I have a not so dirty little secret. I assume you know the stereotypical axiom that women love shoes. I will try Not to be offensive in saying that Some persons of the female persuasion supposedly have more than one or two pairs of shoes. Or so I have heard. Shoes are not particularly my thing. I do have more than two pairs of shoes in my closet. I have work boots for heavy work and hunting to protect my feet. I have “Sunday-Go-to-Meetin’ ” dress shoes. I have a pair of shoes particularly for wearing to the hospital where I work. I do not have a pair for every occasion. This is not my little vice. I’m afraid my little clothing collection is something else. No, I do not wear women’s clothing. I happen to like caps. Not cowboy hats, I grew up in the wrong part of the country for that. I mean ball caps.
I have a feeling that this is not unique among rural men. It can express itself in several ways. Some guys have one favorite cap that they wear everywhere and all the time. Some men have a favorite cap that they hang on the deer antlers in the hallway and never allow anyone else to touch. I have more than a few caps commemorating various things and I pick and choose which one to wear depending on various factors ranging from weather to environment to time of year.
I have the cap from the company that made my storage building. I have at least four caps from the school my kids went to with the school mascot on them. I have at least 5 different caps from my College Days. Some of these have the current mascot, One has the logo that got ditched about 25 years ago. Some have the college initials on them, One has the current logo and is “camo” to boot. One has the old name of the College of Agriculture which has now changed to the “College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources”. You can’t get that old hat anymore. I have an old “brockabrella” somewhere. I have one with a propeller on top. I had a cowboy hat but it got too worn out and I lost it when we moved. I have a “Sunday-go-to-Meetin’ ” hat. I have a mad bomber hat for when it is cold outside. I used to have a GREAT corduroy hat for cold weather but my wife was so disgusted by the lack of esthetics I showed when I wore it that I think she threw it away.
Bandana Barbecue is a local eatery chain that has a sign about thirty things cowboys can do with their bandanas. The same thing applies to a farmer’s cap. The most basic function is to protect your head. I no longer have as much hair on top of my head so I have learned the hard way that I need a cap so I don’t sunburn my dome. It also keeps the sweat out of your eyes. It cushions your head when you bang it on a low hanging rafter in the barn. It keeps the dust out of your hair when driving down a dirt road. It keeps feed out of your hair when getting feed for the cows. It keeps cob-webs out of your hair when crawling around under the house running wires. It can commemorate anything from where you have been on vacation to where you work to where you buy your feed. A cap is a flag for waving at the neighbors when they drive by or a pointer to show people where to park at the family re-union. I can put blackberries, mulberries, strawberries, eggs, or baby rabbits in it. I can take it off and scratch my head when I am stalling answering a question. I can throw it down and stomp on it instead of standing there and having a stroke when I am mad. I can throw it in the air when I graduate or want to celebrate my team winning the big game. ( I have to be careful here. Throwing my cap in the air is a good way to lose it in a crowd.) I can use it to mark where I found a calf in the field or where the deer ran into the woods after I shot at it. I can cover my eyes with it when I nap. I can put it on my Grand-daughter’s heads so they look as cute as it is humanly possible for a human to look.
These are just a few of the multitudinous helpful things a cap can do. Simple things have to multi-task when you live out in the country where you can’t just drive down to Wal-mart on a whim and pick up a doo-dad. Microsoft software did not invent that process. Let me know what your favorite cap looks like. I have a feeling I am not the only person with this not so dirty little secret.