He’s Been Hood-Winked

, , , , | Right | April 9, 2019

(I’m stocking shelves at the high-end grocery store where I work. There’s a display of items for local high schools for back-to-school, topped with a bust form wearing a hooded sweatshirt. A well-dressed man in his 40s with a local, upper-class accent taps me on the shoulder and points at the bust form.)

Man: “Can you tell me what this is?”

Me: “That’s the mascot for the local high school on the front.”

Man: “No, not on the shirt. This! All this extra fabric!”

(He pinches the hood of the shirt.)

Me: “Oh, that’s the hood, sir.”

Man: “The what?”

Me: “The hood for the sweatshirt. A hood, like goes over your head.”

(I flip the hood up on the shirt to demonstrate. The man walks around the bust form, looking confused.)

Man: “But how would you see? You’d be blind.”

Me: “No, it’s open in the front, sir. It’s just droopy like that because the mannequin has no head. It just goes over your head.”

(The man still looks confused, so I grab a sweatshirt off the pile, pull it on, and put the hood up. He looks at me, confused, then pulls the hood down and back up on me several times.)

Man: “Why would I want this? I don’t understand. Explain this to me.”

Me: “Well, some people just like the way they look. They keep your head warm and they can keep you dry. Right now some people are wearing things with hoods because it is raining.”

(I gesture towards the checkout, where several customers are wearing hooded raincoats. The man looks at them with a look of shock, then shakes his head and walks away. I later see him standing in line at checkout, and he is staring with anger at a mother and child who both have hooded raincoats on. He sees me and steps out of line to come over to me.)

Man: “You can wear a hat.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Man: “You can wear a hat to keep warm or keep dry.”

Me: “Yes, sir, you can.”

Man: “You should.”

Me: “Okay, sir.”

Man: “Wear a hat, not a… er, ‘hood.’”

Me: “Okay, sir.”

(I have no idea how the man made it to his age without ever having experienced any garments with hoods. Especially during cold winters!)

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