Crucially, no-one ever finds out if these hipsters are actual smokers because the cigarette never gets smoked. It perches precariously, a vital accessory in their ‘I look cool, therefore I must be’ aesthetic – an elaborate ploy to fake insouciance without risking death. Which is fair enough. I fancy them.
I also fancy people who carry big and difficult books because 1) toting a tome requires dedication and/or muscles and 2) I assume the size of the book is directly proportional to the size of the carrier’s brain.
Middlemarch = A in A-Level English Literature (moderately clever)
Vanity Fair = Literature Degree (articulate and possibly gay)
Ulysses = UNDISPUTED GENIUS (or person with an MSc in the study of these incredibly challenging equations)
But, what really sets my heart a-flutter, is a boy who looks both cool and clever. Something which now requires a great deal more than a pair of (very expensive) NHS-esque specs and a hand-knit jumper because, let’s face it, every Tom, Dickhead and Hugo knows that looking like an IT nerd gets girls.
Which is why the nouveau breed of trend-intelligentsia are proudly sporting HB pencils, tucked neatly behind their ear-come-pencil case. A pencil (preferably gnawed) says ‘I know how to write and may be compelled to draw upon this skill at any moment’ – you see? Cool and clever.
You can also bet your bottom dollar that said subscriber to team literati will be dressed all Danny Zuko/Terry Richardson – posturing in leather/stonewashed denim/flannel, but without a cigarette in sight because this brainiac doesn’t need to compromise his lung capacity to look smokin’. He’s backed by the power of the most erotic muscle.
And besides, he’s hedged against handwriting accident by the brand new eraser he’s got stuffed in the pocket of his vintage Belstaff. He doesn’t want a repeat of that time he spelled his name wrong with a bic. #clever
*I don’t speak from experience. When this cool-fest was occurring, I was waiting impatiently outside the staff room with a bucket full of apples.