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    Tennis
    29 December 2005
    It's all in the hat

















    'Tis the season of Christmas carols, fruitcake and morning frost.... No, no, no, this is all wrong. Haven't heard any carols, don't like fruitcake and since we are in Qatar - no morning frost, only morning fog. But one thing Christmassy we have in abundance - Santa Hats! Shop assistants, bank clerks (believe me), hair stylists and plain clothes Xmas agents are all sporting Santa hats! But do you know that these hats remind me of a hot summer a while ago? And it wasn't in Qatar..
    I was in the subway, going home for lunch. It was sometime in late July, and the heat was as unbearable as it gets. Europe can be very hot too. I found a seat and all but dozed off to the sound of the train, when lo and behold, the weirdest couple walks in! A woman in a pretty summer dress, flustered and looking rather desperate, and a boy, clearly her son, maybe 6 years old or so, wearing shorts, t shirt, sandals and a huge Russian winter hat! And I mean something like this:
    The eyes of all the people on the train were transfixed on the pair. The woman moved swiftly inside the carriage, pulling the boy behind her. She stared ahead adamantly and pretended to ignore the quizzical looks of the fellow passengers. The boy was beetroot red, either from embarrassment or the heat (and I bet the hat didn't help!) and never looked up at all. After a couple of short stops some people stood up and walked out, and the woman and a boy took the empty seats. Now they were right opposite me, and I couldn't help it - I stared at them, too! The woman looked painfully determined, and tugged at the boy every now and then. He appeared to have difficulties holding his head up, and leaned onto his mother who scolded him quietly each time he did so. I could see the poor kid did his best to sit straight and take as little space on the seat as he could. He clearly wished for the hole in the train floor to open up and swallow him whole. Or at least he looked like it.
    And that was it, I thought. A strange and rather hilarious encounter in public transport. But no, the story took an unpredictable twist with the arrival of yet another passenger... An old and respectable looking lady, all blue curls and sparkling little eyes. She walked inside the carriage and stopped right in front of me. Then she turned and saw the woman and the boy in the hat. It didn't take her a split second to react to the sight! "Ha! Are you STUPID??" she cackled at the woman. "It's JULY for goodness sake! You know, HOT! What did you put this hat on the kid for?? No, definitely you must be stupid. People, don't you see..." and I bet she would have continued if not for the swift reaction from the victim of her verbal attack. "Me? STUPID?? Look, look what we have here!"
    And with these words she jumped up from her seat and pulled the hat off the boy's head...
    Silence. Complete silence in the carriage, even ta tam ta dee of the train seemed muted by the silence of the passengers. The boy had a vase firmly planted onto his head. It was a round crystal vase, and it fit his head perfectly. I could see his red ears squeezed inside the vase. What I didn't see was a way this vase could come off without a chainsaw. Or something similar. As any crystal vase, it was a heavy bottomed solid quality product, and it was definitely very heavy. I understood why the poor kid couldn't keep his head up...
    The old lady was cut short in her tirade. She stared at the kid in disbelief, then at the woman, and then she attacked. She lounged at the kid with her arms outstretched, uttering something along the "lemmetakethisthingoffyounow" lines. At this the woman screamed and jumped in front of the boy trying to fence the old lady off, while the boy covered his head with both hands and started whimpering. I finally understood what had happened. Poor kid had somehow managed to get his head stuck in this heavy vase! After countless (no doubt, judging by the state and colour of his ears) attempts to free his head, his mother had given up and was taking him to the clinic (or garage??) to have the vase removed by a doctor (or a mechanic). It just seemed more appropriate to cover the boy's head with that massive Russian hat... given the circumstances. The carriage promptly exploded in commiserations and reminiscences of countless similar experiences with numerous family members and probable solutions. The mother was however unwilling to try anything, and simply thanked the well wishers and put the hat back on her son's much suffered head. After that she finally allowed him to rest his head on her shoulder and smiled just a little... The old lady was already sitting beside her and seemed to have given up her attempts to free the "poor bairn" from his ordeal.
    And then it was my stop.
    posted by Bravecat @ 12:40 am  
    12 Comments:
    • At 29/12/2005, 08:51, Anonymous Jack said…

      And the moral of this story.

      Don't stick beans up your nose!

      Are you and Kaza sisters?

       
    • At 29/12/2005, 11:23, Blogger U.E. said…

      NO! You're serious?! That is freaking hilarious. OMG. That poor kid. And that poor mom. hahaha

      And don't you love old ladies? I can't wait till I outgrow the need to censor my own thoughts!lol

       
    • At 29/12/2005, 12:04, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Jack,

      You just never know nowadays... For all I know, we could be! :^)

      UE: :^)

       
    • At 29/12/2005, 13:23, Blogger Sever said…

      Russian wnter hat :)))
      Funny story... but also sad for that boy :-/

      And about Christmas & New Year... yes, sellers have Santa hats & so on. Amusing...

      I have just got, that you call me Sever :P

       
    • At 29/12/2005, 13:44, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Sever,

      Yeah I did, your nickname is just too long! Hope you don't mind :^)

      I am sure the boy is ok by now, hehe

       
    • At 29/12/2005, 19:09, Blogger Kazablanka said…

      Poor kid.. if i was in ur place i would have followed the boy and his mom (without them knowing ofcourse) to the clinic (or the garage) just to see how they were gonna take that vase off!!!!

      I remember when i was young, i sat into a bucket and like my butt got stuck in the bucket and i started crying cuz i thought i was gonna live my whole life in the bucket (seriously, when u are young ur mind is so limited i tell ya) anyway so im crying in the bucket and my mom comes to where i am wondering why i am crying and when she sees me she starts laughing and i thought i had such a cruel mom cuz i mean what kind of mom would laugh when her daughter is gonna spend the rest of her life in a bucket??????????

      Jack - ofcourse scratchy is my sister, you couldnt tell from our feet pictures???????

       
    • At 29/12/2005, 19:18, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Hahaha yeah Jack we are actually twins.

      Thinking of the "Twins" movie - VERY appropriate in this case...

      Meow

       
    • At 30/12/2005, 02:09, Anonymous James said…

      :)

      Poor Kid...The Skeptic in Me thinks the Crystal Vase could be one costly one or a Family Heirloom.:P

       
    • At 30/12/2005, 13:30, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      James,

      I don't think so, it was quite simple... then again, I am not an expert in crystal vases!

      :^)

       
    • At 01/01/2006, 22:15, Blogger Violet83 said…

      lol poor kid, funny story:D

       
    • At 02/01/2006, 23:58, Anonymous Mise said…

      Hey QC ..lol..funny story and brilliantly told! ...You've got a novel in you somewhere, woman!

       
    • At 03/01/2006, 09:46, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Thanks Mise, and Happy New Year!

      =^..^=

       
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