Why it was cool then: No clue. But dousing yourself in an entire bottle of Cool Water was par for the course when attending a school dance. (You may insert CK1 for Cool Water if you'd like.)
Why it would look insane now: Can you imagine any girl you might be interested in, as an adult, saying things like "I'm very turned on sexually by the fact that he's not afraid to waste sixty bucks so he can smell like an Abercrombie store. I should probably have sex with him. Due to his overpowering scent, of course." No. You can not. Unless that woman is insane as well.
Why it was cool then: Racing others was the classic test of athletic ability and ultimately, worth as a human being. How this was a reliable measurement of one's popularity never made sense. Nor did it have to. As long as you were the fastest.
Why it would look insane now: Go ahead, try and challenge your coworkers to a race in the middle of the work-day. The only person crazier than the guy challenging the R&D department to a footrace is the guy who accepts that challenge.
Why it was cool then: Okay, it wasn't "cool." But it sure was fun - rounding up your friends and gathering intel on the girls at lunch time. Who knows what they were talking about? Probably all the boys they were planning on kissing in the playground.
Why it would look insane now: You would land in jail, where you'd spend your time spying on the white supremacists. Who knows what they're talking about? Probably all the men they were planning on raping in the playground.
Why it was cool then: Parents are the worst, am I right teens that are in no way actually reading this article? They keep wanting to feed you and buy stuff and drive you to hang out with your friends. But they're SO UNCOOL? Right? Right? They need to be taught a lesson. When I was a kid, I found the most efficient way to do that was to snub them at my birthday party that they'd paid for, successfully making them feel unloved in front of everyone.
Why it would look insane now: Imagine this scenario: You've been working for months without a vacation. Finally, Thanksgiving comes and your parents offer to fly you in to be with your family. You accept, but you do not say thank you because fuck them, right? Then at the meal which you did nothing to help prepare, you ignore all your mom's questions about your new girlfriend, storm off and say "You just don't get me." Okay, that actually would just be awesome.
Why it was cool then: Not every kid did this, but it was fairly common for many to ask for a pony for one's birthday. The thought being that with a horse comes years of companionship, and an endless supply of friends who want to come over and ride that horse.
Why it would look insane now: Something tells me a grown man or woman would get some odd looks when they repeatedly demanded a horse for their 35th birthday. "No I do not want that cooking class or the gift certificate to the spa. I've asked for a horse every year and I expect this will be the birthday I get it. Until then, I'm going to cover my ears while you tell me about the romantic dinner we'll be going on."
Why it was cool then: There's nothing worst than being accused of masturbating when you're a kid. The irony being that at that point in your life, masturbating is pretty much the greatest activity one can enjoy and if anything you were in the prime of your masturbating career.
Why it would look insane now: First of all, you'd be deemed a liar. And if you ACTUALLY never have, you're automatically classified as a lunatic. And rightfully so. The sad truth is that as an adult, you can admit it, but if you went on and on about the your stroke-fest (something you probably wanted to do as a teen), you'd also be deemed crazy. It's a lose-lose here.