If you've ever wondered what it's like to run a magazine or how crazy my personal life is, be sure to read the behind-the-scenes peek at the daily trials and tribulations of running True West. Culled straight from my Franklin Daytimer, it contains actual journal entries, laid out raw and uncensored. Some of it is enlightening. Much of it is embarrassing, but all of it is painfully true.
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Friday, May 12, 2017
Bob Boze Bell's Hat Rules
May 13, 2017 Here is a public service and I am just the guy to give it.
THE HAT RULES
Hat Rule #1: "Do not touch my hat!"
Let's get this straight: a cowboy hat is not a toy. It is not okay to touch a cowboy's hat, or put on a stray cowboy hat lying around a bunkhouse or a truckstop. It is not okay to grab it off a cowboy's head, and it is absolutely forbidden to say, as you reach out, "Gee, what's that made of?"
"Do not touch my hat."
Exception: A fiance may touch a cowboy's hat once—on the honeymoon—but that's it. Also, a grandchild may do whatever they want to a cowboy hat, short of sleeping in it. It is, after all, just a hat. I know that doesn't seem fair, but that's just the deal.
Hat Rule #2: "Do not wear your cowboy hat in mama's house."
There is no more disrespectful thing you can do, short of killing the family dog, than wearing your cowboy hat inside your mama's house. This includes all your friend's mama's houses, as well. This even includes mamas from other nations. Moms are sacred and every cowboy knows it. Don't do it.
Exception: You may wear your cowboy hat when you are forced to enter the house of your ex-wife's mother. You know, the one who never thought you were good enough to marry her daughter. If you do, though, you must be prepared to fight your ex-wife, her mother and whoever is sleeping with the two sluts at the time of the entry. That's a hard trade off, but it's usually worth it.
Hat Rule #3: "Wearing Hats Indoors Is Complicated. "
Many cowboys have been in the armed services where it was drilled in to them to take off their lid when they are indoors. This wasn't true in the Old West where you see cowboys wearing hats in saloons and dining halls, but today is a different deal. When in doubt—Doff it.
Exceptions: In some parts of the country, if you enter a restaurant, it's okay to wear your hat at the counter, but not in a booth. This can be dicey if you see someone you know at a table when you are sitting at the counter, with your hat on. If you approach your friend at the table you can say hi and keep your hat on, but if you sit down, the hat must come off. This is known as the "heading-towards-the-door" rule. It is perfectly acceptable to wear your hat, as you cross the dining room towards the door, but do not dilly dally, or the hat must come off.
An Exception to The Exception: While everyone agrees the hat comes off in church, it is okay to wear your hat in Cowboy Church, but then it comes off for the Lord's Prayer.
Hat Rule #4: "The Dance Floor Dilemma"
In the old days, cowboys wore their hats to dances and never took them off, especially while struttin' around the dance floor. But, so many fights broke out when hats got bumped during dances that there are still places—mostly in Texas—where there is a hard and fast rule that you must take your hat off while dancing.
Exception: When a cowboy and a cowgirl are both wearing hats and it's time for a grinder, it is considered appropriate to leave both hats with a babysitter back at the booth.
Bonus Hat Rule: If you are in a cantina, drinking tequila and playing cards with
banditos who call themselves Los Muertos, do not make fun of their sombreros.
Hat Rule #5: "Cowgirls Can Get Away With Murder"
Most of the hat rules cowboys adhere to are not applicable to a pretty cowgirl.
Exceptions: there are no exceptions to this sexist and ridiculous rule.
"So Sue us."
Bonus Hat Rule: If a cowboy insists on you adhering to these hat rules, try and keep a wide berth. He is probably a "Hat Nazi," and should be avoided at all costs. Who needs all these damn rules anyhow?
Beware of Hat Nazis: They think their hats don't stink.