Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Hat By Any Other Name

I'm going bald. My brother Bubba will be ecstatic to hear this, as he went bald many years ago and has always held it against me that my hair lasted longer. Regardless, my head is now more exposed to the elements than ever before and here in the South that means sun and southern sun means sunburn. It's time to cover the exposed scalp.

But. Finding a hat to wear is much harder than it used to be. It used to be that you could find a good hat with the logo of your favorite team, favorite sayings and even representing television shows and movies. What I find now, in most stores are like the display above. ADVERTISING. Ok, so most hats we bought before advertised teams or television shows, but now we're talking BRAND LOGOS and most are logos for sports equipment and clothing like the pic above. Oh sure, if you take the time to go to some special place like the stadium or college book store you can find (and pay dearly for) a hat with the right team on it, but I want to find what I'm looking for locally (and no, not Walmart!)

Aside from the visible scalp problem, the Southern Man must have a hat. This heat is oppressive and the southern sun even more so, and even if you do have a natural pelt of thick fur on the top of your head you better have a hat. Now, I do have my old pith helmet with the duck tape repair and even a new one with no duck tape to replace my recently broken one (-thanks to my brother Bubba) but you can't wear a hard plastic pith helmet to the Auto Parts store - Ok, so well maybe you can, but you'd get some pretty heavy stares and maybe even a few caustic remarks. And, I can't go wearing same said helmet out shopping with the wife without her wanting to snatch it off my head and toss it in the trash! Not what I'm after. I just want to protect the pate from burn and heat. So, what to do?

It used to be that these hats were handed out almost with every handful of change when making a purchase. Heavy Equipment, feed stores, auto parts, heck even the local bars and boutiques were giving away hats. (Called baseball caps, ball-caps or trucker's hats depending on your point of view...) Where are they now? I need a hat, but don't want to be wearing the same hat that Justin Beiber might wear or that some douche might wear backwards*! (If anyone sends me a Justin Bieber hat, expect me not to wear it, but to use it to wash my car and store it on the roof of the shed! I digress, but anyone would where JB is concerned.)

There are a couple of these hats hiding in my closet. One is a hat given to me by a heavy equipment company I worked at once. Another is from the Peterbilt company also where I worked for a couple of years. I have one that is from a resort I stayed at in 1996 and a few others, but all these hats have one thing in common. They are old and dirty. It's ok to wear an old and dirty hat when visiting the auto parts store, but when out shopping with the wife, a dirty hat tarnishes your whole appearance.

In the end, I guess I will have to start looking in the sale bins and haunting the thrift stores for the better quality leftovers so that I can get the hat I truly need. Perhaps a John Deer hat to go with my lawn mower, or maybe a Jeep. Only time will tell.

* For the record, anyone that wears their hat backward is wearing it wrong. Yes, I know it's a fashion statement; but the statement it's making is "I don't know how to wear a hat!" The wide part that sticks out is called a BILL and is for shading the sun from your eyes. The little band in back is for adjusting for size and does not go across your forehead. Let's change this now, Bubba! 
This does NOT say you're cool!
It says you're wearing your hat wrong!

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