Saturday, September 26, 2009

Birthday Hat

My younger son presented me with a new hat for my birthday. This excellent hat (first photo), an Australian safari hat of brown wax cotton, completes my image and declares to the world that I am a rugged adventurer. No longer will I disguise myself as a hick in a rumpled straw hat.

Consider it vanity if you like, but I consider myself quite dashing in my new hat. Look at those steely eyes under that brim. Look at that firm jaw. My face is taut and unlined, though I admit a bit sallow. Why, I could pass for a man in his late forties. Hats off to me! I am like a modern-day version of Will Honeycomb, as described by Richard Steele in The Spectator (essay No. 2, March 6th 1711):

We have among us the gallant WILL HONEYCOMB, a Gentleman who, according to his Years, should be in the Decline of his Life, but having ever been very careful of his Person, and always had a very easy Fortune, Time has made but very little Impression, either by Wrinkles on his Forehead, or Traces in his Brain. His Person is well turned, and of a good Height. He is very ready with that sort of Discourse with which Men usually entertain Women. He has all his Life dressed very well, and remembers Habits as others do Men. He can smile when one speaks to him, and laughs easily.