Monday, March 31, 2014

The Man in the Teddy Bear Hat

Innocent teddy bear....
One afternoon last fall, Seth and I were perusing the wares in one of our favorite stores, Tractor Supply, enjoying their displays of gleaming salt licks, lamps in the shape of western boots and sack upon sack of assorted animal feed when Seth spotted it.

The second I saw it, my heart sank just a little for, based on the sparkle in Seth’s eye, I knew it would be coming home with us. Sure enough, he pranced right over to where it hung with dozens more just like it. Fleecey and weird, it was the perfect odd hat to catch the eye of a man who not only loves all hats but seeks warmth at the cost of fashion.

This hat, a strange combination of felt and faux fleece, was designed to keep the eccentric wearer's neck and forehead toasty while simultaneously -- with its ear flaps that unintentionally (I assume) look just like two furry little ears  -- making whoever had the poor judgement to wear it, look just like a teddy bear. 

I could not talk Seth out of this hat...he wore it on the way home and it quickly became his favorite.
...not so innocent teddy bear...

The hat became the cornerstone of his cold weather wardrobe and, since in the past year, Seth has taken to walking for exercise, it became a familiar sight in the neighborhood. 

Normally sedentary, my husband, in an attempt to build up his childlike calves, manage the stress of his job and keep his blood pressure in check, now does at least four brisk revolutions on the oval that encompasses our road and one other.

There have been many perks. He's feeling a lot better, has met some really nice neighbors, knows the names of all the dogs walked daily and not only learned what a clematis is but suggested I plant one around the mailbox. As for the hat, it has become part of his persona. It's the only thing that sets him apart from being a completely normal dude out for some exercise since he looks just like a giant teddy bear as he strides along.

So, maybe it's the hat that explains why, last week, somebody called  the police claiming he was peering into parked cars with possible malicious intent. Apparently, they thought he was a dangerous teddy bear.

...kinky teddy bears.
The police were very pleasant, saying not one word about the hat, explaining themselves as they requested ID. And Seth, I think, was a little pleased that anyone may have thought that he might have been up to something naughty. 

After all, when you are repeatedly mistaken for a teddy bear, it's kind of exciting to be thought of as threatening.  Allow me to assure you that Seth had no ill intentions as he made his rounds. Nor was he looking into cars except, perhaps, to admire the hat's reflection in their windows as he powered by.

He is guilty of a few things, however: trying to improve his health despite pizza for lunch almost every day, enjoying the brisk weather, watching for signs of spring and reporting back on them, admiring your gardens and home improvements and, in general, keeping an eye on the neighborhood in only the most positive ways.
You knew I'd sneak
a cat in somewhere.

So, do not fear the man in the teddy bear hat. 

He means no harm and has no intention of breaking into your car despite the little fleece "ears" that obviously have caused some concern. 

We assume that whoever called the police was not a local and, therefore, hasn't seen Seth and the hat walking every single day (except in heavy rain--he's not crazy, after all) but if you do reside in the neighborhood, don't worry--all the man in the teddy bear hat wants is to enjoy the fresh air and get his blood pumping. And soon it will be warmer and the hat will retire until next year, anyway. 

Happy spring, everyone.

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