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Hat Rules

There have always been rules for wearing cowboy hats. Serious rules. Rules passed on through the bulwarks of generations and enforced by appropriately placed smacks to the back of the noggin from father to son. Unfortunately for cowboy hat wearers, the rules aren’t standardized, not etched in stone or branded into palm leaves.

In case you missed out on appropriate hat-wearing upbringing, here are the basics for when to wear:

  • Outside
  • At any outdoor event
  • In a public building
  • At a counter, but you’d better pull it off before you sit down

Here are the rules for removal:

  • In someone’s home (it should come off before crossing the front door threshold unless you want a whack the back of your head by a nearby father figure)
  • While eating
  • When greeting someone, particularly women
  • In a house of worship
  • In an elevator
  • At work
  • Inside buildings such as a school, library, courthouse or town hall
  • At a theater or any other gathering in which folks might get a little peeved if your hat blocks the way
  • When the National Anthem is played
  • When the U.S. flag passes by

(By the way, women get a pass on all of these niceties.)

Disaster strikes, though, when a hat rack isn’t present. Today’s horsemen face a perilous problem as hat racks continue to disappear from public society. I’ve encountered such conundrums myself, which I outline in the Fall 2019 issue of Chrome. I hope you enjoyed them. If your mailbox isn’t graced with the beautiful pages of Chrome, I welcome you to join us; issues come as a much-loved perk of an APHA membership. Get yours at join.apha.com.