shoes and cloth cap, I sort of got a reputation for not being really cool.’
Things didn’t improve when he became a Scout and joined a bible study class. ‘I even went with my mum to bingo,’ he says. ‘But even that didn’t help.’ A brief television appearance on Songs of Praise (Percy sang a solo) did nothing to assist his search for coolness; he was still shunned by a girl he fancied who was in the Salvation Army and about to join a nunnery.
‘Girls don’t seem interested in my marrows or helping out on my allotment,’ he says, despairingly. ‘Or coming with me on Wednesday evenings to the embroidery circle. But you’d think they’d show an interest in pigeon racing.’
Now Percy has decided to ‘come out’ as not cool and is about to announce the fact to the whole world on his grandmother’s Facebook page. ‘I’m putting on my best suit and cravat,’ he says, polishing his NHS glasses. ‘Obviously I want to look my best on Facebook, ‘cos granny says it’s a really cool site. Paradoxically, this could be my breakthrough into coolness.
‘If not,’ he says, ‘I’m going ahead with my plan to become an Amish. Now, that’s well cool, don't you think?'