Smile Politely

I bet you wish you had a hat

Every April something happens; I get insanely busy. I’m not sure why this is the month, but it is. I just want to watch baseball or stand in the garage and try to lure passersby inside to listen to a ballgame and drink beer. Instead, I usually end up working my ass off. I still drink beer in the garage and listen to ball games. It’s just that I worry about work as I do it. It’s time for a break. Let’s get it on.

DRIVE, but not in that cool Ryan Gosling way

When I first started this column, I thought I’d occasionally do fun stuff around town and then write about it. I do plan to do that some time, but this particular entry will be pretty much the exact opposite of fun. Last week I went to the DMV to get a license sticker, and let me tell you it is a pretty unpleasant experience. Yeah, I know it’s not a nightclub, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if it were at least like a clean grocery store.

I should have just mailed in the damned thing a month ago, but that would take a couple of minutes, so instead, I opted to stand in a stinky little line for a half hour or so. The first thing that hits you when you walk in is the heat. It could be more of a lack of air than actual heat. Now that I think about it, it even took a few minutes to get in the door. I have no idea the heaven I was experiencing outside of that stockade.

If the DMV is any indication, and I believe it is, the future is going to be a whole lot more like the movies Brazil or Idiocrasy instead of Gatteca or Star Wars. If you want to make a sound investment, I’d pick the suicide machine, because very few people with any sense are ever going to want to go through something like that. Everyone has a look of unending misery on their face and if you see someone smiling you have to assume they are mentally ill.

The people who work there are actually pretty nice though, or at least a couple were. I stood in several lines, so it’s hard to remember each encounter. The scariest part is looking around and realizing that all of these people inside will be sharing the road with you. This experience has already made them miserable and I’m guessing aggression is just around the corner. I should have paid them $100 not to ever have to drive.


All right, I don’t need any sort of a reason to drink and I need even less of a reason to go to the Brass Rail. Actually, I also really don’t need a reason to wear a hat. All of these things are fantastic and let me tell you why. It’s all because of

Here’s how it works. If you’re drinking Hamms beer at the Rail and you get the last can from the case, you will get to make a hat from said case and then you get your picture taken and it will eventually be posted on this wonderful web site. Is it glamorous? You bet! It’s what all the high fashion models would be wearing if they drank Hamms, which they don’t, but still.

You can craft the hat any way you would like. There are many times when I wish I had a pair of scissors or pruning shears to really get creative, but then again, I’ve usually had a large part of a Hamms 30-pack, so I should probably stay away from anything sharp. It’s also tricky because some times they are 24-packs and other times they are 30-packs. Still, there’s nothing like seeing your drunken, hatted picture on the site. I’m on twice. That’s so cool. In fact, I may go drinking after this and try to win another one.

On the site, people are often referred to by their downtown frat names in the descriptions and they also have an empty beer case on their heads so it’s often hard to know who you’re looking at, but that’s really part of the fun. Actually, the Hamms is usually the only fun part.


  • If you find yourself saying, “Holy crap, the dog has an ink pen in his mouth,” let me tell you, the next hour or so of your life isn’t going to be all that awesome. It also gives us more ammunition in the “we should get rid of the carpet” debate.
  • I don’t know much about “glory holes,” but I bet “despair hole” would be a much better name.
  • I’m sure the, “I bet you wish you had a hat,” made my friend Amy laugh. I say that line all the time and I don’t even remember what the initial story actually was.
  • If you’re thinking about making some sort of gay Russian porn film, I think The Czech is in the Male would be a good title.
  • If you see me out on Friday, don’t make any fast moves. I will be drunk and they will only seem like normal speed. It’s just a lot of wasted effort.
  • The cartoon still isn’t ready, by the way. This is not cool because now there is a weird buildup that will make it seem all the worse. 

Buona Sera, Signorina, kiss me goodnight.


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