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June 19, 2013 Fiction

Three Must Haves #5

Steven Casimer Kowalski

Three Must Haves #5 photo


Sterling-Silver Crook-Handle Bespoke Umbrella with Silk Canopy: $2,295

We hope that you never need use this umbrella.  Surely, a lifetime of sunshine and warmth is preferred to the sloshing of puddles and the tickling of errant chills.  And because no man can guarantee a consistency of sun, no man should be without a device to provide shelter from inclement weather. And if you do find this product as satisfying as I do, perhaps it would not be terribly out of bounds for me to say that yes, in a sense, our umbrella turns rainy days into something else entirely.  Not sunny days, no, for we do not deal in hoodoo.  Yet, this barrier to the elements is so exquisitely balanced and weighted that it can barely be said to add burden to the hand which holds it.  In addition, the canopy, constructed of finely spun imported silk, is harmonically tuned to reverberate the sound of droplets colliding with it away from the holder rather than toward.  I am sure you have noticed with other umbrellas that, in a downpour, conversations with another person standing a canopy’s distance away are difficult at best.  Our goal is and has always been to make this product nearly invisible when in use.  One day, with the use of the right books, we hope to make the umbrella invisible entirely!  Imagine it, all the world sloshing about and you in it, dry as a bone.


Henry Coat Hanger Style E-60: $12

May I take your coat, they ask.  You almost always answer in the affirmative.  Then you gladly hand over your garment with little more than a ticket to commemorate the exchange.  But have you given thought to who they are, what they want?  While you ride the polo grounds or examine the cork at your dinner table, have you ever wondered who is rifling through your pockets?  What details of last month’s debauched Summit still cling to the inside lining of your coat?  Is it a coat you commonly wear?  Maybe they have switched it out entirely, given you a new coat similar to the old to wear while your actual jacket gets cut into one-hundred pieces in some laboratory to be dusted and irradiated and shown to witnesses.  Imagine the trial, to which you might foolishly wear the same jacket.  Imagine your shock when they produce a swatch from the original.  Think of your outrage while your lawyer shouts out that this evidence is inadmissible.  But it is, you see?  Because you gave it to them.  And it was all in exchange for a numbered ticket.  That is it.  They handed you the ticket, hung your jacket with the rest, and as soon as the second course began an unseen hand plucked the jacket from its hanger, carried it down some secret passage, stuffed it into a pre-addressed box and shipped it off to a fortress where harsh light is shed upon secrets.  Still, all hope is not lost. You have been careful…perhaps your actions weren’t even criminal?  There are many of us who have done no harms and wronged no rights.  Why me? You will ask.  And there, I am afraid, is where we must part ways.  Because I ask myself that very same question.  In any event, leave them a tip, they are only doing their job.


Elderluxe Silver Eagle Head Crook Cane: $449

To measure yourself for a cane, stand fast before the mirror.  Measure the distance from the floor to the wrist bone.  If already holding a cane, note the shoulders. If the cane-side shoulder slouches, the prop is too short. If the shoulder opposite cane-side slouches, the prop is too long.  In the event you prefer a darkened room, one with heavy curtains and clouds of dust or perhaps because your lineage has rendered mirrors of little use, simply halve your height in inches and there is your measure.  Crude, surely, but also quick and simple like Mother’s Goulash.  Are you in pain, sir?  Then perhaps the crook handle is a poor choice as it may misalign against a frail palm and cause more harm than good.  Not to worry, sir, we have a number of Fischer handles in stock and even one or two of them in gold.  Though the Fischer is a bit of a grotesque wouldn’t you agree?  It was formed to fit to the shape of the closed hand and bulges the contours of a soft palm.  But that is comfort. That is the trade.  The smooth silver eagle’s head, bowed down in deference to its master, it is fit for a walk across the still smoldering battlefield.  And in its fine polish you may see reflected the freshly spilled vitalities of mongrels.  But as the field stretches on and your Aide-de-camp tallies the victory your arm may ache.  Friction at the Ulna and Radius will spread a heat to the Lunate Carpal then the Capitate, Trapezoid and Trapezium before flowering out into the Phalanges which will then lock around the silver curve of crook’d eagles head.  With your Wellington’s three inches deep in cool mud it may feel as if your hand is on fire and the whole of your body is balanced upon the flame. You must resolve yourself, sir.  Nod in approval, toast the young fighters.  When you are home, pry your hand open, and run it under cool water.


image: Caleb Curtiss