1. Raised It
In a lavish style, I might add. On a morning constitutional down by the canal. A barge trundled by. I raised my hat. The chap on the barge raised his. And we laughed, both of us. Heartily. Not a word was exchanged, but it was a great moment. A moment of victory. “We,” we seemed to say in our mutual hat-raising, “have halted the march of time. We have made the world that little bit better. We have paused to consider the lilies.”
2. Tapped It
Briskly with the index finger of my right hand as I passed two ladies not of my acquaintance. We all smiled.
3. Removed It
As a funeral cortege rolled by. Who was in the wagon? Doesn’t matter. Somebody’s son. Somebody’s daughter. My hat made me mark the moment, pay my respects. My hat made me consider that I am not the only person in the world and that life is short and important occasions should be marked and commemorated and we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.
4. Chased It Down The Street When The Wind Took It From My Head
An inconvenience? An embarrassment? Not in the slightest. It gave the queue at the bus stop a right good laugh – one of them actually applauded when I finally caught the thing. Which then made me laugh.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once said that the best cure for arrogance is a course of skiing – put an arrogant man on skis and his pomposity will soon be levelled as he slips and slides and falls like a newborn foal. Making him wear a hat in a high wind is a similar leveller. My hat made me laugh at myself and not take myself so seriously. A good thing, from time-to-time.
5. Left It on the Tube
I lost my hat? This surely IS a calamity.
Well, I didn’t actually lose it. I left it on the train. And I was stopped at the door of the train in the nick of time by a very pretty girl with laughing eyes who handed my hat back to me with a smile. Brightened up my day.
But what if, you say, I had really lost my hat. No problem. I always know where to get another one.
My hat introduces me to pretty girls. My hat reminds me to perform the small rituals that make life civilised. My hat is my conscience, my reminder to be civil, my consiglieri. My hat is nothing short of a bloody genius.
Oh and it protects my head from the elements, too.
And it looks like this: