First, I've just realized I write a lot about signs. I guess this is not surprising given that I am a compulsive reader.
On with the post, then. In answer to the question"Who doesn't love a camo hat[?]", found on a sign at a local restaurant that is, presumably, giving them away with a meal, I think we all know that my first response is likely to be of the smartass variety.
(In fact, I already own a knit camo cap that the dogs brought home. They bring a lot of things home, including a foam rifle case--though we don't have a rifle; a pair of tennis shoes in my size which I actually wear for yardwork; softballs, playground balls, rubber baseballs; gloves--generally not in pairs; dolls; various articles of clothing; and of course squirrel and bird carcasses and various deer parts. We have a don't ask, don't tell policy with the dogs on these things. I have no idea where they come from, the dogs or their gleanings.)
But back to the question. Considered more metaphysically, maybe a camo hat would be a nice thing to have every once in a while, when you're grubby but need to run by the grocery store, when you're present for something you'd rather not see or hear, when you don't wish to be the [fill-in-the-blank]-est person present.
Camouflage comes, not very interestingly, from the French word meaning "to disguise," but it gets better, because that word comes from a word meaning "puff of smoke" which comes in part from a word meaning "to muffle or cover up" (that's the -moufl- part of camouflage).
And a little muffling or covering up can be a good thing on occasion.
So who doesn't love a camo hat, after all? Not I.
- Jennifer Horne
- I’m a writer, editor, and teacher, and I enjoy connecting with readers and other writers. On November 1, 2017, I was commissioned Alabama's Poet Laureate, for a four-year term. I grew up in Arkansas and have lived for many years in Alabama, although I’ve also lived abroad, in England and Romania, and have traveled extensively in Ireland and Greece. I’ve written two collections of poems, "Little Wanderer" (2016) a collection of road and travel poems, and "Bottle Tree" (2010), which focuses on my experiences as a southern woman. I’ve also written "Tell the World You’re a Wildflower," a collection of loosely interwoven short stories in the voices of southern women and girls. I love to put together collections as well, and I edited "Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets," and co-edited, with Wendy Reed, "All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality," and "Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality," as well as "Belles’ Letters II: Contemporary Fiction by Alabama Women," co-edited with Don Noble. I’m currently working on a memoir-influenced book about Scott and Zelda biographer Sara Mayfield as well as a new collection of short stories.