Hats Halfway to Heaven

Tell me you’re old without telling me you’re old.

Quote for the day

“If you stare at a pig for long enough, you’ll know the sedatives are wearing off.” A toothless beanpole attempting star jumps in the alleyway on the way to Wilkos and New Look.


I dunno kidder; it seems the older a bloke gets, the further up his head the woolly hat has to sit. You don’t really get that with the elderly woman: their hair remains well done, windswept, and woebegone, or maybe I’m missing the regression.

It happened the other day. As I was dodging the little sprats halfway around Silverstone with their kiddy trollies, I saw one of our peculiar specimen. The old boy still had his bicycle clamps round corduroys tucked into socks, and perched on his head like a garden gnome, said woollen appendage half-mast to the morning breeze. Now I can’t for the life of me work this one through. It must be one of those things. These men wander in looking lost to the wind, and I’ll tell you this kidder you may not know this, but your nose and ears grow larger the older you get. I mean balloons forced into an eggcup; strings of spaghetti hung out to dry; I couldn’t believe it. Really changed my perspective. I’ll tell you for nothing. Couldn’t really dream for starters, but here on in kidder, I’ll dream for the big.

You can usually tell; they’ll be other signs about their person. The ones you have to be careful not to miss because you’ve allowed unnecessary thoughts to take over. All the wilted thanks, and drones and shaking fingers and short-sighted wheezes. Listen to their sighs next time kidder you might learn something. Except for those who spit on their fingers before counting notes, they deserve their hat taken from their head and given a burn with balled knuckles they do.

Our specimen, still clipped and tucked, came to my till. And asks politely whether there’s any difference between the detergents he’s put on the belt. And I tell him there is to which he responded: ‘Four months back, my wife of sixty years decided to die, and left me in the shit. Anyway, good luck to you.’

While the blood-spotted under-lids let their charges fall back to the floor, and the mottled blues gazed out down on their folded bag shuffling their items, woolly hat dangerously close to catching the open rim of his bag. All I could was smile, kidder, and I don’t know if that was enough. Then, I watched him head towards the exit and into the rain.