Day 93: Hat

Matt Zurbo


Jason got lost somewhere, between this way and that,
ending up in a town, called: “You Must Wear Your Hats!”
(Kid standing at crossroads with three signs/ Somewhere. Over there. You Must Wear Your Hats.)

“Psst, hey, how are ya?” said the first person Jason saw.
“My name is Fred, it must be said, your head looks kind of sore.”
(Kid with an oversized blue cowboy hat on.)

The more Jason looked around, everybody had a hat.
Some big, others small, some were smooth and flat.
(People walking left and right with all sorts of hats on. Jason in the middle, looking a bit confused.)

One lady wore a goldfish bowl balancing on her head,
others a clock, a hubcap, a Viking helmet painted red.
(Jason, finger to lip, a bit baffled, watching said people.)

“I don’t have one,” Jason said, “But I guess that’s fine.”
“Don’t have a hat!” Fred protested. “C’m’on, tow the line!”
(Jason shrugging. Fred and about three other locals with hats protesting around him. One is pointing to his naked head.)

“Having a hat is what we do,” a small, funny kid said.
“We even wear different ones when it’s time for bed.”
(Little kid in PJs, with sleeping beanie with pompom, talking up to Jason. Others nodding in agreement.)

“No thank you,” Jason insisted. “All is fine up there.”
“Truth to tell I like the wind running through my hair!”
(We can only see from the nose up, as Jason’s hair is blowing in the breeze, and the reactions of the others and their hats, including a wind sock hat, and a windmill hat, and a pilot’s helmet, and a hat with aeroplane wings.)

“Why not a hat that’s a fan?” the hat maker then joined in.
“Or one that lets in air, because it’s only made of rims?”
(Jason and Fred outside milliner/hat maker’s shop. Milliner a bit camp with long walrus moustache, a number of his inventions in his window, or on stands, while people with frame hats and fan hats and toaster hats, and spoon and fork hats, shower hats, etc… stop to watch, or point to their hats.)

“How about a big, big hat, for such a little kid,
or one that’s a set of drums, made from jam jar lids?”
(There is a kid either side of milliner and Jason, one wearing a super big Mexican hat with toy train going around its rim, and a few toy cactuses on it. And another kid playing the drum and cymbal on his head.)

“Maybe a hat that gives off fireworks, Pow! Zam! Boom!
Something for an angry kid, to light up the darkest room!”
(All of them watching from down low, as a kid, cheeks puffed with anger/effort, holing onto the rim of his hat as the top releases fireworks!)

“I see you’re a thinker,” Jason generously noted.
“But anything up there, just makes my head feel bloated!”
(Jason friendly hand on milliner’s shoulder, puffing his cheeks, pointing to his own head.)

“A clown’s hat, something with wings, I know, a dinosaur skull!
Have some fun, come on act brave, you’re being kind of dull.”
(Even more people, as milliner walking Jason around the town, hand gesturing to the various hats. Fred walking behind them. Dogs and cats have hats, too.)

Gradually Jason noticed, that the whole town was there.
Hat bells chiming, wind socks flapping, hats, hats everywhere!
(Jason standing next to milliner and Fred as everybody with hat standing on each other’s shoulders around them, happily, filling the page.)

“I’ll do what I want!” Jason hollered, taking off down the street.
He may not have had a hat, but was lightening on his feet!
(Jason running, everyone holding their hats as they chase after him, including kid flying with jet hat.)

The zoo was no better,
(Jason running through Zoo. All the animals are wearing hats.)

nor the kids’ playground.
(Same, kids watching him as he passes.)

Soon enough, the hat police, had Jason caught and bound.
(Jason, head lowered, hands behind his back, being lead away by one policeman with too big police hat. The other, with a tiny hat, is holding the sniffer hounds, who have Sherlock Holmes hats on.)

He was dragged before the Judge, “A fair lady,” they all said.
But how could she be fair, with three hats upon her head!?
(Jason in the middle of a big hat-wearing crowd, perturbed, pointing to Judge, who is up high, holding the judge’s gravel, wearing a white wig with three hats on top of each other.)

“Our hats make everything easy,” the Judge said, with great care.
“They define who we are, to us you’re as naked as a bear!”
(Judge explaining, a mouse peeking out from under one of her hats. Judge is pointing to spot above Jason’s head.)

“How about we reach a compromise…?” the Mayor then joined in.
“Well give you our biggest, bestest hat!” he added with a grin.
(Massive helmet, with little flashing areal and this and that, being lowered by a crane over Jason.)

The hat was so large Jason was scared, it would snap his neck!
At very best a hat that size, would leave him a total wreck!
(Jason’s head in foreground. Behind it is his imagined image of him desperately paddling a sinking helmet.)
His only hope was to turn the hat upside down, and if it didn’t sink,
paddle out of town, or spend life in the clink!

“I ALREADY HAVE A HAT!” Jason finally, loudly conceded.
“It’s on my head, as we speak, it’s just that you can’t see it!”
(Jason, furiously shouting, holding hands either side of his head, as if steadying an invisible hat.)
“My hat is invisible, so, by your rules, that’s also my defining trait.
None of you break the law, by seeing me stroll out the front gate.”

Baffled, stumped, confused, no-one dared look at the kid,
as he waltzed out of You Must Wear Hats, as if he was well hid.
(Jason strutting, smiling, whistling a tune, head held high, past a few baffled people with hats on.)

“That was fun,” he said to himself. “If a little weird.”
before approaching at town where everyone wore a crown…
(Jason standing in front of gateway, sign over it says: Crowntown.)

and had to grow a beard.
(Jason running, crowd of men, women, two kids and a dog, with beards and crowns, chasing him. There is a shepherd’s hook reaching out to pull him back.)



The End

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