It Looks Ridiculous

Robert Feinstein

I knew I was out of my element as I passed through the gate of that country club. After all, I’d never been in one before. But I wasn’t especially nervous as I approached the tennis court on the far left. That’s where Dave, my brother-in-law, told me to meet him promptly at two. However, as soon as he saw me, he scowled and shook his head from side to side, indicating that I was already in trouble.

And without so much as a greeting, he snarled at me: “What the hell is that stupid thing on your head?”

“It’s my hat. It’s a straw boater,” I replied.

“Well, it looks ridiculous. You can have it back after we leave,” said Dave, as he quickly grabbed the offending object and deposited it into his satchel.

It was useless to protest, and I resigned myself to being bare-headed for the next couple of hours.

Then Dave eased off a bit and said: “Hey, I want you to have a good time here today. But I don’t want you to do anything that will embarrass us. Just act like you belong here. Okay?”

I sighed a bit, slightly smiled, and nodded, thus giving Dave the reassurance that was so vital to him.

“You’ll be watching me play against Bryce Harlow. He’s the vice president of this club and very sophisticated. He’ll be here in a few minutes, and I want us both to make a good impression on him.”

And sure enough, just moments later, Dave was introducing me to the very sophisticated Mr. Bryce Harlow, vice president of that country club, who arrived wearing a straw boater hat just like mine.


About the Author

Robert Feinstein is a retired medical librarian. His short stories have appeared in Downtown Brooklyn: A Journal of Writing, Stuck in the LibraryNew English Review, and The Forward.