The man’s outfit had three layers.
Layer 1: The Clothes
His clothes looked like something my dad would wear. Old tan polo shirt with a pen in the pocket, black jeans, tennis shoes.
Layer 2: The Accessories
The Man’s accessories were nothing near what my dad would wear. He held his pants up with, not only a cracked brown leather belt, but also suspenders with little pictures of fishing lures all over them. His belt buckle was enormous, and it said, “Cape Revolvers.” At least, I think that’s what it said. I had no clue what it meant.
A bright yellow cell phone holster hung at his side, and a handkerchief dangled out of his back pocket. His glasses looked like aviator sunglasses, only they weren’t sunglasses, they were glasses.
He caught me looking at him, and must of thought he appeared inept at shopping. He said, “I have to shop all by myself because I don’t have a wife. My wife gave me an ultimatum. She said, ‘It’s me or that d*** cat.’ I said, ‘don’t curse that cat! I love that cat!'”
Layer 3: His hat
When you looked at the man, the first thing you noticed was his hat.
It was an old, black, felt fedora. It looked like a real fedora, from back when gentlemen wore fedoras to keep their heads warm, as opposed to cool teenagers wearing pinstripe/sequined/plaid fedoras as fashion statements. (In case you haven’t noticed, fedoras are really in right now.)
It was decorated with the most beautiful randomness. Black and gray striped feathers. An old button that said “vote for George” with a picture of a guy. His last name was on the button too I just don’t remember what it was. It was not, however, “Bush” or “Washington.”
Then there was this red plastic poppy with a tag on it. I asked what it was, and he told me that it was called a “buddy poppy” and it was made by injured vets. I am pretty sure that by “vets” he was referring to veterans, not veterinarians.
It was one of the most superendifitious hats I have ever seen.
Later, in the check out line, he said, “I hope you don’t believe the things I say.”
Then, later, “a lot of people don’t like my jokes.”
I wanted to tell him that he should tell his jokes to grocery store clerks, because they are obligated to laugh. I never knew this until I became a grocery store clerk.
Other noteworthy experiences of the day:
A man bought a tuna-can shaped can of something for ten cents. “It’s worth the price,” he said, “because it doesn’t have a label. It could be human food, or it could be cat food.”
A second man came in wearing a belt and suspenders. I asked him why. He said, “I carry around a bunch of tools in my pockets, and so I need both to keep my pants up. Plus I have really skinny hips. I don’t want to go around like young men today with my pants falling down.”
I found some inspiring poppy fashion online while writing this post, so here are a few pictures.