It was a crisp Saturday afternoon in the middle of March, and Calvin was leaning against a tree in the front yard near the sidewalk. He simply stood there, watching people go by with his eyes half open and an inattentive look on his face that said "what do I care?"

Hobbes was outside as well. He currently wanted to have some fun and romp around with Calvin.

He basically just wanted to pounce Calvin's stuffing out.

But Calvin wasn't in a good angle right now.

After all, he didn't want to collide with a tree, now did he?

Nope.

Instead, he decided he'd find out what the heck Calvin was doing, standing over there all by his lonesome.

"What are you doing?" Hobbes asked.

Calvin simply crossed his arms and stared ahead, still with that same expression on his face.

"Being 'cool'," he said simply.

Hobbes stared at him.

"Cool, huh?" he asked.

"Yup."

"Mmmm-hmmmm."

Hobbes waited a little more.

Calvin just stood there.

He put his hands in his pockets.

Hobbes stared some more.

"Uh-huh," he said slowly.

Still more silence.

This was "cool"?

Finally, Hobbes spoke.

"You look more like you're being bored."

Calvin shrugged.

"The world bores you when you're cool."

"Not much a difference there," Hobbes sighed.

There was another pause.

Some guy walked past them.

Birds chirped in the distance.

A few cars drove by.

Susie walked past, looked at Calvin for a brief moment, and then carried on, rolling her eyes.

Hobbes was getting a little impatient.

"Could I be cool?" he asked.

Calvin didn't look at him.

He just looked poker-faced.

No emotion at all.

"Perhaps," he said at last, but monotone.

Hobbes paused again.

He leaned up against the tree, taking on Calvin's form.

He crossed his arms and looked bored.

He stood there silently for about a minute before he finally said something.

"Am I cool yet?" he asked.

"Not if you keep talking, no."

Hobbes shook his head and stepped away from the tree.

"Maybe I'm missing something," he pondered. "Maybe if I put something cool on, I'll become 'cool'."

"Possibly," Calvin said.

Hobbes thought for a moment, and then snapped his fingers.

He ran back into the house.


When Hobbes returned five minutes later, he was wearing a giant sombrero on his head.

"Look, I brought a sombrero!" he said happily. "Now we can both be 'cool'!"

Calvin finally exited his trance and looked up at Hobbes.

The sombrero was huge.

The coolness went away for a brief moment.

"A SOMBRERO?" he shouted. "Are you crazy! Cool people don't wear sombreros! Nobody wears sombreros!"

"I'm a foreign form of cool: Mexican!" Hobbes snorted. "The cool Mexicans wear these!"

"YOU IDIOT! GET OUT OF HERE! YOU'RE GONNA CRAMP MY STYLE!"

Hobbes' shoulders slumped and he grumbled away.

"What fun is it being 'cool' if you can't wear a sombrero?" he muttered.

But then he had another idea. He scrambled back into the house.

Calvin just stood there, resuming his original pose.

But he couldn't help but wonder.

Where did Hobbes get a sombrero in the first place?


Hobbes came outside again about ten minutes later.

This time, he was wearing a blue and green cap with a propeller on it.

"Okay, I think I may be 'cool' this time," he said. "Check it out! The propeller spins in the wind!"

He flicked the propeller once to demonstrate.

It whirred just like a helicopter.

Wheeee…

Calvin rolled his eyes and looked up at him.

"Okay, now you just look like a nerdy sissy, and that's the worst kind!" he shouted.

"But I feel fun!" Hobbes protested.

"'Cool' isn't about being fun! It's about being 'cool'."

"Wow, that sure helps a lot," Hobbes retorted.

He turned and walked back to the house.

He spun the propeller once more.

Plan C.


Hobbes came out once again, but this time he was wearing a helmet, wrist pads, elbow pads and knee pads.

Calvin groaned.

"What's this all about?" he demanded.

"I'm going to be 'cool' by playing it safe!" Hobbes announced.

"How's that cool?"

"Simple! I can do anything without getting hurt!"

Suddenly, a branch from the tree cam falling down from the tree. It whacked Hobbes' head, but the helmet absorbed most of the blow.

"Hey, did I just get hit on the head?" he asked.

Calvin sighed in exasperation.

This was just plain stupid.

"Get out of here."

"Why?"

"Just…just get out of here."

Hobbes sighed and walked back to the house.

Calvin looked up at the part of the tree that had snapped, and decided to stand on the other side.


Hobbes then came out again.

What was it this time, you ask?

He was wearing a space suit.

