“I Will Soon Be Taking Orders for MAMA Caps”

I’ve been thinking about ordering some hats. Caps, really. Baseball-style caps. Something like those famous red ones that are emblazoned “MAGA.”

But those won’t work for me. Oh, we can discuss the message, but I don’t plan to. Not here. I’m just talking about the style.

The fact is, I’m not a big hat person. I sometimes wish I was. Nothing looks better than a nice cowboy hat on a guy who was made for a nice cowboy hat. But I just can’t seem to pull that look off.

I’ve recently found a couple of Irish caps. Dunno if, occasionally, I can pull that look off. Some guys make fun of them. I don’t care. But if you want a hat to do billboard duty, forget the newsboy/Irish caps. You’d have to put your message on the top. It’d look like a tilted helipad, and vertically challenged folks would never see your ad/slogan.

So we’re back to some variation of baseball cap. Yeah, like the MAGA caps. But I repeat: I don’t care for that exact style. I don’t like straight-up billboard caps, even if they’re best for billboards. I don’t like flat brim caps; I want curved. I don’t like mesh hats; I want softish fabric. I don’t like cardboard or starched almost-90-degree angles; I like fitted or, at least, aerodynamic or what some folks call “dad” style. Soft. Well-broken in. A clasp, if it’s not fitted. No plastic.

Not a serious hat person, I seriously know what I want in a hat.

Now we’re ready for color. This will be hard.

I’m a sucker for blue or maroon. Or black. But ya gotta be careful these days. You can’t say “good morning” without sending the wrong message. “You’re a racist! You’re a homophobe! You’re a . . .”

What?! All I said was, “Good morning”!?

“It was your inflection. I’ve heard it before. It is systemic. You need to read this book or a few. Bathe appropriately in abject guilt. Then come back and try saying ‘Good morning’ to me again in the morning.”

So color matters. Red’s out. And blue. (Both appropriated by political parties.) White? (You dastardly bigot!) Black? (Better, but still . . .) Same with brown. Green? (It seems to elicit gaseous emissions.) So, rainbow? (Nope. Even “all colors fit all” has been sadly sullied and co-opted.) This is difficult. Okay. I vote to table the color discussion and move on to “message.”

Well, why not wear just a plain ol’ non-messaged cap to keep your head warm or salvage a bad hair day? Just a possibility. No? My mistake.

So . . . I vote for MAMA. I like it. You already feel warm hugs, right? Even before you know that it stands for “Make America Mature Again.” I could have said MAP(olite)A or MAC(ivil)A or MAN(ot)A(s)D(umb)A(s)AP(ost)A. All of the above are good messages for both political parties, whether, on any given day, they are engaging in self-righteousness, preening, virtue-signalling, busily shooting themselves in the foot, or perpetrating any idiocy anywhere in between. Yep, I vote for MAMA.

Somebody with an “in your face” cap of any sort comes toward me. I just turn toward them, and my MAMA cap says it all silently.

It says, for example, in the midst of this virus mess, if you’re not wearing a mask and I am, I’ll not scowl at you; I don’t know your reasons. The scowl would be wasted anyway because you couldn’t see it unless I frown all the way up past my eyebrows. That’s hard on a face, and mine’s showing some wear.

And if I’m not wearing a mask and you are, I won’t scowl because I’ll assume the best, that you don’t want to infect me. I’ll just figure you think it’s all hooey and that, if you’re a Christian, you sincerely believe you have very good reasons for not “submitting” to “governmental  authorities” (Romans 13) in this case.

I find myself in the middle on this discussion. Not unusual. But to my friends, both sides, who want to actively politicize this “issue,” may I just say that I don’t plan to join in.

It’s ironic. Intemperate alcoholics and intemperately loud teetotallers share the same problem—way too much focus on alcohol. Loud maskers and loud non-maskers are the same. There’s more to life, even in the pandemic, than to mask or not to mask. Decide. Don’t filibuster about it. And be nice to the rest of us who just want to get through this thing.

Disclaimer: If you force a hand at me, trying to make a point, not just because you forgot and have been doing handshakes courteously forever, I’ll take my hat off and tip it to you. What I’m really doing is looking at those letters, MAMA, to remind myself of why I shouldn’t extend my balled up hand into your teeth, which you deserve if you’re trying to force me to help you make your point. But you’re probably not. So I’ll probably shake it and later use hand sanitizer. Or I’ll fist-bump. Maybe hug. If I like you, and I probably do, I’ll risk a hug if you will. But your move first. And not in a crowd; I shouldn’t hug everyone.

But, you see, my MAMA cap covers even that. It says wordlessly to kids who should know this already, especially if they claim to be our Father’s kids (and our Father has always been maddeningly apolitical on this sort of issue, no matter what those who claim to speak for Him say), “Do you fussing little brats just need a hug? There ya go. I love ya. Now, go play. And straighten up. And get over yourself. Come back if you need your shoe tied. Or if you need another hug. Johnnie! Janie! I mean it!”

MAMA says it all. Caps, $12.99. A steal, I say.


You’re invited to visit my website, and I hope you’ll take a look there at my new “Focus on Faith” Podcast. At the website, just click on “Podcast.” Blessings!


Copyright 2020 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


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