(image not mine)
This hat, probably, hopefully, calls up mental images for the average reader. I'm working on the assumption that it does.
You recognize this hat. You've seen this kind of hat before, and connect it, very directly, with one person and one person only. Well, one character, I suppose I should say.
Because of this fact, the fact that you, reader, recognize this hat without being told, I shan't elaborate on it's significance.
Well, I found one today. Or, more appropriately, one found me. I wasn't shopping for one on ebay, I didn't plug "Deerstalker" into Google's shopping search engine, I haven't been combing thrift stores and consignment shops for months in search of this hat.
I walked into Goodwill (I love Goodwill. Don't you love Goodwill?). With my mother, my sister, and my youngest brother. I am in search of a wall-hook, perhaps a VHS copy of Sleeping Beauty, and a lamp. Didn't find the lamp. Didn't find the wall hook. Decided against the movie. Found a small cork-board, which is something I have been wanting but didn't expect to find in a thrift store.
And then, I found the hat. I spotted it across the store, I made my way for it, slowly, like an animal to slaughter, I reached across a very understanding fellow shopper to pull it off its hook. I tied the ear-flaps up. I hid it in my arms, walked slowly over to my mother, tried to look her solemnly in the face (acheiving more of a mixture of masochistic grinning and sheer terror), and showed her the hat.
"My life will not continue without this hat," I said.
Mom rolled her eyes.
"No, it won't, you have to buy it," replied my little sister.
"Buy it. Buy it so I can steal it and wear it," replied my oldest brother, after my texting him half asking if I should get it, half complaining because, "These are the things that happen to me."
I bought the hat. I scolded Mom for ten minutes for letting me buy the hat. I grinned all the way to (and through) Wal-Mart because I owned the hat.
Mom: "What are you going to do with it?"
Me: "I don't know. Hide it? Pretend I don't own it?"
Seeing as how the hat was brand new (still had the tag), I decided to put it on even though it was technically second hand. I put the hat on.
I looked in the mirror. To my absolute dismay, not only did I, a passionate though embarrassed fan of that character whom the deerstalker evokes, just happen to FIND a deerstalker in my little podunk town's thrift store; I can pull it off.
Mom: "You can't hide that. That looks adorable on you. You have to wear it. Wear it to church Wednesday."
We arrived at Grandma's (picking up mail and a forgotten bookcase). I step out of the car wearing the hat. Grandma sees it.
Grandma: "Oh you got one of those new hats!!"
So, yeah. I own a deerstalker. But it's Not My Fault!!! I didn't go looking for it, I didn't want to find it. It found me! I couldn't've walked out of that store without buying it, I never would've forgiven myself. And then I would've gone back and it would've been gone and I would've been Depressed.
So now I have to sit here and stare at it. What in the world do you do with a deerstalker?
Alright, fine. I'll say it. SHERLOCK HOLMES!