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The Hat

by Zettel 

Posted: 01 February 2008
Word Count: 284

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Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

The Hat

All my life I’ve wanted a hat
I tried them all, big and small
black and white, round or flat
cheap or dear, I felt they all
just made me look a total prat
If pride comes before a big fall
maybe I shouldn’t blame the hat

Left field thinking, out of the box
I decided to ask for one as gift
instead of boring half-priced black socks
I asked for a titfer to give me a lift
my kids would get me a cool lid that rocks
was my smart thinking if you get my drift

So with Santa on board and suitably primed
This last Christmas past, he did his bit
Christmas morning beautifully timed
I unwrapped this oh so cool bit of kit
Battered, rumpled and a little bit grimed
Instead of a prat I looked like a tit

But what you see is just what you get
so I decided that I’d push my luck
and live with an image you can’t forget
gathering up my intestinal pluck
I’d make like a cowboy without a regret
Or an inter-state driver who’s misplaced his truck

In my fantasy I’m a cool Jimmy Dean
or a cheap Paul Newman down on his luck
a Suffolk cowboy without a bean
who though he may look like a real dying duck
comfortably rounded and not lean or mean
is a rebel who don’t give a real flying fuck

One thing from all this is that
Wayne and Eastwood were not walking tall
ramrod-backed heroes primed for combat
when gunslingers’ threats they would call
they were simply trying to keep on their hat
not being rough tough or cool. Not cool at all

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Comments by other Members

Mickey at 13:53 on 01 February 2008  Report this post
Hi Zettel,
I like this - the form's very catchy although I've no idea if it's some recognised format (is it?) What kinda hat did you end up with? Are you one of those people who walk round pretending to be an Australian sheep farmer in those leather cowboy hats and Drizabone coats? Great poem.

joanie at 23:22 on 01 February 2008  Report this post
Mmmm.... hats are very ......... what? I don't know, really. A stetson, a hoodie, a trilby, a panama, a baseball cap, a (the knitted ones which often have a sports logo on them and I don't know what you would call them)........ they all paint a picture, set the scene...

Does a hat change one's personality? I'm going to a wedding in July; should I wear a hat?? See! you've got me thinking. That's good!

The Hat - very thought-provoking!


PS I like all the rhymes too.

Zettel at 13:06 on 02 February 2008  Report this post
Mike - I think the format is technically known as doggerel.

Joanie - there is only one mystery more abstruse and arcane than a woman and her wedding hat - it is what in God's name is so special about shoes?

Thanks both - it is in fact a 'cowboy' hat and it disproves the old saying that if you want meet people you should buy a dog. Just get a hat. Mind you the ocnversations may be a bit more wide-ranging....even personal.

Perhaps I should have taken heed of a warning I heard this week:

"you should never wear a hat that's cooler than you are"

just so

thanks for the comments


James Graham at 16:25 on 05 February 2008  Report this post
You describe your verse form here as ‘doggerel’ - well, if it is, it’s lively doggerel. I especially like the double dose of youth-speak in ‘a cool lid that rocks/ was my smart thinking’, which manages to sound just like an old-timer doing his best to use all the youth idioms he knows in one sentence. My only reference point for this language is my 16-year-old grandson, who uses all these expressions though maybe not all in one breath. I don’t recall him calling a hat a ‘lid’, though, but then the only headgear he ever wears is a mountain bike helmet which is much too noble to be a mere ‘lid’.

It may seem a bit solemn to suggest a revision what is really just a fun poem, but your very last sentence ‘No, not at all’ is something of a dead phrase tagged on for the rhyme. ‘Not cool at all’ would beef it up quite a bit, linking the poem’s final shot to what has gone before.


V`yonne at 17:42 on 05 February 2008  Report this post
Or maybe something to the effect that they are two sad old farts in hats too, not cool at all.

I found that really amusing and the very indecision about what accessories to buy as we age... I don't think I was ever with-it, hip, fab, in the groove, out there,man, or anything so I'm surely not cool.

Last hat I bought a pupil said said, "Are you going to wear that, Miss.....out?"

So what? I did. I do!!!

Zettel at 10:13 on 06 February 2008  Report this post
James - good tip. Done. Ta.

Oonah - love the '.....' the kid has timing! (Or you do)

On kids and language - my review of the new film Juno picks up on this.

My wife sometimes does supply teaching in a tough Primary school. The kids are pretty...well direct. One lad, one of the naughtiest, they always seem to like her best, she got to know and like he's was about 8 at the time.. as they approached in the corridor,,doing all the right 'rap' hand and finger moments greeted her with...

"Yo bitch!"

No malice or nastiness but of course she had to indicate to him that maybe this was at least a greeting a touch unconventional as a greeting for a middled aged teacher. But the image always makes me laugh.



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