An English In Kentucky


















Thursday May 15th 2014  Tim Candler


    One measurement of motivation has less to do with substance than it has to with an individual's own perception, and here a contemplation of hats seems like a fine place to start the exploration of an Unnamed Gardener's desire to reach beyond edging.  Important to realize there are any number of given reasons for wearing a hat, and there are any number of given reasons for an obsession with edging. But with respect to hats, it's much easier for the Unnamed Gardener to identify one substantive reason to wear a hat, whereas if you ask him ,why edging? He'll wax on through the afternoon late into the night and at the end of it all will have produced no demonstrable substantive reason whatsoever.  A "hat" is protection from the elements, nothing more. It's not a statement of any shape size or form. It doesn't express belonging, or wishful-ness or "aren't I cute" or "it makes my head feel thinner" or any in that number of excuses which might define an individual as beyond gardening altogether, and is instead lost in some kind of mall walking narcissistic personality which most plants would actually be much happier never to have to associate with or be touched by. Nor are hats to be considered some kind of tool of socialization, they should have no badge, no couture, no feather, no perfidy other than to look bloody stupid on top of someone's head and to serve as protection against that plethora of elements that regularly combine to prevent an Unnamed Gardener from actually going outside. And here, it might be worth noting that no Gardener worth his salt buys his own hat, it's unlucky and leads down a dangerous path to contemptuous behaviors around mirrors and hat stands and can lead to eyebrow plucking.     


    The ideal is a woolly hat that covers the ears for winter, and a sun hat the shades the eyes, ears and neck for summer. And the problem for the summer hat, is wind. High wind upon isolated ridges can blow a summer hat toward an alternate time zone which leads to unnecessary running around. One might argue that there should be a hat devoted to windy conditions, but access to three hats is tantamount to an avarice from any Gardener that never will result in his achieving his desire to reach beyond edging.  So perfectly OK for the Unnamed Gardener when given a woolly hat to turn up his nose at a woolly hat's outrageous colors and extraneous tassels, but being made to look like an escapee from a mental asylum should not bar the Unnamed Gardener from wearing his woolly hat with a smile. The Summer hat is a different matter. Straw Hats as gifts should be mislaid as quickly as possible, they make excellent tinder, and take about four years to compost. As well, not only do Straw Hats speak volumes to pretention, they succumb to even the slightest draft. And no Gardener in his right mind wears a chin strap, or a Beaky Cap. Beaky Caps confuse Mockingbirds, do nothing for the ears, and they encourage mechanical devices, which means the next thing he knows an Unnamed Gardener is tinkering with geriatric Rota-tillers and looking for no longer manufactured parts. Much better to hope for a snug fitting cloth hat with a wider floppy brim. Does make him look a little like mushroom, but this hat reacts well to gusts, even if it does wear a little hot and can give a Gardener heat-rash on his forehead and make his scalp itch if either he or the hat have avoided regular bathing as a part of an anti-tick regimen.



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