On the wearing of baseball caps

Filed under: US tour 2009 — iain @ 16:37:18

I’ve always believed that I was physically incapable of wearing a baseball cap. I was never really sure why but I knew that somehow, somewhere, something was preventing me from donning that particular type of headgear.

Maybe it was because my head was the wrong shape. Maybe it was because I wasn’t American. Maybe it was because deep down I believed that baseball caps weren’t real hats. Maybe it was solar flares. Whatever the reason, I could never get one of the accursed things to fit properly.

People skilled in the art of baseball cap wearing always make it seem so effortless. The cap fits perfectly on the head. It has a lived-in look. It looks right. On me a cap looks all wrong. It’s too big. Or too small. It makes me look like a nerd. A nerd in a dumb cap.

I figured that if I wore a baseball cap for long enough it would adjust itself to the shape of my bonce and develop that lived-in look of its own accord. Which is all well and good but while waiting for that to happen I would still look like a nerd in a dumb cap. Like the growth of a beard – or the metamorphosis into a butterfly – the wearing-in of a cap is a process best performed out of sight of prying eyes. Thus it was that I preferred to wear other hats, or none at all, rather than exhibit the ghastly transformation for all the world to see.

It took a visit to the Circleville Pumpkin Show in Circleville, Ohio to show me the error of my ways. One cannot go to a pumpkin show and gaze upon 500kg+ pumpkins without buying a souvenir for one’s family. It isn’t the done thing. At least I don’t think it is, having never before or since attended a pumpkin show or gazed upon a monster pumpkin in Circleville or anywhere. The souvenir I chose to buy was a baseball cap with a disturbingly elegantly-stitched Circleville Pumpkin Show logo. Rather than carry it around with me I decided it would be more efficient to wear the cap for the rest of the day.

And it fit. Turns out that if you get one that’s the right size it will look better. Why didn’t I think of it before? Perhaps because [see list of reasons cited earlier]…

Emboldened, I purchased, on my return to Phoenix, a Yankees cap with which to watch the World Series at the hotel bar. I could have nailed my colours to the Phillies’ mast but there were already some guests in full Phillies attire and some balance was in order. It was a proper fitted cap too, not an adjustable one which my American acquaintances informed me really were not real hats. Not only did it fit but after I stood under the shower in it a few times it even accelerated the fitting-to-head process. And then the Yankees went on to win the Series. Result.

Imagine my dismay, then, to return home to Cambridge and find that Yankees merchandise had suddenly (or maybe gradually and I only just noticed) become the fashion accessories of choice for the chavs of the area. Having finally figured out how to wear baseball caps I now find myself looking like an undesirable. At least I still have my NRA cap. You don’t see many of those around town.

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