Thursday, May 26, 2005

More Hats

In Defense Of Meandering Slowly Across A Topic

It rained today for the first time in a month or more. Even the last time that it rained, it wasn't enough rain, so the sudden awful hard downpour was welcome, even though it was too much at once. Medium and large dead tree limbs litter the yard.

Before the rain, though, I'd been to Wal-Mart and was stunned to find they're again stocking the fabric hats I love. You remember those, don't you, those lovely $2.88 pork pie hats of mine? Made in China, marketed under the name Paris. Sold in Chigger, Texas.

We have a China and a Paris in Texas, too, but the hats, I think, do in fact originate from foreign soil. "Paris" may be just a foo-foo appellation, but China is a factual source of all manner of goods these days, even Mickey Mouse toys. Anyway, I bought two hats this time—one light blue, one an anonymous color that Paris calls "stone"—to add to my collection and to forestall having to wash and iron the old ones. None of these Wal-Mart beauties qualify as dress hats, I realize, but when the hats gets dingy and wrinkled, I still prefer to use those old ones for mowing the lawn and other work tasks.

I bring the new hats forward for ordinary clean daily wear and for a short while I'm very careful with them. Later, I'll swat insects or transport grapes with them, if need be. If I really have somewhere formal to go, I wear no hat at all—that way, I don't have to concern myself with whether I should remove it or not. I have no idea how expensive a hat might have to be to meet my standards as a "dress" hat, but it'd be more than three bucks, certainly. Nonetheless, a clean hat, however cheap, is a small boon to my wretched existence and I do not take it lightly. It's nice to have a hat to keep off sun, rain, bird droppings, and other debris and detritus that falls from above.

I have had my hat shat on only once, and on consideration found wiping the hat clean to be preferable to having to go inside and wash my hair. I swear, I must be moving appreciably slower in my old age; birds never used to shit on my head when I was younger! Or have I just forgotten? Dear Christ, a failing memory, too…

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