Sunday, April 10, 2005

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."

Person: "What?"

Me: "It's a cap."

Person: "No, I mean the jughead part."

Me: "What?"

Person: "Jughead."

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: "What?"

Person: "Jughead!"

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?"


At 9:00 AM, Blogger The Maximum Leader said...

We need a photo of this cap. I am having some difficulty picturing it in my mind. Although you did your best to describe it, I am having difficulty with the form still.

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Horace,

I came across your site from a comment you left at the Asia Pages recently. I am looking to find employment at a university here in Seoul, where I would teach English. I'm a little bewildered about starting the process of finding contacts to make.

Like you, I have an interest in Western Civilization (I read, for instance, the entire "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Gibbon a few years ago). Anyway, any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated, should you have the time. Specifically, I'm wondering if there might be any postions at Korea University that are not indicated on the current faculty openings site.

Here are a few brief biographical facts:
26 years old, M.A. University of Toronto (Semitic linguistics); past Publicity Coordinator, British Columbia Chess Federation; one conference presentation at an AGM of the Society of Biblical Literature in 2002; finally, I've been teaching on a one year contract at a hogwan in Seoul since Sept. 1st 2004. Since November, I've been teaching one adult class at this hogwan twice a week. My CV has more details of my interests and qualifications (such as they are), but that's enough for a comment on this site.

Best wishes,
Nathan (
n.bauman "at"

At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And all this time I thought it was an Ozark yamaka.


At 7:35 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

GR: Well the Cherokee are one of the lost tribes of Israel, so you may be right! (But isn't it "yarmulka"?)

Maximum Leader: Photos? I don't got to show you no stinkin' photos!

Nathan: There seem to be a goodly number of instructors in the International Studies Building. I assume that most of them are teaching in a language institute there. I don't know for sure because I have no connections to them since I'm in the English Language and Literature Department. My blog now has a link to the Homepage for Korea University, so you might want to poke around on that website. Meanwhile, I'll try to find somebody to ask concerning your request.

Given your interest in religion, are you planning to visit the SBL International Conference in Singapore this year?

By the way, I prefer "Jeffery" to "Horace." A simple "Sir Jeffery" would suffice.

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well, then, Sir Jeffrey. Thank you for your comment and information. Actually, I did follow the link in question, which is how I found out out about the faculty openings page. If you find out about any openings, I'd certainly be obliged if you could pass information on them to me, should you be willing.


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