On the Considerable Anxiety of Purchasing a New Hat

A photo of the author, his loins barely covered.

The Beginning Part, In Which the Author Loses His Hat
The first leg of the author’s present Journey Eastward necessitated that that same author, along with his wife, make a trip via bus from Madison, WI, to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. This is no problem in itself: provided one has enough in the way of internet podcasts downloaded to his informationPhone, the ride is mostly-to-entirely bearable.

This particular trip skewed decidedly harrowing, however, owing to how the author, in his haste to account for the most essential elements of the Journey — baggage, tickets, wife — while alighting from the aforementioned omnibus, accidentally left behind his well-worn Milwaukee Brewers cap.

A Note on the Cap in Question
You can ask anyone: the Brewers cap in question was the very picture of Excellence in Men’s Headwear. It first called to the author from a vendor’s shelf at Miller Park, not unlike how the sex-nymph Calypso called to Odysseus from the sex-island of Ogygia — except that, instead of detaining him for several years from wife and child by dint of unabated lovemaking, the author’s hat merely sat atop his head and didn’t bother anyone.

In most ways that matter the hat in question was not unlike American wordsmith Walt Whitman, in that it both (a) represented the very best of what is possible in this life and (b) wasn’t allowed in nice restaurants, owing to some combination of its appearance and smell.

Regarding the Disposition of the Author
One might suppose that the author was in shambles, or least something close to shambles, in the wake of this hat-losing episode. The “one” in question, however, likely does not have a wife of gloomy Lutheran origin. For, as soon as the bus had sped away towards the next terminal and the author announced his findings so far as hat-losing was concerned, the author’s wife immediately took the position that this most grievous of losses was her fault and all her fault — and confirmed everything she suspected about the nature of life (that it’s miserable) and her own shortcomings (that they’re ubiquitous).

As brave men do, the author immediately endeavored to rescue his bride from the depths by reminding her of the birds singing in the trees and all that sort of thing. As a result, his own grief was put aside for the betterment of everything.

Regarding the Author, What He Resolved
What the author resolved, not long after accidentally donating his hat to the Van Galder Bus Company, was that, this being Thursday, he would wait till the next Monday, on which day he and his wife had plans to attend an Orleans-Chatham Cape League game in Orleans, MA. There, at Eldredge Park, he would buy an Orleans Firebirds cap as a replacement.

Regarding the Author, How He Suffered
Literate man has long pointed to Prometheus — who, each day, had his liver eaten by an eagle, only to have it grow back overnight and have it eaten again the next day by this same malevolent and liver-hungry eagle — literate man has long pointed to this Promethean suffering as the sort of Platonic ideal of what suffering could be. And, indeed, the daily removal of one’s liver via eagle isn’t a way to go through life.

That said, while traversing Cambridge and environs sans hat, the author was forced frequently to shield his eyes from the sun. Furthermore, he found that without his hat to flatten it, his hair often became rather poofy after showering — not unlike the fur of a baby chick. It goes without saying that these twin grievances aggrieved the author considerably, and not entirely un-Prometheanly.

Regarding the Purchase of a New Hat
Monday night, as planned, the author purchased a new hat — a fitted (7 3/8) and very red Orleans Firebirds hat, specifically.

Regarding the Hat, The Author’s First Impression of It
That it’s too big. (But that the next size down, 7 1/4, would have been too small.)

Regarding the Hat, Another Impression of It
That it’s too red. (But that the other colors available were all too that-color, as well.)

Regarding the Hat, A Third Impression of It
That the front part is too high. (And makes the author’s face look sillier than it normally does.)

Regarding the Author’s Hopes for the World, What They’ve Done
Plummeted dangerously.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

17 Responses to “On the Considerable Anxiety of Purchasing a New Hat”

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  1. Kyle says:

    I know this anxiety well. I swear every single New Era hat I buy is just MASSIVE on the front part. I’ve been known to purposefully wet said part and then run it under a hair dryer in a (mostly) futile attempt to shrink the big, high front part down to a manageable and less embarrassing size. Life is terrible. Silver lining: The circumference of the hat, that shit will indeed shrink over perspiration/time. And you can always just grow more hair.

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    • WilJ says:

      They (being New Era) actually make a hat with a smaller front. It’s called a “low crown” hat, that way you don’t look like Tom Glavine everytime you put your cap on.

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  2. StFriebe says:

    Trust a veteran mad hatter: wear it in the rain. Not only will moisture (and its subsequent evaporation) shrink the band itself, but will also cause the front panel to collapse a bit. IPlease note, it will NOT EVER look straight-off-the-shelf again, but it will look far better on your head.

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  3. Sam says:

    StFriebe is most correct, get that sucker wet and wear it as it dries out. The result will exalt your merely average fitting hat to a position near that of the Dodgers hat Benny wore in Sandlot.

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  4. I, for one, have bore witness to the lost Brewers hat. As it resembles, in both coloring and odor, the underpants of a homeless person, I surmise the aforementioned wife lost the hat with purpose. She then made you believe it was an accident as wives are both (a) sneaky, and (b) the worst.

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  5. dave says:

    Love this. Also I’ve noticed that it’s not uncommon for commenters on Carson’s writing to basically mimic his style/voice. Just an observation more than anything I suppose. Sorry for your loss Carson. Keep up the good work.

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  6. Just promise me you will be an upstanding gentleman and remove the sticker.

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  7. Big Jgke says:

    Pictures or GTFO

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  8. Joe says:

    A reccomendation – try the New Era Low Crown. It’s not available in all of New Era’s hat styles for some reason, but for those that it is, with apologies to Johnny Caspar of Miller’s Crossing, it effectively limits the “high hat.”

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  9. poopchute says:

    you are a brave man for referring to your wife’s shortcomings as “ubiquitous” on the world wide web. a braver man than I.

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  10. Hugh Briss says:

    If the gentleman’s hat remains too much chef-like in the front, one could always donate it to Joe Blanton who can don a billboard on his head and still reman fashion forward.

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  11. deadhead says:

    The real question here is… why are you flying out of Chicago and taking the Van Galder? Fly from Milwaukee. It’s usually cheaper to fly from MKE, if you were to park your car at the airport in MKE it woul be cheaper than two round trip Van Galder tickets. And the hassle of O’Hare is much greater.

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    • Illinois glass M. Michael Sheets says:

      But O’Hare does allow you to walk around the entire airport with your glass of overpriced beverage. It may be a hassle, but it’s a hassle with a beverage in hand.

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  12. Pinstripe Wizard says:

    I can understand the pain and frustration of losing a perfectly fitting hat. Once upon a time, I had a hat upon which was the logo of my alma mater. I loved this hat, and it loved me back. It fit gorgeously upon my head, and I firmly believe it gave me the look of extreme importance. This hat had the perfect amount of fadedness to it that is truly irreplaceable. Sadly, this hat was accidentally left at a former girlfriend’s house, and it was unceremoniously shredded by a demonic poodle. I weep for your loss.

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  13. John Gaines says:

    Poofy non-hat hair is no good. I would recomend applying less shampoo until you find yourself back in a more stable cap situation.

    Also, it’s important to keep in mind that new era baseball caps have a rather lengthy and awkward breaking in process. But if you can make it through the ill fitting conductor hat phase, you’ll usually find yourself with a pretty good hat. Though you may need to find a team with a better color scheme..

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  14. jason says:

    prometheus was a heavy drinker, so while having his liver eaten was horrendous, its what most likely helped mask his alcoholism

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  15. yolo says:

    Still one of the best notgraphs posts this year. Thank you for all the hard work this year guys.

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