Hats off

The Fantastic Four, also known as Family, walked slowly through the shopping mall, towards the bus stop. Wife carried the backpack with all the food we had just bought, I had a loaf of bread in my hand – a miscalculation, yes –, Son was 50 meters ahead of Wife and me, Daughter was examining something 50 meters behind us.


Just as we got out of the mall, standing in front of the doors there was a couple, trying to decide what to do, where to go. It was snowing, and dragging that suitcase they had with them didn’t seem to attract them, because with all the snow, drag was exactly what they would have had to do, despite the small wheels on the bottom of the suitcase.

The man had a brown leather jacket, black jeans, and both were sitting a little too tight on him. He put on a small little woolen hat that didn’t cover his ears, or neck, but instead, looked like something Friar Tuck used as a template when he cut his hair.

I turned to Wife and said, “What are the odds of this fella being a Finn?”

Wife looked at the man, then me, then smiled, and said, “Yeah, not too high.”

We walked to the bus stop, in a roundabout way as Daughter didn’t like the idea of wearing a coat, and then she and Son, independently from each other, got the same excellent idea of buying hot dogs, and then Wife and me, independently from each other, told them no.

At the bus stop, we ran into the Hat Man couple again. Hat Man said something, then went for a smoke a good ten meters from the bus stop. I looked at his female friend, and noticed that the plastic bag she was left holding was a yellow Alepa bag. Alepa being a Finnish grocery store chain.

I looked at Wife. She smiled.

There’s something about hats and Finns. For years, Finnish kids have had to wear weird antenna hats, knitted little things with a short stiff “antenna” on top. Before the ubiquitous baseball hats, there was the orange Hankkija hat, a painter’s hat anybody who ever had anything to do with big machines used. Maybe it’s genetic, maybe that’s one of the findings that made Finnish Institute for Molecular Medicine to recently conclude that

Finns are unique on the genetic map of Europe; we differ considerably both from Central Europeans and from our neighbours to the east.

Of course, I was explaining my theory to Wife – again – wearing a fine, red Hockey Sockey, model “Canada”.

I rest my case.

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