photo: buttercakes by evan.
THE LOVE-HAT RELATIONSHIP
by Aaron Belz
I have been thinking about the love-hat relationship.
It is the relationship based on love of one another’s hats.
The problem with the love-hat relationship is that it is superficial.
You don’t necessarily even know the other person.
Also it is too dependent on whether the other person
is even wearing the favored hat. We all enjoy hats,
but they’re not something to build an entire relationship on.
My advice to young people is to like hats but not love them.
Try having like-hat relationships with one another.
See if you can find something interesting about
the personality of the person whose hat you like.
Like-hat? What twaddle. A hat is to love. Take the Houndstooth Hat Cake pictured above. I’m head over heels!
There are people who look good in hats and those who don’t. People who can don a fedora or leopard skin pillbox or silky black fez and kill. The last hat I looked good in was my Brownie beanie. I’m thinking of wearing it to church. Do you have a good hat head?
Before you read the next poem, please select one of these — whatever suits your fancy or matches the shape of your head. Verily, it will make history come alive.
THE LIST OF FAMOUS HATS
by James Tate
Napoleon’s hat is an obvious choice I guess to list as a famous hat, but that’s not the hat I have in mind. That was his hat for show. I am thinking of his private bathing cap, which in all honesty wasn’t much different than the one any jerk might buy at a corner drugstore now, except for two minor eccentricities. The first one isn’t even funny: Simply it was a white rubber bathing cap, but too small. Napoleon led such a hectic life ever since his childhood, even farther back than that, that he never had a chance to buy a new bathing cap and still as a grown-up–well, he didn’t really grow that much, but his head did: He was a pinhead at birth, and he used, until his death really, the same little tiny bathing cap that he was born in, and this meant that later it was very painful to him and gave him many headaches, as if he needed more. So, he had to vaseline his skull like crazy to even get the thing on. The second eccentricity was that it was a tricorn bathing cap. Scholars like to make a lot out of this, and it would be easy to do. My theory is simple-minded to be sure: that beneath his public head there was another head and it was a pyramid or something.
William Pitt and Napoleon slicing plum pudding (caricature by James Gillray, 1805).
Note bene: Napoleon wore a bicorn, not a tricorn, but I still have a love-hat relationship with Mr. Tat, er, Tate.
If you still have your wits about you, read on:
♥ Napoleon Bonaparte loved Chambertin wine and Courvoisier cognac.
♥ His favorite dish was Chicken Marengo, invented by his chef in the battlefield after the Battle of Marengo (1800). The ingredients were pilfered from peasants in the countryside — chicken (scrawny), eggs (later fried), onions, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and crayfish. The chicken was cut with a sabre, and cognac was added to the sauce from Napoleon’s flask. He liked the dish so much, the chef was ordered to prepare it after every battle from then on.
♥ A few years ago, it was determined Napoleon was not murdered by the British (slow arsenic poisoning) as had been believed for 200+ years. He seems to have died of stomach cancer. Contributing factors include genetic predisposition and bad French soldier food (lack of fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables).
♥ Napoleon was an unsociable, demanding eater on the run. Apparently his cooks were constantly roasting chickens in case he might suddenly want one.
♥ Napoléons (mille-feuilles) were not named after Emperor Napoleon, but is a variant of napolitain, the french adjective for the Italian city of Naples.
Regardless of its disassociation with our diminutive guest, and to console yourself for his unfortunate bathing cap issues, please bite into one now.
Hey, will you tell me the real shape of your head? Will you have a good Memorial Day weekend?
If your head rolls, kindly pick it up.
Today’s Poetry Friday host is the brilliant Tricia of The Miss Rumphius Effect. Head on over directly to check out the cool poems being shared around the blogsophere.
Camo Hat Cake: buttercakes by evan.
*Napoleon dessert plate available for purchase here.
Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.