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Huddled in a corner, Coolio and I clasped each other's hands. He was ridiculously nervous. I had certainly suffered my share of stage fright through the years, particularly in my native Puerto Rico*. In fact, my black handkerchief, wrapped tightly around my head, concealed streams of liquid that otherwise would have been reaching the floor (or at least burning my eyes).

"Hey," I said. "They're gonna love you. You're COOLIO. Just remember that. In fact, you put the cool in Coolio."

I'd discover years later that Coolio's insecurities stemmed less from doubts about his own onstage capabilities, which were more than ample, than from the fact that the bulk of his work (at least what would later become successful in a commercial sense) featured direct cuts from hit songs of which many -- if not all -- of his most avid followers were patently unaware.

Now be honest with me: Had you ever heard of Lakeside before then? You lie, amigo. You lie!

Anyway, I can remember the frozen stare that marked his countenance; the contours of his pristine A-shirt (which some might call a wifebeater, regrettably); and the words with which he left me before reaching the stage:

"Hey, kid. Whatever your name is."

"Gerardo," I interjected.

"Whatever. You helped me a lot tonight. I'll never forget you. You're gonna be rich...and smooth." He then removed a vintage Mean Joe Greene jersey from his knapsack and tossed it my way. I wanted to hand him a Coca Cola in return for his generosity, but no dice.

Instead, I offered a banal, "Go get 'em," after which he smiled and slipped through the curtains.

*The authenticity of this statement cannot be substantiated.

Date Written: May 18, 2005
Author: Turgid
Average Vote: 3

05/30/2005 Will Disney: i'm going to say TURGID for this one. i started off not liking it but it grew on me, in retrospect, even if it wasn't a laugh out loud sort of affair.
05/30/2005 John Slocum: Hi Will!!
05/30/2005 Mr. Pony: That description of sweat in the first paragraph is a pretty tough thing to step over.
05/30/2005 scoop: Hey Pony I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't see any mention of sweat at all. Just an eye-burning Puerto Rican head liquid governed by the laws of gravity.
05/30/2005 Mr. Pony: My goodness; you're right. I was confused by thoughts of my own sweat, which often reaches the floor as I move though nervous.
05/30/2005 TheBuyer: Author, I read your short.
05/30/2005 The Rid: Huh.
05/30/2005 Klause Muppet: Is Gerardo a real person (like Coolio)? A few funny bits here. The style is a little Tooty-Fruity.
05/30/2005 The Rid: Gerardo is the Rico Suave guy, right?
05/30/2005 Klause Muppet: I dunno, Rid, you tell me.
05/30/2005 Klause Muppet (3): This line is hilarious when I imagine Litcube saying it:"They're gonna love you. You're COOLIO."
Author, you are correct, I had never heard of Lakeside before. Besides making fun of two terrible singers and some silly shtuff, this short doesn't do it for me.
05/30/2005 Klause Muppet: the end is near!
05/30/2005 Litcube: I too read your short, author.
05/30/2005 John Slocum: Author, I read your short, and frankly, I don't like it. It seems you've pulled of a dextrous trick in being both self-conscious and self-indulgent, particularly this: 'You lie, amigo. You lie!'. I get nothing out of it, no pleasure, no enjoyment. The asterixed item is not funny. It's not poorly written, but it's not written that well. What exactly are you trying to do here? I'm giving you an opportunity here.
05/31/2005 Litcube: Lakeside sounds like a pretty cool place.
05/31/2005 The Rid: Slocum, I thought I'd tell you that your comment warrants 4.5 stars.
05/31/2005 Turgid: Slocum -- can't say much to avail myself here. I was hoping the ridiculousness of the scenario and the astuteness of pop culture casualty Gerardo would put it over the top. The Coke commercial reference was perhaps lost on a few, but in retrospect, I'm not sure it improves the short anyway. Thank you for reading.
05/31/2005 Litcube: Can we all stop saying "here"? I'm pretty fucking sure we all know where we are.
05/31/2005 Disorientarius: Where am I???
05/31/2005 Dysenterious: Hey, guys, I don't feel so good.
05/31/2005 Mr. Joshua: Disney: I think Acme's newest feature should be this: Slocum's comments are actually read aloud by Slocum himself. You're telling me that wouldn't be great? Like bottled beer in a can great?