The Critic At Large (No. 26)

Posted by on 22. November 2011

I wear the pith helmet ...


... and not the baseball cap!

I’m aware that somebody who wears a pith helmet looks like a planter with slaves. But this traditional, nostalgic and beautiful hat is a paradise in the heat! A shady roof around your head! But when the American troops invaded one country after the other (Cuba, Philippines, Germany, Italy, Panama, Japan, Somalia, Irak, Afgnahistan, just to name a few) they did it in steel helmets and baseball caps. I admit: A pith helmet doesn’t protect against flying metal. If you are forced to wear a steel helmet, where do you put the pith helmet? The cap you can store in any pocket, even wear it unter the steel helmet in a case of emergency. So much for war times. But in peace? There are still a few pith helmet producers in India, England and Zimbabwe, working with cork, cotton cloth, leather strings and ventilation holes. The last nations to wear pith helmets in war & peace were – the Chinese and North Vietnamese. But they were made of plastic and painted dark green. Policemen, doormen and soldiers in some post-colonial regiments wear still the real ones. And me …

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