I Wear Plants for Hats by Jordan Moffatt | Flash Fiction | #thesideshow

May 31, 2017
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I was the first person in the world to wear a plant for a hat. It all started one day when I looked at a hat and then looked at a plant and thought hmmmm. Then later I was about to go outside. It was a warm spring day and I thought it would be a wise move to wear a hat, and then I remembered the thought I had earlier (when I looked at a plant and then looked at a hat), and so I took the leap and did for the first time what would later become a big part of who I am: I put a plant on my head and wore it as a hat. Then I went outside.
I immediately got weird looks from from everybody in the neighbourhood. Everybody was looking at me weirdly as if they were saying to themselves, Is that guy wearing a plant for a hat? But as time went by and everybody got used to me walking around wearing a plant for a hat, the weird looks stopped and I became known in the neighbourhood — lovingly — as “the guy who wears plants for hats.”
I became quite popular. Everybody started stopping me on the sidewalk and asking what my secret was. “Secret to what?” I would ask them. “The secret to being so happy,” they would reply. It was comforting to know that everybody could tell I was so happy. I hadn’t really thought about it before it was pointed out, but it was definitely true that I was much happier since I began wearing plants for a hats. So when everybody would ask how they could be as happy as me I had a pretty easy piece of advice to give them: “Wear a plant for a hat.”
Well, sure enough, some people started doing it. And then more people started doing it. Some of my good friends from the neighbourhood told me I should patent my idea, or at least start a business out of it before wearing plants for hats got too popular, but, as I always say, I’m not in it for the money.
Eventually it became so popular that it was rare to step outside and not see somebody wearing a plant for a hat! I knew it went really mainstream when World President Santiago began her bi-weekly address by elegantly placing a philodendron monstera on top of her head and wearing it as a hat. Of course, that made investors in philodendron stock quite happy — sales went through the roof, thanks to the famous but elusive “Santiago plug.”
But, like all trends must eventually do, the practice of wearing a plant for a hat eventually faded from popularity. Plants, once proudly displayed on the top of one’s head like a hat, reverted back to being placed in pots or in the dirt on the ground. In a recent interview, World President Santiago herself laughed the whole thing off. “My grandkids are going to make fun of me for that,” she said in response to a photograph of her wearing a plant for a hat. “What was I thinking?” Her view is typical of pretty much everybody. These days, pretty much everybody would rather eat a rock for breakfast than wear a plant for a hat.
Me? Yes, it’s true: I still wear a plant for a hat. And just like when I started this whole thing, I’m getting weird looks whenever I go outside — except this time instead of getting weird looks for being the first person to wear a plant for a hat, I’m getting weird looks for being the last person to wear a plant for a hat. That doesn’t matter to me, though. I’m still as happy as I was the first time I put a plant on my head and wore it as a hat. The world has changed around me, but I’ve stayed the same person. Sure, I could change. Everybody would laugh and point at me less if I stopped wearing plants for hats. But wearing a plant for a hat makes me happy. Why would I want things any other way?

Jordan Moffatt is a writer and improviser living in Ottawa. His writing has appeared in The Feathertale Review, (parenthetical), Potluck Magazine, and is forthcoming in Bad Nudes and Matrix Magazine. He was shortlisted for the 2016 Lit POP Award.