But, the following email was brought to my attention two years ago and, in the interest of timely response, I finally responded.
To: Pontchartrain Press
Hey Jim, Annette here from Pennsylvania just wanted you to know that a friend just gave me a copy of some of your stories and they made me laugh I sent you a face book request also BTW, I noticed that you're always wearing a hat in your pix…how come? I’ll def be checkin back to read more of your writing…Peace.
From: Pontchartrain Press
Thank you for taking time to email the longest sentence in the history of writing. It's worth noting that I'm a huge fan of longevity.
Actually, I get the hat question quite often, primarily from people who possess entirely too much discretionary time…like stamp collectors, Comic Con attendees and professional butterfly watchers.
I've never understood the concept of studying butterflies. They lie around in a cocoon for weeks before emerging as a flem-like pupated substance, (like Jabba the hut...or Steven Tyler.)
Then they blossom into a brilliantly, multi-colored creature, gracefully flitting around through the gentle spring breeze...unfortunately, they die a week later, usually on the front grill of a Ford Escort which is owned by a college student who will be re-paying student loans until they are 75-years of age.
Not that I don't appreciate butterflies, (or indentured college students), I do. I stand in awe as I watch them wistfully float from perch to perch, their beautiful colors and markings come to life, almost from within, as the sun casts its rays on their delicate wing span...illuminating colors which are almost surreal. Then I spray them with a can of Raid. (College students AND butterflies).
But, everyone should have a relaxing and fulfilling hobby, such as yours...in this case, hat wearing speculation.
My hobby, by the way, is collecting blue, glass containers. (I.e. SKYY Vodka bottles)
Truth be told, I simply wear the caps as a distraction-- to draw unwanted attention away from my incredibly, devastating physique.
It’s been a tough road for me throughout life, being ogled and objectified. Just once, I wish someone would engage me in meaningful conversation rather than awkwardly strand together incongruous conversation vignettes so that they might spend more face-time, fantasizing about my Earth-shattering incredible body.
There's more to me than my body, you know???
So, I figured a baseball cap would better serve as a means of going “incognito.”
Here’s a recent picture of me to better illustrate the pain and frustration which comprise my existence:
Thank you for taking time to read my absurd little stories. And STOP staring at my pecs!
The catalyst for my wearing a hat or a baseball cap is steeped in a rich, celebrated and storied history…of simply being a lazy underachiever.
When I began the freelance writing and broadcasting chapter of my life years ago, I found myself indentured from the shackles of an office cubicle or broadcast studio. Sort of like the guy in "Roots," Only I wasn't beaten with leather straps...at least for free.
I could dress as I pleased, rather than don a wardrobe deemed as stuffy or "business casual."
Business casual is one of my favorite terms. It's usually comprised of khaki pants and a Polo shirt or a sport coat, dress shirt and nice jeans with Dockers. Translation: Someone who frantically races to get the early bird special at a Piccadilly Cafeteria and then purchase a rum-runner and a hooker before retiring to bed for the hilarious Jay Leno Tonight Show broadcast.
Yep, working alone lifted the burden of dressing up. Plus, I could fart without devising a plan of subterfuge or finger pointing, such as blaming it on Martin (the weather man who shared the cubicle next to mine.)
I was finally free to write and broadcast from non-conventional locales without dressing up or worrying about how my clothes or hair appeared:
On the sofa in the living room in my boxers
From a coffee shop
Outside the neighbor’s window at 3am (in my boxer shorts)
Simply put, I employed the Einstein method. He theorized that folks exerted an inordinate amount of effort and time in selecting clothes from the closet each day.
Not me. My daily work routine is simple and stress free:
Wake up to the alarm in order to make an editing or assignment meeting
Go back to sleep
Wake up again, 1-hour later
Take a shower
Brush my teeth
Begin to get dressed
Find myself distracted by whatever is on Tru TV
Put on a pair of jeans
Find myself distracted by The Judge Greg Mathis court TV program
Smoke a cigarette
Return to the TV in time to see Judge Mathis explain how ALL guys are shady and women should RUN for their lives just before delivering a decisive, yet witty, verdict
Put on a shirt
Head for the door
Put on a baseball cap to cover my unkempt hair
Arrive as the meeting is concluding
Snag a couple of cinnamon rolls leftover from the meeting
Listen to an editor yell at me for a minute or two
Go back home and take a nap
My favorite sports question is:
“Are you FROM Boston?”
I get this question more often than you might think...all because I'm wearing a Boston Red Sox cap. Huh?
Me: No, I'm not, in fact, from Boston. By the way, do you work for Aeropostale or do they have a baseball team that I'm not aware of? Or, are you just wearing that cap to show solidarity in the high hopes that Major League Baseball finally offers Aeropostale their long overdue opportunity to file for an expansion team slot? (So long as their players possess super-model looks at 115lbs)
I suppose I shouldn't cast stones, as I, too, find myself judging or steering clear of people who adorn certain hats or caps.
For example, I would never, ever go near ANYONE wearing an Abe Lincoln stovepipe hat...for fear of NEVER being able to attract a woman and/or being assassinated.
I also refuse to socialize with those who wear a cap with the following emblazoned across the front:
God is my co-pilot
New York Yankees
Sarah Palin 2012. You Betcha!!
I (heart) My Husband
I also avoid people who wear floppy fishing hats. If it's a legitimate fisherman...it's okay. I'll wish them a safe expedition and a bountiful catch. Hoping that they don't find themselves in the middle of a dire situation as that of the great George Clooney in "The Perfect Storm."
I especially judge the early 20's guys who wear the floppy fishing hat. Nothing screams "I bring nothing to the table" quite like a 22-year old in a floppy hat.
As a general observation, early 20-something guys in floppy hats translates to the following:
a) I have a dime bag for sale
b) Do you have a dime bag for sale?
c) Dude, I just got fired again
d) Can I borrow $20 bucks
e) Can I crash on your couch tonight?
f) All of the above
Avoiding these people is simply a precaution, for my personal safety.
Back to the original email...Annette, I wish that there were some outlandish, dubious or purposeful explanation about my hat and cap wearing tradition. It would be cool if I were able to explain it away with a story such as
"There's a space alien of organic nature incubating under this lid in order to repopulate the earth after the giant meteor (or the United Nations) brings about the end of the world as we know it."
Truth be known, the explanation is simple. There's no such thing as a bad hair day in my world...plain and simple.
With that said...I've decided to share a photo of me without a cap.
copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011