Sunday, May 09, 2010

Que Sarah, Sarah?


Getty Images/Disney Comics

We admit to being a little jaded over the British elections here at Seat of Pants. Between the three of us (Pants, Barney and the question Why), we can muster barely a concentration span of a couple hours normally. Three days of focussing on the minutiae of something as tedious as this has required rather more medicinal chardonnay than even we feel is strictly healthy but we really couldn't let this sartorial curiosity go unremarked, as it is, well, remarkable.

Sarah 'Mrs Scrooge McDuck' Brown exited No. 10 Downy Street yesterday sporting intriguingly unfeasible head furniture. It seemed to us we had seen this somewhere before. Yes! we thought, she has on the old man's hat. The question Why stepped up to do what it does best and triggered a Seat of Pants CSI. Barney toddled off to do what he does best and mixed a batch of his fine Bloody Marys.

We have written before about the importance of a good solid education, especially in the arts. It's amazing how much sense can be made of the world if you are familiar with the work of Eugene Ionesco and Charles M Schulz. The Pants family were blessed with a grandfather who read nothing but Disney comics. Scrooge McDuck was his favourite. We probably never missed a single issue for twelve years. It's the equivalent of a lifetime subscription to the Financial Times and Psychology Today for social commentators. The question Why and I are to cultural forensic investigation what the Titan transmission electron microscope is to nanotechnology. Our motto - if it sucks, we'll blow.

So Sarah, what were you thinking? What message were you trying to convey? Has there been an assassination attempt on the Rt Hon Scrooge? Were you thinking you'd take the bullet on his behalf? We can envisage the scenario. Look there he is! But he's wearing a dress. It's a disguise you twat. Shoot the one in the hat. Very noble Sarah.

Or perhaps you were plotting to confuse the media. We can picture it. The country on the brink of ungovernability and financial ruin. The Prime Minister and his missus are ambushed by the toughest Paxmans in the land. A hail of razor-like inquiries is unleashed. The nation demands answers. Is that a Philip Treacy you're wearing Sarah? Off to the races Sarah? Oh the savagery of the fourth estate.

But seriously, the question Why and I have better things to do than trifle with this foolishness all day. We famously know nothing about fashion. We get our PJs for Christmas and grumble if we have to buy a new pair of Reeboks. But one thing we know - that is not a suitable hat for a crisis. Even we, whose mental processes can best be described as unorthodox, cannot begin to imagine the train of thought that resulted in that choice. We can only hope that Mrs McDuck gets help soon before she starts sleeping with a stuffed grizzly bear. What's that you say Barney? Deep Scrote says that's already happened. Pity poor Blighty.

As little as we know about fashion, we do feel confident in our grasp of the basic elements required in a credible crisis hat. There are two types of crisis hat. If you are experiencing the kind of crisis you either want the media to know about because there might be a book or a News of the World windfall in it, or one you cannot deny because you are addressing the assembled throng from the front steps of The Priory, a baseball cap or a football beanie is your best bet. These have the advantage of hiding your dishevelled hair and blending in with the rest of your wardrobe which was carefully co-ordinated by your minders from a pile of items on the bathroom floor. Only Liz Taylor dresses up to go into rehab.

The other type of crisis hat is the 'stiff upper lip' model. This is the type Mrs McDuck should really have chosen. It creates a business-as-usual facade that, while laughable in the circumstances, is far too dignified and classic to argue with. Ideally you want a beret. It will mask dishevelled hair just as well as a beanie or baseball cap. It needs to be in a dark beige, or navy blue. Black is too maudlin, white too hopeful and brown is inadvisable, especially if it's also your name. It's best if it's not too fluffy. A wool/cashmere blend is ideal. Hey, it's not Crockett science.