Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Friday Poem – which is going to be a long one!
(Gasps of shock from the readers. Someone screams. Far off in the distance, a Horse coughs nervously)
Last weekend, I went with my fiancée to Bridport Hat Festival, and this is a poem that I thought of after visiting the festival.
The events depicted below are purely for comedic effect, and any similarity to persons or animals alive or dead, with hat or without is purely unintentional.
So sit down, strap in, and prepare yourself for this week’s offering.
I hope you like it.
Drama at Bridport Hat Festival!!
To Bridport Hat Festival I did go
With my fiancée in her new chapeau
To see what gives and say “what ho!”
At Dorset’s finest display of Millinery.
We both wore hats, as is the rule
She made her own, looking elegant and cool
Mine was shop bought – I looked a fool
But hoped to go unnoticed.
Our journey to Bridport was warm and sunny
We had high hopes, and a little money.
Passing traffic queues to Dorchester was quite funny
As we sped unhindered on our way.
Soon enough, we safely arrived
And eventually a parking space we spied
For no apparent parking details were contrived
In any information we had seen.
But we were there, so nothing else mattered
We reveled gladly in Millinery that flattered
Some hats looked new; others, worn and tattered
But what a selection on show!
There were Trilby and Tricorn, Berets and Caps
Hats made of Felt, and hats with huge flaps
Hats made for ladies, and hats made for chaps
And so many adorned with extras.
There were buildings and animals, and even the Devil
A hard hat with tool belt, and spirit level
A crocheted arm, with a tattoo that said “Beryl”
If you could think it, it was here on a hat.
And the people were laughing and talking quite loud
You could tell that to be there, they were all very proud
It was a real joy to be part of this crowd
What a tip-top Hat festival this was!
Then all of a sudden, the mood went flat
As an old lady crossed herself, cursed and spat
Saying, “that bloke there – he ain’t got no hat!”
And everyone stopped and stared.
And sure enough, it was really true
As real as the summer sky is blue
He was stood there, this bloke – like you do
But with nothing on his head.
I say nothing, but that isn’t actually fair;
His head was aflame with rich red hair
At which you couldn’t help but stare
As it flickered in the gentle breeze.
Like ripples on water, heads turned in the crowd
To see this man stood there, brazenly uncrowned.
I heard someone mutter “shouldn’t be allowed”
And murmurs of approval echoed.
The whole scene was now blanketed by a deafening hush
Nobody hurrying; no-body in a rush.
Several people’s ice-creams had now turned into slush
But you could have heard a hat-pin drop.
Everyone waited; the tension was raw
Some wanted answers – some wanted war!
One bored dog wanted sleep, and so started to snore
And the atmosphere steadily darkened.
A stand-off ensued; no one dared made a move
The man stared at the crowd; he had nothing to prove.
Local cows shuffled nervously to and fro on their hooves.
It was like being in the eye of a storm.
And then a rumble began rising up from the floor
Through the crowd it spread, becoming a roar
Fixated, a shop keeper inadvertently shut his hand in his door
As in one voice the crowd shouted “YOU!!”
“HOW DARE YOU COME HERE WITH YOUR SCALP ON DISPLAY!
YOU OPENLY INSULT US, ON OUR HOLIEST DAY!
IT’S REALLY UPSET US – NOW PLEASE GO AWAY!
We are a charity – so on your way out please donate.”
But the man stood there unmoved, steadfast and firm
He didn’t bat an eyelid, nor flinch or squirm.
The situation was tighter than a pensioner’s perm
When suddenly the stranger sprang into life.
With a cruel mocking sneer, he smirked as he said
“look at you lot with those hats on your head
I hate hats – I loathe them; I’d rather be dead
And I think you’re a whole bunch of fools!”
With that, in a flurry he threw down his coat
And leapt up onto the crowd like a mountain goat
Then sprang away over them kicking several folk in the throat
Laughing, with his hair blazing as he went.
Well, as you’d expect – it all went to pot;
There was uproar, chaos, anarchy – the lot.
The poor town crier fainted right there on the spot
As the red-haired stranger fled.
Crowd surfing vertical, away he did skit
Sending hats flying as he did so – and enjoying it
The knocked off hat festival would sound a bit shit
And so arms reached out ready to grab him.
A forest of limbs up from the crowd suddenly sprang
But the man dodged through them like a crazed orangutan
Until caught by his trouser elastic with an audible ‘twang!’
And a swarm of hands dragged him down.
Well, he thrashed and he flailed like a great white shark
But the hands gripped him tightly to prevent any more larks
I suspect that the gripping might have left quite a mark
As he was ceremoniously thrown out of the town.
His description was passed to the local authorities
Who sent word to be vigilant to all rural bobbies
And instruction to immediately, and without question seize
The persona non-grata if seen.
The festival continued, but lessons were learned
The organisers did not want their fingers again to be burned
So from now all visitors will be forcibly upturned
And shaken to ensure they have a Hat.
If they don’t – then entry may still be allowed
Although their identity will be broadcast to the hat wearing crowd
Who will watch you suspiciously, until you they say VERY loud
“I’d like to buy a hat please!!”
So if you are thinking of visiting, please heed this advice;
You will be most welcome, Bridport Hat Festival is so nice
But to not wear at hat – well you’d better think twice
As forcible ejection may offend!