Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A Planted Peanut

Drew Carey is doing a fine job as the host of The Price is Right. He strikes me as an affable fellow, very "down to Earth." He's been cultivating a new look lately, a bow tie. The bow tie is not easy to pull off, especially for a guy wearing thick frames and giving away Libman mops. Now George Will came naturally to the bow tie, as does Tucker Carlson. A couple of assholes. Vladimir Horowitz wore a bow tie, and may be wearing one now, for all I know, interred in the Toscanini tomb.

At some point in my life, I tried wearing one. It wasn't very flattering. Like a fat, confused Pee-Wee Herman. And it's not easy to tie, so I went with a clip on. Not good. A robust, exotic butterfly perched on the top button of my shirt. Or a gay vampire bat. It looked very out of place.

These days, I wear a black Fedora hat, mainly because it provides me with a "prop." People with severe social anxiety (me) often employ a prop, to hover in between oneself and the gaze of another. It waters down the scrutiny. Sort of the same way that a monocle, top hat and cane allow Mr. Peanut to function in society. If Mr. Peanut went out into the world with just a baseball cap and a pair of jeans, you'd be more likely to say, "Holy shit, that's a six foot talkin' peanut!"

Another benefit of the Fedora is that it allows me to literally approach the world "hat in hand." It says, "I got nothing, and I know it...be gentle." Think of it as a classier, Depression-era version of, "Don't judge me, Jerry." Sometimes my hand finds it way to the brim, and the hat is tipped at passing women. If I'm feeling saucy, that is. For several days last week I tipped my hat to every woman I passed on the street, within about 10 feet. It didn't take long before it became clear why that little nicety passed into history; there are too many damn women. After twenty minutes of that it looked as if I had a brim-pinching fetish, or an epileptic tic of some kind.

Someday I'll rock the bow tie and the Fedora at the same time. At my funeral. They can bury me wearing them both, although I'll have to find an undertaker that can tie a bow tie. The clip-on would be better for laughs. Or better yet, I'll wear a monocle, cane and top hat and people will think they're burying Mr. Peanut.

No comments: