Friday, May 22, 2009

All Hat

Driving in the middle of the day on Wednesday, I passed a fellow in an electric blue Miata convertible with the top down, wearing a large hat. The fellow, not the car. Actually I knew the driver, not that I waved or gave any sign of recognition, though the 'You're #1 with me' gesture did come to mind.

I'd worked with the man a really long time, and I suspect neither of us recall that period with any warmth or fondness. He had the Miata then, when it was a new and cute little car that sort of reminded fossils like me of a classic Lotus without all kinds of pieces falling off every time you drove it someplace. (For over a century the sun never set on the British Empire and for many years the same was true of British Leyland Motors. The same nation that built Lancasters and Spitfires to thwart Hitler and his Horde for the ages cranked out Austin Metros and Triumph TR7's with little thought of tomorrow). From the two seconds I saw it, the years haven't been kind to either of them-and between us, he had far less to lose to start with.

Anyway. What had caught my eye was, on a beautiful day (and it was and we deserve as many in a row as we can get for as long as we can have them), he had the top down, to catch the rays (I'll assume). Except, he had a large hat on in the car, behind the wheel. To me, that defeats the whole purpose of having the top down. If you wear a hat in a car with the top down, it should be the law you must also shower while wearing a raincoat. I'm sorry, some rules are needed here. What is the point, otherwise, of having a car with a convertible top?

If you have a sensitivity to the sun, put the top down only at night or when the car is in a garage; leave the top up when you're driving outdoors (and when you're driving indoors and the indoors is a car wash) or just sell the car and buy one with a permanent roof (We have a name for a car whose roof can be lowered or removed, a 'convertible.' What should we call a car whose roof does NO tricks at all and why doesn't that car deserve a name?). Or in this guy's case, lose the hat that covers your scalp and get one big enough to cover your head. Keep America Beautiful, bozo (and if it's of any solace, that's NOT what I started to type).
-bill kenny

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