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Kunama 1956

A Painful Duty

Buying a hat is one of the worst experiences which life has forced me to go through.

Having stared into the window for a quarter of an hour or more, trying to pluck up enough courage to enter the shop, I eventually go into be confronted by a frightening array of hats, of every conceivable shape, size and colour. The shop usually has a dozen or even two dozen mirrors situated at strategic positions, places which are sure to he walked into. (Whenever I enter a shop I either walk straight into a mirror or begin buying a hat from my reflection).

After the mirrors, the precariously balanced hats and the ornaments have been safely negotiated, the salesgirl is reached, and well does she live up to her name. Immediately the words, "I would like to buy a hat" are spoken, she grabs the closest hat, be it green, or blue, or purple, and pushes it over her victim's head, saying, "That suits you, dear:" ("Pet" or "love" are often substituted here, and the words are always spoken in a broad accent).

When ono is at last free of the hat, which has been jammed over one eye, the colour, size and specifications are hurriedly told to the shopgirl before she can try again. She then tries to he helpful by telling the customer about a hat which she has just bought, and this invariably makes the customer hurriedly drop the hat she has just been admiring.

At last, when all the hats in the shop are piled on every table and stand within reach, it is decided that the bottom one in the pile proved, when it was tried on, to be the most satisfactory. When the price tag is reconsidered, however, one's opinion is always changed.

At last a hat is chosen and one leaves the shop satisfied, except for the sharp headache which always goes with the large paper bag or cardboard box. The label on the latter is usually held downward, so that no-one can see it. That may be why as soon as you get in the tram or bus a small boy puts his foot through the box, or a big man sits on it.

I don't know how many people would agree with me, but I know that buying a hat is something which is to be avoided wherever possible.

ANNE HOGAN, 4th Year

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