Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's me cap, me proper headcovering. I think I've become Andy Capp, cartoon punter.


I am afraid this cap will eventually be lost after a year upon my head. It is irreplaceable. Flushing, Michigan, I purchased it from an Irish gift boutique upon Main Street, using money from a proper bonus, a treasure awarded when my company achieved 120 percent of business plan. I had dug in my feet the previous year, and due to my insistance, not only was the bonus much more generous than possible the year before, more people were alloted checks. So I was pleased with myself and flush with pocket cash. So I bought it. I had assistance picking it out from the shop keeper and when I returned to my car, I realized I was running late for Sunday supper with mother and father at Janelle's in downtown Byron. So I called, and my father delayed driving my mother and he into town, driving the Blue Chevrolet, the last car of many he bought, the last vehicle he drove daily. When I got into Byron, I had my cap on my head and I helped my mother into the restaurant, holding her hand, and he held the old door of wood frame and plate glass open. He had chosen his Michigan National Guard baseball cap for the outing, one out of a collection of dozens. I still have one he bought in Roswell, New Mexico, celebrating the extraterrestrial freeway and bearing a Roswell Green Man on its frieze. From now on, baseball caps have bills and friezes, this to honor that a man's mind is a temple. My father enjoyed the full plate of their exceptional ribs, taking six bones of them home for the next day. Mother dined upon the broiled New York Strip, and I don't care to remember what I had. She put away every ounce at that sitting. I flipped out a crisp hundy when the check was presented and the owner didn't blanch. He knew we were good people, his regulars. We dined here every other Sunday. He didn't examine the front and back or mark it with a counterfeit pen.

The way a hundy makes the staff blanch at Starbucks, one might think the American hundred dollar bill raised illicit ideas, arose from a shadowy source other than the treasury and mint. The odd hundies are said to bear trace residue of cocaine. The waitress teased I could leave the change. The waitresses always tease that I could leave the change. On a eighty dollar tab, I do. Have I pushed back the change from a hundy for a smaller addition. That's privy information, hoss.  I got a lot of change back from that specific American hundy because Janelle's has always served outrageously good food for the price. It's a little slice of heaven, Janelle's menu, and you should know that the owner grieves for Janelle, his lost sister, every day.

All I have left of that day is this flipping cap and the memory. Those Sunday dinners will never come again. I am glad I honored the Sunday out to eat dinner for four years, alternate Sundays, pausing on my journey from Detroit to Muskegon in the land of my childhood, Shiawassee County. Those Sunday dinners are as lost to time as Sunday dinner at my Grandmother Aino's table, dining upon breaded pork chops and red antique glasses of buttermilk, among my elders and siblings.

I hear my brothers and sisters pick mom up at her nursing home and take her to a family restaurant. And then they return her. Return her.

As for the cap, it's all I'll need for a crown on Earth. So that you know you've found my cap, here's identifying information. Handcrafted exclusively by Hanna Hats of pure new wool, it is product of Donegal Limited of Donegal Town Ireland. To emphasize, this hat worn by this Finnlock, half breed blend of Polish and Finnish American, bears honestly the claim, Made in Ireland. I doubt that head size indicates intelligence or even brain size, but a tag reads XL for extra large. It's not the only thing about me that is plus sized. I have added the name Wilbo to its headband. If I am found a corpse with it upon my skull, consider that's as good as dying with boots on my heels.

Last night, I was complimenting a drinking companion upon her fresh from the salon hair. I had asked her to shake it slowly back and forth, like Andie MacDowell from the hair coloring commercial. And she did. She filched my cap and put it over that fresh hair, wearing it forward and then wearing it backward. I challenged her to keep it. I was ready to keep her. I decided to give her onlooking boyfriend half a chance instead.

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