Frankly Speaking

The following interview between a foppish Stovepipe hat, known for its quick and cruel wit, and a mainstream Baseball Cap, known for leaving hat hair, is from the Maine Public Broadcasting Service and was taped between New Hampshire and the Atlantic sometime in the middle of the night of A. 14. No one was hurt in the interview, although a few peepers were heard to chant from the still-frozen edges of a pond and one late night caller quickly hung up after asking for something dirty and received the reply, “mud season?”

Baseball Cap: May I say to begin with that I personally find wearing a stovepipe hat to be morally base and disgusting. Do you think that there is any future for mankind without a hat?

Stovepipe: I think it was Lincoln who said: “When did you last stop beating your wife?”

Baseball Cap: Would you ever take drugs from a milliner?

Stovepipe: Well, I should think it very odd for them to choose a stovepipe for such tasks.

Baseball Cap: You are a slightly mad and combative reactionary. Is this something to do with your silk?

Stovepipe: I don’t see what silk has to do with it. It’s what’s under the hat that counts.

Baseball Cap: Well said. The audience for hats has certainly declined. If I go to a baseball game now, I find people come there to eat and smoke and talk to one another. And look like slobs.

Stovepipe: You are a lot cleverer than I think and smarter than you realize.

Baseball Cap: Do you find it easy to get on with the average man in the street?

Stovepipe: There is no such thing as the average man in the street. There is only a man in a stovepipe or a man without a stovepipe.

Baseball: But surely, a man without a stovepipe is simply a man in need of one?

Stovepipe: Is that’s Occam’s razor , the principle of parsimony, or Mingus’ porkpie?

Baseball Cap: And have you ever been turned away from a country because of your stovepipe?

Stovepipe: Yes, although it was because I took heroin and crack.

Baseball Cap: What failings in others could you most easily excuse?

Stovepipe: Baldness, drunkenness, lust, drug taking, dishonoring a brainpan, coveting a head, a dove, a wife. Killing. Almost everything except the worshipping of celebrities.

Baseball Cap: What sort of head do you most prefer?

Stovepipe: The sort one forgets, I suppose. Or the one that won’t fit in a suitcase. Or the one that makes you believe in something that doesn’t exist.

Baseball Cap: And one final question. Do you ever worry about what the man in the street might think of you?

Stovepipe: I clearly cannot make myself understood. There is no such thing as a man in the street. There are only individuals who are totally different. Whether a man is naked and wears a hat or one is clothed and doesn’t wear a hat, they are still individuals of completely independent characters.


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