When I got on the bus this morning there was something new to consider.
See him up there? The guy at the front? He’s got a new cap, bless his heart, and he wants you to know just how very new it is.
And, apparently, how much he paid for it.
Remember Minnie Pearl? C’mon – ‘fess up! Who here remembers Hee-Haw?
This is Minnie, in her store-bought hat, the price tag proudly hanging, proof that she bought it, proof that she could afford it. Minnie was a comedian, and the hat was both a poke and a bit of a valentine aimed at country folk.
Ladies and gentlemen, Minnie’s back, in saggin’ trousers and a Chicago Bulls warm-up jacket, and she’s been reincarnated as a young man riding the bus.
I look at him from my seat toward the back and wonder if he’s heard of Minnie Pearl and what he’d think if he knew I was comparing him to her.
He’s sitting in the sideways seats behind the driver. The holographic sticker he’s failed to remove from the brim attests to the fact that this is a genuine cap made by a genuine manufacturer. The price tag hanging proudly in his line of vision corroborates the cap’s – and perhaps his – value.
I briefly toy with the idea of walking down the aisle, tapping him on the shoulder and whispering “Hey, you forgot to cut off your tag”.
I, myself, am unwilling to wear an article of clothing with the price tag still attached, partly because a good deal of my clothing has price-reduction stickers all over its tags and partly because unless it's part of your act, it's stupid.
There is also, of course, the subsequent need to carry the receipt with you. Hey – if you’re going to wear a hat with a price tag on it, you may be asked to provide evidence that you purchased it.
Minnie, Jr. departs at the Light Rail stop. The bus proceeds; and we are poorer for his absence.
Human beings are fascinating.