Many people ask me why I'm so inclined to wear hats. It's usually after they take my hat and start trying it on for themselves, wanting to be a [person] with a hat, just like me. Everyone has to try it on, run to a mirror, giggle, and insist on wearing it for the rest of the evening, despite the sweat that has soaked into it, turning the beige straw into something more brownish or dirt colored. But they don't care - I guess that's just the price for being as bad as me. But here I've come now, reviving the old blog, to answer that age old question of my jealous beer drinking brethren, or of my curious students, or of the occasional passerby who gives me an awkward glance. Why do I wear a hat?
|What coolness the accordion doesn't provide, the hat does|
There are many reasons for my covering my head with something so cool and stylish like a broad rimmed straw fedora or a narrow rimmed trilby. And not numbering among the reasons is that I'm bald. Because I'm not bald. Though many people, after uncovering my crown, gasp in shock at my full head of hair - my hair is so thick that when I grow it out, which I never do, I can be a proud bearer of a whi-fro, rivaling any of the funkiest black brothers from the 70s in my follicles' denial of Newtonian physics. So now that I've got that out of the way, might I continue.
Despite how fashionable my headpieces are, the real reason that I wear hats all the time is to guard myself from the near constant bombardment of feces that befalls me when I walk outside. One week, back in Denver, I was literally shat on by a pigeon every day of the week. I don't know whether it were a singular pigeon who found my cranium to be so tempting and hateful a spot or whether it was a whole flock of those scumsucking loungers of city statues that were playing some sort of fierce-some and cruel avian joke. But after that week, I vowed two things: to always wear hats and to always hate pigeons. I am somewhat often lax on the latter, but on the former I still head on strong.
2. The sun
This should go without saying. I have sensitive eyes that are prone to aching and causing headaches if light is bothering them too much. So sunglasses and hats seem to be an easy solution for that. When it is sunny outside, only a fool doesn't have something to shade his eyes. I am not a fool, though I do seem to be surrounded by such. People look at me funny for wearing a hat, but I return that look - "Why aren't you wearing a hat?" Why, if the sun were in their eyes, and also it's probably a high possibility that other pigeons are shit-stalking them as well, indeed, what kind of fools am I surrounded by? Of course, this is a good reason to wear a hat during the day, so for the night, I still refer to reason number 1.
3. Bank robbing
A hat is a good disguise. When you always wear a hat, you become known as "the guy with the hat." People recognize the hat - they don't really recognize you. When they see your hat in the bar, they know that you are there. When you don't have a hat on, it's like you've turned invisible. I've noticed this at several places of work where I have to pass through a security detail. On days I wear the hat - no problem, "go on through, sir." I don't even need an idea. But on days without a hat, there's always a full on body search.
Additionally, and certainly more forward thinking, becoming known as the "hat guy" will be of massive advantage to me when I do start up my time as a career bank robber. All the security, police men and journalists will be focusing on my hat - and my beard for that matter. And what would be a better disguise than to ditch the hat, shave and throw on some glasses? Nobody would know me then. Except for maybe the pigeons.
I live in Tbilisi. It's possible that 98% of the people above the age of 12 smoke cigarettes. It's akin to the 1960s in the USA, except now they know without a matter of doubt that cigarettes leave your lungs to look like moldy, spoiled apples, soft and mushy to the touch, left in the sun for a year, with maggots breeding and dancing in the saucy leftovers.
But anyway, these things are besides the point. The point is that everyone smokes. And if you manage to meet a Georgian who doesn't smoke, it's likely a woman who's lying to you and smokes in the kitchen, too scared of all the shame that accompanies the smoking of a woman. As we know from experience in the States, women who smoke are all loose and evil and devoid of morality, unfit to be mothers and are not good Christian women. Or something. But again, I digress.
Tbilisi, along with being a city of walking chimney stacks, is also a city of mid- and high-rises and people who don't give a shit about each other. People stand on the balconies, looking at the other gray towers surrounding them, wishing for a life in Europe - but a Europe preferably without the gay people - and smoking cigarettes. When they're done smoking, they fling the cigarette off the balcony, letting that red ember fall and fall into oblivion - onto the street really, but their attention has worn off by that time. And herein lies my last reason. Every time I walk near a mid- or high-rise, I see one cigarette falling in front of me, to the side of me, or have one bouncing off my hat. If I didn't wear a hat, I don't know just how many cigarette holes I'd have burned into my skull, like the victim of a mad scientist performing test lobotomies.
So there is a non-exlusive list of three reasons why I wear hats. There are some I'm not mentioning, like their amazing sex appeal - especially now that I'm a taken man, sorry ladies - and there's also the fact that I usually stash weapons, prophylactics and bribe money under the hood - just in case. Or maybe I don't.