The Bugs Bunny Hat

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
On a trip to Nairobi Henry loses his favourite hat!

Submitted: June 21, 2016

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Submitted: June 21, 2016

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To be fair, Henry thought he was pretty cool when he wore his Bugs Bunny cap. He bought it at Singapore Airport on his way to Tanzania and it was love at first sight! It was green, his favourite colour and embroided on the front was an image of Bugs Bunny and Taz. And although he didn’t give a toss for labels, the tick of Nike was displayed on the back.

Legend had it that when he visited Movieworld in Australia years ago, Henry was the only one in the group who knew all the Looney Tunes characters!

He wore the cap only when he was going out, never at work – his work cap at the time was a Budweiser cap he found at the Mtumba - the second hand market.

‘Grandad,’ Elsa said, ‘I heard you talking to Daddy about your cap that was stolen, can you tell us about it too?’

Henry smiled at the girls and thought about the events before replying.

‘It was the most expensive cap I ever bought, I paid twenty five US dollars for it because it had Bugs Bunny on it.’ He began.

‘We had to go to Nairobi because I broke a tooth on a stone that was in some peanuts I chomped on.’

‘Ouch!’ Anna is always sympathetic. ‘Did it hurt?’

‘Yes it did.’ Grandad laughed. ‘I went to an Indian dentist woman who had trained here in the UK – she did a very good job and was gentle.

Afterwards we were shopping for some shoes because we had been invited to an important wedding. There were a lot of people busily going about their business – Nairobi is a busy, bustling city and a bit dangerous too.

As we were crossing the road a young fellow came up from behind, whipped off my cap and ran off down the road with it!’

‘Were you scared?’ Anna was wide-eyed at the cheek of the guy.

‘No really – in the heat of the moment I suppose. It was not very safe to leave Granny on her own, but I didn’t even give her a thought – I was focused on getting my best cap back!

Straight away I ran after the youth calling out ‘Mwizi!’  That means ‘thief’.’

‘Did anyone help you?’ Asked practical Elsa.

‘Yes, there was a line of cars, stopped at lights. The fellow ran down beside the line, and someone, I don’t know who, quickly opened a car door and he ran slap, bang into it – made him stumble, slowed him down.’

‘Good!’ Said Anna, satisfied, rubbing her hands at the thought.

‘Yeah, it slowed him down but he ran across the road, but there was a group of men standing on a corner who responded to my calls of ‘Thief’ and they caught hold of him!

Captured, the lad handed my cap back to me.’

‘Good!’ Anna said again.

‘The men began to punch him and I clenched my fists and thought I might biff him one too so I bounced around like a boxer – but I thought better of it and just thanked the men suggesting they let him go.

I was puffed with all my running, but suddenly the big crowd that had stopped to watch the action, started clapping! I didn’t realize that I had made such a spectacle! So I had to pretend I wasn’t puffing at all and smiled back at them. I really wanted to bend over to catch my breath!’

The girls laughed at the thought of Grandad puffed!

‘What about Granny?’ Elsa asked.

Henry laughed. ‘A young boy who had been selling peanuts helped her to finish crossing the road and was standing beside her waiting for me to come back – guarding her I think.’

‘That was good of him.’ Elsa thought.

‘Yes it was, so I gave him more money than he would make in a day’s selling his peanuts– just to say thanks.’

‘You were lucky to get it your cap back then.’ Commented Anna.

‘That’s not the end of the story though.’ Continued Grandad.

‘What happened next?’ asked Elsa.

‘Back in Arusha about a week later, I had been at the Agency office and was walking down a narrow track towards the main road when a woman stopped me and asked if I knew how she could get sponsorship to become a nurse. People often asked me for help with different things, so I spoke to her for about five minutes and just as we had finished, a man on a bike passed close and whipped my blimmin’ cap off!’

‘Really? Do you think the woman was helping the man?’ asked Elsa suspiciously.

‘I thought that too, but I really don’t know. I will never forget the guys face as he rode off with a smart smirk on his face! He knew I couldn’t catch him!’

‘So you finally lost your cap?’ sympathised Anna.

‘Yes, I hopped in my truck and drove around town looking for him but I never saw him again and never saw the cap on anyone else either.’

The girls saw the funny side of the story and laughed shyly.

‘After all it was just a cap, but I have never found one like it again.’ Henry laughed with them.

‘They were after the Nike icon.’ Henry reckoned.


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