Head Garnish, Part 2: This Time It’s Presidential

Last time, I wrote about hats and made the bold and some might say unsubstantiatable claim that JFK killed hats. The fact is that JFK did not wear a hat to his inauguration. Another fact is that he was the first American president not to do so since there were American presidents (except maybe George Washington, but I think he got off on a technicality because a wig could be considered a very hairy hat). Fact three: the American hat industry began to decline shortly after Kennedy’s inauguration.

So here’s what we’ve got:

  1. When presidents were wearing hats, the American public was wearing hats
  2. When JFK stopped wearing hats, the American public stopped wearing hats
  3. ERGO, JFK killed hats

So we’ve proven that JFK killed hats beyond a shadow of a doubt. But that’s not really what I want to focus on. What I’d like to posit instead is that hats killed JFK. Because here’s some more knowledge:

  1. JFK did wear hats before he became president
  2. While JFK was wearing hats, no one assassinated him
  3. JFK stopped wearing hats
  4. While JFK was not wearing hats, someone did assassinate him
  5. ERGO, JFK was assassinated because he stopped wearing hats

“But Kevin,” you might say. “Why would someone want to assassinate a president just for not wearing a hat?” To you I would reply, “Who are you, and who let you in here?” And also, “Follow the money.” (I know, it’s the wrong presidential conspiracy movie, but I’ll take what I can get.)

You see, hats were (and in Brooklyn still are) big business. When JFK decided to take on Big Hat by brazenly deciding not to wear one, he was thumbing his nose at one of the most powerful industries in the country at the time. Hat money built this country. Look at any old-timey footage of a crowd of people celebrating some big event: look at what they’re tossing up in the air to demonstrate their jubilation. Hats. Now that’s the kind of ubiquity that can line a lot of pockets. So many pockets, that you need to sew on more pockets. And more pockets. And more pockets; until pretty soon you’re wearing some kind of pocket-covered utili-kilt garment. And men wearing cash-filled utili-kilts do not like to be undercut by some Masshole politician who couldn’t find an R in a word to save his life.

But wait. Ask any conspiracy theorist, and he (it is invariably a “he” for some reason) will tell you that the people responsible for offing Kennedy were the Military-Industrial Complex. It was a bunch of military big-wigs. And why would they care if JFK’s outrageous breach of fashion decorum led to America ditching the hat? Because it turns out that the military is pretty big on hats, so big that they even have their own special hat, called a helmet, that they make all their soldiers wear. And how were we going to win a war against the Reds if all our soldiers took off their army hats? Especially since the Russians were known to be developing a missile at the time that was capable of locking onto exposed sideburns.

They then enlisted the aid of Lee Harvey Oswald, who was all too willing to help because his receding hairline gave him a personal stake in the preservation of hat culture. After Oswald had done the dirty work, it appears that he, perhaps overcome with grief over his heinous crime, rethought his stance on hats. This can be seen from the fact that he appears in his mugshot hatless. The pro-hat conspirators felt understandably betrayed and had him silenced by Jack Ruby–who, in the iconic photo of his murder of Oswald, IS WEARING A HAT. I rest my case.




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