02 January 2014

Size: Small

So I put on a funny little wool cap, made in Ireland. “Made in the shadow of the famous church in Cork,” the ancient label told me. I knew it was ancient because it was yellowed. Funny, really, how yellowed things look old. My uncle Bert was like that. Each individual part of his body, as it aged, turned yellow. First his fingertips, then his teeth, then his hair. Eventually his skin followed after. In retrospect, it may have had something to do with his five-pack-a-day habit and his six martini lunches. Who knows?

So the funny little cap is perched on my head, and it is just a little too tight for me. My wife says it looks good, but I am not too sure about that. She asked me if it helps me write, and I am not too sure about that, either. I am conscious of the fact that certain memories from previous wearers of this ancient cap are starting to wind their way into my synapses and likely will start to pour out into what ever it is that I happen to be writing. Luckily I am able to sort them out into different bins in my brain so that I do not get them confused with my own.

I just hate it when someone else's memories get intertwined with my own. It is kind of like when I was making that skillet full of colcannon over a peat fire last spring. Had I not been half in the bag from all the damn whiskey, I suppose the idea of introducing a wee bit of red potato into the mix would have seemed less reasonable. But there you are.

Hmm. That seems to have come out of nowhere. I have no idea what colcannon is, and I have never cooked over a peat fire. And furthermore, you all know where I stand on spirits. I stick with the clear variety, and let my brother Pat handle the whiskeys of all sorts.

Anywhow, the hat is warm and stylish, to say the least, even if it is a little too tight and beginning to cut off circulation to the top of my head. Might it impair the growth of hair on my scalp? I once had a barber (Steve was his name – he had to have gone a little over 20 stone, and he wore his trousers too tight and too short. It would scare passing neighborhood children.) who told me that the surest way to make yourself go bald was to wear tight hats and drink too much ditto fluid. A recipe for disaster, as they say in the welder's union.

My, but this hat is snappy. It reminds me of my old friend, Hugh (not his real name, so as to protect his innocence). Hugh lived in a city that shall remain nameless (so as to protect his innocence), and was slowly removing stones from a nearby abbey and creating a lovely grotto in his garden. It, too, was snappy, and it had already been graced with a visit from the Blessed Virgin Mary. One night after a long day of mortaring several dozen ill-gotten stones into place, Hugh was relaxing with a large tumbler full of his favorite whiskey and three or four Vicodin tablets. Lifting his head out of a big bucket of “Ready-Grotto Mortar Mix,” Hugh looked upon what he first thought to be his next door neighbor's wife, Triona. “Triona,” he said, raising his wobbly head, “sure'n yeh got a luffly jumper on, yeh do.”

The Blessed Virgin Mary told him to pray for peace, but Hugh never heard her say that, as he had passed out again and went face first into the Ready-Grotto. Mary rolled him out of it and made sure he was breathing freely before she got on her way back to Medjugorje. She was expected there and could not be held up by drunken grotto-makers.

Having now doffed my snappy woolen cap, I realize that I am about out of time, and I hope that this passionate little love story that I have told you was to your liking. Charles and Mindy lived happily ever after, and their drive-in hardware store was a great hit, bring them fame as well as income.

The end.