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The Funny Hat Solution

John W. Pinkerton


My brother, bless his heart, had a…direct personality.  An example is when he knocked
lightning from a fellow worker on a construction job.  That caused a stir.  Being that this occurred in the modern era, a meeting was called to chastise him.  It turns out that the fellow he knocked lightning from was a relative of one of the major contractors.  My brother's defense was that he didn't know the fellow was a relative of the major contractor and suggested that in the future all relatives wear funny hats so they can be readily identified.

Now, personally I don't need this visual aid to identify faulty folks.  I can spot jackasses from a half mile away.  I first recognized  this ability when I was five.

I was trying to help my dad while he was adding a room to our house.  He kept yelling at me and generally acting as though I was an idiot and a bother.

My “feelings” were a little bruised, and I slept on this puzzle overnight and came up with a plan to test Dad's theory that I was an idiot and a bother.  I pledged myself to make no mistakes when attempting to assist him and see if his attitude changed.  The next day I was doubly alert and careful not to make a mistake.  He still harshly yelled at me.  My conclusion was that he, not I, was the idiot and  bother.

Time would prove that he wasn't an idiot (most of the time), but he certainly was a bother.

Now, my point is that from an early age I realized I could easily see through the facades that people employ to see the ugly truth.  I suspect it's a pretty primitive gift---probably from the reptilian part of the brain.

Nevertheless, I consider it a gift, and I'm thankful for it, and I do like my brother’s “funny hat” thought.