Alternate Uses For Hats

After witnessing the multiple uses of baseball caps recently at a baseball game (including catching foul balls) I got to thinking further about other hats that serve as more than just hats. I know that in Australia, the wide-brimmed Akubra (not unlike a tilley hat) is often used to hold eggs or mushrooms, to fan fires and to water dogs when out on a hunt. Certainly I have seen cowboys do similar things with their cowboy hats, including scooping water from a stream to water themselves, or fanning themselves when hot. Not to mention that a cowboy hat makes a graceful sleeping mask (is it to keep the light out? To mask snoring? Or is it for comfort?).

I would have to imagine in most cultures that wearing a hat is like having an extra basket up there on your head. And in fact, while not as popular in America, in my many travels, I have seen that people will travel from place to place with goods they have found or purchased, or even a pet, inside their hat before unloading them at their final destination. It’s like an extra cargo pocket or a little hair-top suitcase.

Buskers and street vendors often use their hats to collect donations or tips. The magician’s hat plays an important role in his show, as a place from which things macically appear, or into which they magically disappear. Place your pink John Deere hat or coonskin cap on the other side of the room and it becomes a game when you try to toss playing cards into it. What will people come up with next? Only time will tell.

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