I found a bandana in my sock drawer and tied it around my head for funsies. In the mirror, I looked like a grizzled cook from an episode of Chopped, and not one of the newly-minted grandpas aiming for culinary redemption but one of the bandy-kneed kitchen mutts desperate for cash.
Three times I went downstairs for coffee and three times my wife showed no reaction. I am smart enough to know this wasn’t a sign of approval. Erratic behavior displayed for less than a week isn’t taken seriously by her. I’m a well-known flitterer.
During my lunch break, I coordinated my outfit with red casual footwear and walked to the CVS. The man behind me in line wasn’t put off by my bandana or cherry sneaks, but being talked up by a guy wearing a denim Winnie the Pooh baseball jacket isn’t much of an endorsement.
The pharmacist didn’t bat an eye at either of us. I chalked it up to a stoicism etched by the daily parade of gacking, pink-eyed humanity staggering up to her counter.
That, or she is married to a hat person. We are pretty easy to spot.
The PT Cruiser Convertible of Headwear
I own too many hats. Admittedly, some were ill-considered, heat of the moment purchases, and I would have returned the worst ones, really I would have, but I lose most sales receipts before I leave the store.
Still, almost everything in my hat collection ends up on top of my head now and again. If I was dumb enough to buy it, eventually I’ll be dumb enough to wear it.
The only time Alice declared any of my hats unacceptable happened last year during my summer fling with the visor.
It seemed like an ideal solution — shade for my eyes without the resultant sweat or headband halo caused by a regular hat. I also have a visor from Quentin Tarantino’s production company given to me personally by Andy Dick’s associate producer’s assistant. That’s primo swag provenance chit chat.
A visor also sidesteps the need for follicle proof of life. If you wear a cap all the time, people will begin to wonder what isn’t going on under there. This is why every 30 minutes or so a non-bald needs to find an excuse to briefly doff his hat, but must do so in such a way that doesn’t imply social superiority to non-non-balds or chronic scalp itch.
Lastly, with a visor I would dominate part of the hat battlefield. Go to any bar with a credible beer list and it’s a rooster comb pageant of newsboys, stingy brims, porkpies, snapbacks, skullcaps, tukes, buckets and most everything else west of the beret.
Among my friends, even the esoteric has been claimed. My friend Bill locked up the fez micro-niche (holidays and weddings only). Dave staked the Stormy Kromer high ground, or so I had thought until Pete showed up in one. Awkward.
I don’t remember why Alice hates visors so much. I would go downstairs and ask her, but asking about visors while wearing a bandana could be my undoing. She can be kind of German when provoked. It’s sexy.
Hey, maybe I should buy a Tyrolean.