Saturday, 6 September 2008

1981: The Cat And The Hat

Amos and Mr Wilks admire the new hat in 1981. Inset: Auntie Emily Brearly on her first visit to The Woolpack in 1980.

Emily Brearly's first visit to The Woolpack had caused much disruption. She had been horrified to find her nephew, Amos, meddling with the occult - bog-a-boos no less! - and departed in a great flurry - telling Amos that he should have the pub exorcised!

In 1981, Auntie Emily sent Amos a gift - a wonderfully classy hat. Very dressy. Too dressy in fact.

"This is the type of hat as history is made in," said Amos.

Amos' pleasure soon turned to disgust as his friends and neighbours sniggered to themselves whenever he came into view in his natty headgear, and Seth Armstrong serenaded him across Main Street: "Where did you get that hat, where did you get that hat?"

Mr Wilks and Walter were not impressed.

Amos did not want to give into the local philistines - he certainly didn't want to give into Seth Armstrong - and, besides, his feared Auntie Emily had bought him the hat and she would be not happy if she knew he wasn't wearing it.

Finally, he hit on a solution: Mr Wilks had adopted a pregnant cat, due to have her kittens any day. Amos decided that the hat was the perfect home for the new family - and organised things so that it looked like the cat had chosen it herself.

Of course, he couldn't possibly wear it now!

But Mr Wilks secretly guessed what he'd done, and told Amos that he felt dreadful about the loss of the hat (he, after all, had adopted the cat) and that he was going to buy Amos a new one, just the same as the original, from the very same shop.

Amos squirmed, and owned up.

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