I filled up with fuel this morning (early morning jaunt to
No caps? No hoods? And is that together or either/or? And why not? After all garage forecourts are invariably the windiest places on earth. Why shouldn’t I protect my ears with a hood, or, cap, or a Stetson for that matter? If I put on my Stetson (not that I have one) and pulled it low over my eyes would I be refused petrol? And on what grounds? Are hats as dangerous as mobile phones are to petrol pumps, (which isn’t dangerous at all), and just what about that eating thing?
This is blatant Hatism.
I stood at the pump, nozzle in hand, remembering my grandfather who (when he was living) wouldn’t have been seen dead at a petrol pump without his cap, or anywhere else outdoors for that matter. He was never to be seen without a sensible flat tweed cap, at a nice jaunty angle, on the top of his flat tweed head - unless of course he was driving a sensible steam engine in which case he would wear a sensible dark blue denim engineman’s cap.
And what about my uncle Len who always wore his duffel coat in the winter – Hood turned up over his head all monklike! Well, it’s blooming cold for a milkman at four in the morning. Would he really be expected not to wear the coat’s hood when he was filling up his milk float? (not that he would have needed to as it was powered by 24 car batteries).
And what about our postmen and policemen, nuns and beekeepers, brides and bridegrooms, soldiers on home leave, sailors on shore leave, mortarboarded teachers on continual leave, and those men who deal with radiation leaks in science fiction films from the 1950’s? Will they all be expected to take their hats off before filling up too?
Time was when everyone used to wear a hat, or a cap, or a headscarf, outside. So what changed and just what did happen to all those hats?
I remember a high street full of hats, not everybody wore one, but Dr Beer wore a Fedora, Steve Cummersby a Trilby, an awful lot of men wore flat caps, and it wasn’t unusual to see the odd bowler – especially on market days with the farming folk were in town. For years I wore a school cap, and most mothers seemed to wear headscarves most of the time. Nearly all of the older ladies wore hats (mostly shapeless) for shopping, and no self-respecting woman would be seen at a wedding unless she was sporting some whimsical head creation made from feathers, flowers, and a little lace bow.
It seems, if I remember correctly, that all this started to disappear around the time of the Beatles. Up until ‘The Fab Four’ came along everyone had worn hats all, of the time, for hundreds of years! Perhaps it really was ‘Hats off to Larry’. (Google it)
Recently I’ve noticed a lot of younger people have started to wear hats again. Well, when I say hats I mean a collection of various tea cosy type things, mountaineering gear, strange dead animal affairs with ear muffs, and of course the inevitable hoody hoods from down da hood, blud, hoods. Problem is most of the time they seem to be wearing them indoors, hardly the done thing for a chap. Whilst baseball caps, all the rage a few years back with both youngsters and politicians alike, now seem to be the headwear of choice for sixty-something men who accessorise them with trainers.
So, you can’t wear a hat at the petrol pumps because the cameras won’t be able to record your face. How like Big Brother to introduce a ban on hats. What will it be next I wonder?
I wonder how the invisible man will get on in this new hatless society. Even without his headgear the cameras aren’t going to be able to see him. Perhaps we should start wearing bandages when we fill up at the pumps.