Saturday, September 30, 2006

A New Hat

A few weeks ago I was in Eckerd picking up some pictures my wife had gotten developed. While standing at the counter, trying to figure out what in the world could consume 7 rolls of film, my eyes wandered to a new (to me) rack standing in front of the electronics. It was filled with Tucker stuff: bumper stickers, signs, t-shirts, and baseball caps.

Now, a) I love baseball caps. I wear them whenever I can, which, since my wife does not like baseball caps (on me at least), means I wear them whenever my wife lets me. This comes out to about once every two days or so. And b) we've lived in Tucker for about 8 years now. We're in our third house here, and I thought it might be time to show a little civic pride. So I bought the hat.

It's maroon, with "Tucker, GA" in gold lettering. Not my colors, but apparently they are the colors for Tucker High School (more on that later). Nonetheless, I bought the hat and wore it home.

I was about due for a new hat. My old everyday hat was a navy blue one with a small, tasteful Walt Disney World patch on the front. Very nice, but repeated washing has begun to fray the front edge of the bill, lending a certain Abercrombie & Fitch/redneck quality to it.

My "nicer" hat was (and remains) another navy blue one with a red embroidered crawfish on the front. My wife bought it for me the last time we were in New Orleans (about two years ago and pre-Katrina).

Before each of these, my everyday hat was a navy blue American Eagle fitted cap (L/XL) that I "borrowed" from my brother-in-law a few years ago when I was stranded, hatless, up at my inlaws one weekend.

Sense a pattern here? This must be my blue period. Before this, I had several tan/khaki caps, including a tan American Eagle cap with a little American flag that I wore to all 4 boys' births.

I can remember all of these because they are all on my office floor right now, awaiting a tasteful set of hooks (except The Birth Hat, which is awaiting a shadow box). I love my hats.

Including my Tucker hat, which is actually across the house, in my bedroom, in a sort of limbo status after the second disturbing episode. You see, this hat has been to Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida in the short while since it was purchased. Thousands of miles traveled with no incident whatsoever.

But the first week I bought it I was in our local hardware store (the Handy Ace, where people actually answer your questions and help you find stuff), and a nice man was showing me around the pocket knives (Timothy is a Bear Cub this year, and whittling is one of his tasks). In the middle of a discussion about locking blade knives vs. non-locking, he looked at my head and said, out of the blue, "Them boys was lucky."

Huh? Is this some sort of hardware store code? Was there a major Cub Scouting knife accident that I had missed? Since he was no longer looking at me, I muttered something non-committal. I literally may have said, "hmlfm." I was lost.

Then he said, in what I later learned was a question, "How do you think they'll do this year?" Then it hit. He was talking about football, specifically Tucker High football. I had no idea. Had they even started playing yet? I supposed they had, and I quickly inferred that they had recently squeaked out a victory. Processing this new information, I said something along the lines of, "Oh, I don't know. I haven't gotten to a game yet." Which was a true statement, although the implication of football awareness may have been misleading. I didn't care, I wanted to browse pocket knives without looking like a total fool.

So my hat is a Tucker High School hat, and it seems to broadcast awareness of, interest in, and support for the Tucker High School football team. This can be bad. Not that I don't like the team. Or support my town. But I have no idea what's going on over there. My kids are in grade school. I'd like to take them to see a game or two (especially Stephen, who seems to like football and would probably love to watch a live game). But I don't want to be party to false advertising.

The second disquieting incident came just the other day at Home Depot. While we were on vacation, someone (maybe me, maybe one of the boys, I don't want to point fingers) left one of the doors to my car open, and the battery died. When we returned home, we discovered that we did not own a set of jumper cables. At least not a pair that we could find in either the garage, the cars, the shed, the attic, my office, the kitchen cabinets, or the boys' closets. So I went to buy some early Thursday morning.

While in Home Depot, a very nice guy actually helped me find the jumper cables. It may have been because I was the only customer in the store. Regardless, as I was leaving the guy asked, "Are you with Tucker High?" Great. Now people think I work there. Please don't ask me about sports. I said, "No, sorry. It's just a hat."

So now I have this hat, which I like, and that I can wear safely anywhere else but in my own town. At least in the hardware stores. But hardware stores are pretty much the only places I go when I leave the house (okay, I go to church, but I don't wear hats there; okay, not to Sunday morning worship).

So I may need a new hat. Preferably a non-affiliated one.


At 8:53 PM, Blogger Dignan said...

I can't believe you bought a redneck Tucker High School hat!?!?! You should have asked me and I would have warned you not to. Why not just get a Skoal hat while you are at it?

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous kilsan said...

I can't really argue w/ Dignan on that one.

Maybe the hat will imbue you with the mystical ability to recite the stats of any Tucker high school sports team if you wear it long enough?

Enh, probably not. Get another hat. Actually, you can get a really nifty one at Just do a search on "eric barnhart." it's a great quality hat with a cool logo, and you'd have absolutely zero fear of anyone knowing who the heck the logo refers to! :)

At 7:26 PM, Anonymous kilsan said...

oops! i mean


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