July 2005 - Sincerely Sire Newsletter


My head is shaped like an avocado.

My head is also big. I know this because for our thirtieth wedding anniversary, this past December, Roe bought me a hat, and not just any hat. I believe my new hat is referred to as a fedora, like what Humphrey Bogart wore in Casablanca .

We had traveled to Santa Fe , New Mexico for our anniversary and Roe lured me downtown one day on the promise of getting lunch—hate to shop, love to eat. But instead, once she had me in the middle of the jungle—little shops and custom boutiques everywhere—she told me she wanted to buy me a hat for our anniversary. She said she couldn’t stand all the baseball caps I normally wore, one of which I had on my head at that very moment, and that a fedora would be very cool. So, she took me by the hand, make that the arm—no, to be honest, she pushed me into the hat shop against my will.

Hats everywhere. Everybody in the place was trying on hats and laughing their heads off. Something about putting on hats that makes people laugh. Roe and I were no different, especially since every hat I tried on was too small and sat atop my big head like an acorn on a beach ball. This was good though, I thought. How can she make me buy a hat if none of them fit? But she was ready for me and my big head. “Step right over here,” she said, as she introduced me to the “custom hat guy.” And he was ready for me too. Yes, indeed, the old codger had been selling hats for a while now, and he knew a man who’d been following orders for a long long time when he saw one. This was a slam-dunk sure sale if ever there was one.

Next thing I know I’m sitting in what looked like a barber’s chair and he’s placing this helmet-like contraption, with thousands of retractable metal spikes, on my head. The spikes retracted as he slid it over my skull and I wondered if Roe had finally decided to cash in on my life insurance as someone in the back room was about to pull the switch. After he took the device off, he set it on a piece of paper and drew a diagram of my avocado-shape head, with the narrow end in the front. Hum, I thought, that explains why my eyes are so close to my nose.

After that, the rest was easy. Roe just kept handing me hats and asking me which one I liked. I didn’t like any of them but I had to pick one if I ever wanted to get out of there and get my promised lunch, so I did. She told the hat guy to engrave the inside of the brim with “All my love. Roe. 2004”

The hat guy then said it was going to take two months to make the hat. No problem. Then he told me how much the hat cost and then I wasn’t hungry anymore. I asked him if he was kidding, but he just handed me the bill and smiled confidently—I would not turn down this wonderful gift from my faithful and loving wife, would I? This, after all, was her 30-year wedding anniversary gift to me, and the hat only cost SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS! I told him to change the engraving to: “All your money Joe.”

The hat was delivered to our home several weeks later, and let me tell you, it fits my head perfectly. But I still prefer baseball caps, which is why I never wear my fedora, which is why Roe had to order a custom avocado-shaped hat holder from the hat guy so she could mount my hat on the wall which cost another $120.

If you were to come over to our house right now and look to the left of the TV on the family room wall, there it sits like a fine work of art:

One custom 30-year anniversary fedora that you never wear - $600

One custom hat rack - $120

One happy wife – Priceless!

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