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A Plea on Behalf of the Small Hat League by K.A. Laity

While much attention these days focuses on the precarious political situation and the perhaps even more wobbly financial situation in which we find ourselves—and with good reason, I must concur—other important though perhaps less pressing matters risk being swept under the proverbial rug, where many a dusty cause meets oblivion. I speak tonight of the heartfelt efforts of the Small Hat League (SHL).

Originally hailing from Derby, this illustrious gathering of hardy citizens soon found cohorts across the isles who shared their strong though gentle misgivings about the size of hats in these modern times. While it is the right of citizens to cover their heads in any manner they choose, we of the League do not feel that it to be unreasonable to require that some restrictions be drawn, if only to maintain proper levels of health, safety and decency.

One hardly need spell out the health threats of large hattedness; in fact one can barely keep down the rising gorge induced by contemplation of this peril. Where do mushrooms, toadstools and assorted fungi thrive? In damp and in dark. My neighbour Horace Grubsworth plies this dubious trade in his shockingly dilapidated shed. It has an ill effect on his mind, as I often see him out in his garden, a silly grin on his face while he stares out into space for hours at a time. The deleterious results are plain.

How many accidents have been caused by over-sized headgear? Statistics appear to unavailable. I rang my local constabulary, but they did not have the manpower to assess the records. However, the danger inherent in a floppy brim should be evident to any small child. My wife’s grandmother was the sad victim of a floppy hat-related accident involving a cart-horse. We cannot merely wring our hands on the sidelines. The wearers will not notice it anyway.

Finally, there is the matter of decency. While changing mores and the influx of strange foreigners from the Hebrides and beyond must be tolerated in this modern world, we nonetheless must insist upon certain standards of behaviour if we do not wish to lead an entire generation into moral jeopardy. The gentler sex have been known to faint at the sight of voluptuous brims and gentlemen have been moved to violence by the harridan’s lure of an oversized bow.

A small hat: it’s not so much to ask. It shows a contentment of mind and a firmness of purpose. A small hatted nation can go confidently forward, averting wars and financial ruin without its collective head weighed down by superfluous brimage. It’s in all our interests. Please give generously when you meet one of the League with hat in hand. The cap may be small, but we hope your commitment will be capacious.


K.A. Laity writes so much that she had to create some pseudonyms to keep her colleagues from thoughts of murder. A tenured medievalist at a small liberal arts college, she mostly tries to find ways to avoid work in order to write more. Her latest novel, Pelzmantel (Immanion Press), reimagines a Grimm fairytale and features an introduction by Elizabeth Hand. Her comic gothic novel The Mangrove Legacy (Tease Publications) will appear this December  under the nom de plume Kit Marlowe. Visit her at or find her on Twitter or Facebook.

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