- 29 Aug 19
You Only Live Once
Time to dust off the Stetson and take to the road once more, aiming the PatMobile for Stradbally and environs. The stories I could tell. The stories that hat - pictured above with the author, back in the long ago, having a good time - could tell. How about the story of the hat?
There was a time when Nile Rodgers and Chic did not play here every second weekend. I think it was their second appearance at The Picnic and they were due on around midnight on the Saturday. The Coff and I had been imbibing steadily since early in the day and were in fine shape, full of the joys of spring, quick to offer a compliment or lend a hand. Just a couple of lovely fellas. As we waited for Chic to take to the stage, a young and attractive man and woman approached and asked about my hat with no little hint of admiration. I regaled them with the tale. I bought it in Nashville. As I stood in the hat shop – let’s for the sake of this prose call it ‘Hats For Your Ass’ - mulling over the possible purchase, a staff member sidled over. He was in the full gear – hat, shirt, belt buckle the size of a large dinner plate.
“That hat was made for you, Sir. I can tell,” he offered with a grin.
“Yeah,” I replied, scratching my chin. “I dunno, it’s a bit tight on my oversized head.”
“No!” Him again. “No, that’s good, it’s snug, that’s the way it should be. If you’re out on horseback, fixing a fence, you don’t want it to blow off.”
A loud guffaw filled the shop, emanating from The Coff who was close by, admiring his own sartorial selections in a mirror. He knew for experience that the only time I go near horses is to throw torn up slips at them out in Leopardstown, and as for fixing fences…
Anyway, that couple and I continued with our pleasant small talk, comparing the bands we had seen, the drink we had enjoyed, the usual festival chat, until I heard in the distance the opening bars of Chic’s ‘Strike Up The Band’ (or whatever it was) and looked up to see Rodgers with The Hitmaker, grinning on the screen. I politely made my excuses, mumbling something about “needing to funk alone”, and gently shoved them off into the night.
The Coff was grinning at my side.
“You’ve no idea who that was, do you?”
I didn’t, but they seemed nice.
“That was such and such, the big TV star, and some famous bloke whose name has been removed for legal reasons, and is quite possibly not her boyfriend.”
I stared at him, blankly.
“You don’t even know who I’m talking about, do you?”
I didn’t. We’re all stars at The Picnic, baby! That’s what makes it so great. See you down there.
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