He looked like an astronaut from a trip to the moon.

His breathing was being amplified.

He approached Calvin and leaned against the tree.

Calvin looked at him.

"No…," he said simply.

Hobbes walked back to the house, slouched.


Next, Hobbes came out with a sailor cap on.

You know, one of those little white things.

"Ahoy, matey!" he cheered. "All set for a voyage to 'cool'! Anchors away!"

Calvin stared at him.

"Back to the brig with you, ya scurvy stowaway," he scowled.

Hobbes glared at him.

He hummed the tune "Anchors Away" all the way back to the house.

Calvin sighed.


Hobbes came out once more, and this time, he was wearing a tuxedo, a top hat, a cane and black shoes.

"Now I'm 'cool' and 'classy'!" he said, twirling the cane as he leaned against the tree.

"More like 'fool' and 'iffy'," Calvin retorted.

"Hey, I like the look!"

"Well, it's not a 'cool' look. Now take it all off."

"But what about my big tap dancing number?" he asked.

"GET OUT OF HERE, FURBALL!" he shouted.

Hobbes growled and walked back, tap dancing the whole way.

Calvin sighed angrily.

"Moron," he muttered.


Next Hobbes came back wearing a pair of red shorts.

"I'm back. See, I put on some Mickey Mouse pants!" he said.

Calvin slapped his forehead.

"I'll be 'cool' in these, boy! Just look at these big yellow buttons!"

"MICKEY MOUSE PANTS?" Calvin shouted. "You don't look cool! You look like an idiot!"

Hobbes leaned against the tree and stuck his tongue out at Calvin.

"Hmph! Maybe I'm just New Wave."

"Maybe you're just stupid," Calvin retorted. "Now go away."

Hobbes stomped back towards the house.


Fifteen minutes later, Hobbes was wearing something new: Calvin's Stupendous Man outfit.

"Superheroes are cool, right?" he asked hopefully.

"Human superheroes? Yes. Animal superheroes: no."

Hobbes went back to the house.


Next he came out, dancing in a ballerina's tutu!

"GET BACK IN THE HOUSE!" Calvin bellowed.


Now Hobbes wearing scuba gear.

"Who lives in a pineapple under the sea!" he sang happily.

"Hobbes Dork Mouse Pants," Calvin replied.


Then Hobbes came out wearing a gorilla suit.

Calvin stuck his tongue out.


Next was a lumberjack suit.

Calvin gave it a thumbs-down.

Next was a disco suit.

"Nope."

Dog suit.

"Negative."

Fisherman.

"GET IT RIGHT!"

Surfer dude.

"WRONG!"

Cowboy.

"STUPID!"

Alien.

"UGLY!"

Giant bug.

"SCARY!"

Eel.

"WEIRD!"

Talking book.

"BORING!"

Iguana.

"FREAKY!"

Gargoyle.

"FRENCH!"

Drew Carey.

"STUIPD, UGLY, SCARY, WEIRD, BORING, FREAKY & NOT-FRENCH!"

A white shirt, red tie, brown pants, black belt, white socks and black shoes.

"COPYRIGHT INFRINGMENT!"


Finally, Hobbes was beginning to tire.

This time, without any accessories, he stumbled out into the yard, exhausted.

He fell to the ground, gasping for air.

Calvin approached.

"Look, Hobbes," he said. "If you want to be cool, just do what I do."

Hobbes thought for a moment.

"Okay……," he said, thinking for a minute.

He got up and went back inside.

Calvin waited for a minute.

Hobbes finally returned.

He was wearing a red shirt with black stripes, black jeans, white and red shoes, and a wig on his head that consisted of yellow spiky hair.

"I feel sorta silly, but whatever," Hobbes said.

Calvin rolled his eyes.

"That's not what I meant, booger brain," he said. "I meant, just act like me."

So once Hobbes had that fashion disaster off, he and Calvin stood there, acting "cool".

They leaned against the tree, folded their arms, and looked bored.

A few minutes passed.

Hobbes finally spoke after a while.

"Okay, I think this would be better done lying down."

"Good idea," Calvin agreed.

They got down and sat against the tree.

"Now what?" asked Hobbes.

"Well, now that we're down here, we can close our eyes and think."

"And this is cool?"

"I think it's cool."

"Very well then."

They both closed their eyes and thought about…

Well, nothing.

Oh, sure, Calvin thought about where Hobbes got most of that stuff in the first place.

But other than that, nothing.

Notta.

Zilch.

And that was "cool" enough for the both of them.