As an author and humorist, Reid Champagne is known for his absurd & sophomoric observations of everyday life. While the story of how Reid met wife Carol (after being widowed late in life) is so sweet it belongs on Hallmark, his family would argue his inept & smart-ass tendencies belong on a 2020 reboot of Grumpier Old Men.
Goldilocks and the three hats…
There was that day in my living room, when I was clipping my toenails, and one of them catapulted into the air and hit me right dead center of the bald spot on top of my head. Prior to that, I had had no idea that the curvature of a toenail (my big toe toenail does resemble the aerodynamics of a boomerang) could produce such a perfect bend-it-like Beckham trajectory when clipped. (Okay, too much exposition?)
Anyway, when I recalled the incident recently in a Facebook memory, one reader (following, no doubt, a slight dry-heave) suggested that is why I became a hat person. Works for me.
Before leaving for Italy, Carol had examined my current inventory of chapeaus (chapeaux?), and subtly suggested (in that special understated way of hers): “You’re getting a new hat when we land.”
This one is too small
Fortunately, Carol manages my selection of haberdashery in the same way she manages my hotel accommodations, so something smart and snappy was assured. At least for the first one. She likes the “newsboy” or “flat cap” look, as do I. That purchase in Florence permitted me to retire my older version, at least until, in Carol’s words, “it can be dry cleaned and then limited to be worn around the house.”
But in choosing the flat cap, my eye fell upon a jaunty straw fedora that, as a fashion statement, would say: “Now, there goes a man who needs a short leash.”
With that, I thought I was done. Two purchases are precisely two more than I normally make at any time, as is the rarity of buying anything that had not been previously worn and then donated.
This one is too big
This one is just … well, ask Carol about it
Then came the little black porkpie I spotted in a tiny shop in Orvieto. The porkpie was the original object of my affections for this Italian trip. In films in which it had appeared (Uncle Buck, A Bronx Tale), it held for me the image of hipster. On my head, it transformed into the perfect hipster-doofus angle I was looking for. Turned out that was the exact image for me Carol was not looking for. “It’s something I could see myself buried in,” I offered. Carol allowed she had not considered that eventuality. “As long as it’s closed coffin,” she ultimately relented. That was fine with me.
So I’m now the proud owner of six sartorial toppers (not including my Cubs bucket hat, which Carol acknowledges only in the past tense. I’m on a new mission now to acquire a total of ten.
One for each toenail.
Our Italian trip yielded three new lids, more new accessories than I’ve ever owned at one time. Carol mistakenly believes I’m trending away from second-hand thrift stores, which I’m most certainly not, since it’s time to begin updating my cabana wear. And now I can plan on showing up at the beach or the pool outfitted in a way guaranteed to have ‘em all gawking and asking, “Where’s his nurse?”