My Cap is Fine
Ms. Kyung-Eun, one of my literature students here at Korea University, has inquired about the health of my cap:
"Hello Sir Jeffery! How is your cap doing?"
The "Sir Jeffery" refers to my benighted state, a consequence of my long immersion in studies of the Dark Ages.
But why this touching concern for my cap?
Perhaps one day, I'll add my photo to this blog so that everyone will see what a fine cap I wear, and if I do so, then none need ask: "Why?"
But not today.
Today, I must answer the question.
Background: I wear a CAP.
Issue: I insist that it IS a CAP.
Problem: Some people, either from ignorance or perversity, call it a hat.
Ignorant or Perverse Person: "Hey, nice hat!"
More Knowledgeable and Righteous Me: "It's a cap, jughead."
Me: "It's a cap."
Person: "No, I mean the jughead part."
Me: "Look, just because I wear a cap is no reason to call me a jughead!"
Person: "I didn't call you a jughead. You called me a jughead."
Me: "Why would I call you a jughead? You're not wearing a cap."
Person: "Oh, forget it."
Me: "Forget it? Call me a jughead and then order me to forget it? Fat chance, jughead!"
Person: "You said it again!"
Me: "Outrageous! You think that you can just walk up to a law-abiding citizen like me and start calling me names? Ever heard of fighting words, buddy? C'mon. Put your fists where your mouth is!"
Ignorant and perverse person walks away, perversely ignoring me.
See, you just can't reason with some people.
Anyway, I maintain that a typical hat must have a brim all the way around. A typical cap, by contrast, has no brim. The common baseball cap, therefore, is an atypical cap, for it has a brim in front. Andy Capp's cap is also atypical, for it also has a front brim, albeit tiny. Sherlock Holmes's cap is so atypical as to be almost a hat, for it has brims front and back -- practically brimming over with brims!
My CAP has no brim. None. Nada. It is a perfectly typical CAP, mine.
It is a light shade of blue cloth with a black lower margin and is embroidered with maidens and flowers, parrots and fish, elephants and curliques, and has a scattering of tiny mirror insets all around and above that reflect blue skies, starry nights, and profound secrets of the deep.
In this small way, it is not so completely typical.
But it is a FINE CAP. One to engage people's interest, move them to pose inquiries, settle itself firmly into memories.
And that is why Ms. Kyung-Eun asks me: "How is your cap doing?"