Hear me. Hear me, you worms who do not yet know the extent of your own inferiority. I know that you can see me (for how could you not?), but now you must hear what I have to say. You “gentlemen” who limply cavort around London in your tricorn hats and your foppish buckled chapeaus…you presume that your heads are adorned with the royalest of coverings. Yet you are all MISTAKEN, for I have created a superior hat that will rule atop them all! A top hat, if you will. And now that I am beneath this two-foot-tall obelisk of velvet, you shall all tremble for you are now worth less than the very dirt that quakes below my heels.
Think on it. When you witness a crowd of men ambling through the dreariness of their own meagre, small-hatted existences, what shall be the first thing that your boorish, mongrel eyes fall upon? Their lifeless faces? No. You shall only see the singular hat that towers wraithlike above them all. And when you attend the theatre and I am seated in the very first row, who then shall be the play’s leading character? David Garrick in Richard III? No. The hat. Tell me: How shall you attract the attention of suitors when my opulent hat has already signaled to them like a beacon from on high? Do you even comprehend the sheer power that rests upon my head like an inbred king sitting upon A THRONE OF GOLD?
You are ants beneath me.
You boys. You simpletons, ambling around this filthy city with nothing but your impotent, insubstantial baby hats — hats that reveal the very contours of your meek, insignificant skulls. Answer me this, you small-hatted, jelly-brained dullards: With my magnificent velvet skyscraper-hat solidly affixed to the top of my virile frame, have you any idea how large my skull is? HAVE YOU A SINGLE INKLING THE SIZE OF IT? Why, my skull could be the size of a small dog. OR IT COULD BE THE SIZE OF A PEA! But enough. You shall never know my brain case’s true form, for it is all-too-perfectly concealed beneath the shroud of my gargantuan hat suit!
Thousands of silkworms have died so that my hat could live.
Do you miss the feel of sunlight against your body? Do you wish that your pallid British skin could once more experience the thrill of Apollo’s sunlit caresses? That is an impossibility FOR MY MONOLITH OF A HAT STANDS ERECT BEFORE YOU! It blocks the sun. It spreads darkness like the plague and scrapes against the sky like the talons of an eagle. You are all excrement. Some day soon, my hat will pierce through the flimsy border that separates Earth and Heaven and it shall ENTER INTO THE REALM OF GOD HIMSELF! And He shall cower. And He shall be the perpetual bedfellow of fear and infirmity. For He shall finally be a witness to His own tragic obsolescence.
I hear children screaming in the distance. They have seen it.
Now, I already know what some of you are thinking. I can see it in your greedy eyes. You wish to steal my greatness. You believe that, if you also wear a top hat, then you shall no longer be my inferior. But you are mistaken! Know this: If any of you dimwits ever try to craft your own supremely tall hat…I SHALL SIMPLY MAKE ONE THAT IS TALLER! And this cycle will repeat indefinitely until my gigantic hat-shaped thumb of God thrusts into the very abysses of infinity. Understand me, ONLY when I have been inevitably crushed beneath the weight of my own never-ending headwear (and then subsequently embalmed in this selfsame hat, enshrined for all perpetuity as The Supreme) only then will you curs be able to wear top hats of your own.
But, even then, you shall always be in my shadow.
Dan Caprera is a freelancer from Chicago. As well as being a columnist and contributor at McSweeney’s, his work has been featured by The Daily Mail, Lonely Planet,The A.V. Club, Uproxx, The Chive, Golf Digest, Mic, ShortList, and BroBible. He has a website.