This weekend, my visiting sister and I spent some time hanging around various places in L.A. and doing what we call Hat Watching — which is to say, people-watching with a particular zoom on rampant asshats. You can imagine this is fairly specHATular in Los Angeles, although frankly, it’s a meal pretty much anywhere in the world.
But today, thanks to the Kentucky Derby — and its proud tradition of encouraging people to wear awesomely crazy things in the name of tradition, a la Royal Ascot and other big horse-racing events — we get to do some Hat Watching that involves actual HATS. The wackier, the better. It’s hard to judge people’s headgear when they’re EXPECTED to go nuts, but giggling at it is all part of the experience, which I remember from going to Royal Ascot and being too young to wear a spectacular accessory of my own but fully appreciating all the drunk people staggering around in king-sized hats full of wackitude.
So, let’s get to some hats. Which anagrams to “shat,” which has nothing to do with anything really, except that it would’ve been a perfect segue if somebody had worn millinery that looked like a creature had relieved itself messily on his/her (most likely her) hair. The first time I looked at Lynn Whitfield here, I flashed back to the last time I was
in the gift-wrap aisle at Target, looking for the biggest and most
obnoxious ribbon I could find to adorn the tiniest Christmas present I
had to give.
But I suppose I could also argue that a Fraggle emptied its bowels onto her coif.
As for what happened to Niecy Nash here, I do not know:
My best guess: She tried to make a Tina Turner wig out of something she stole from a bird sanctuary.
** Edited to add: This is the part of the post where I did something
really stupid. Like, REALLY. See that picture of Niecy? Yeah, it’s not from this year. I accidentally put in photos of Star Jones
and Tichina Arnold that ALSO aren’t from this year, because I was blinded by
the excitement of the hats and the shenanigans and forgot to check the
DATE ON THE PICTURE (this is what I get for searching for ‘Kentucky Derby’ on our image provider and forgetting to put in the year). Since I can’t edit the polls, I’m just going to
leave the pictures in here and let you laugh and laugh and laugh at the
hats, and at me, and say things like, “Somebody’s got a case of the
Mondays,” while Jessica and Intern George decide whether to fire me or
just make me do all the Diet Coke runs for the next two months.
HOWEVER, LeAnn Rimes? And Bethenny Frankel picture at the end? Totally from 2009. So
at least I still end on a high note, however you want to define “high.”
Meanwhile, I’m a tiny bit concerned LeAnn Rimes is going to get a crick in her neck from tipping back her head so that her face is visible:
It’s all very Strawberry Shortcake, if someone greenlit a Saturday morning cartoon in which our heroine — now all grown up — learns important lessons like when to box your trifecta, or how to stand in a crowd of people during a race and NOT get a mint julep thrown at you by someone who can’t see because the person behind you is using your hat as a nacho platter.
Star Jones would do well to watch that cartoon (edited to add: or would have done, back when this photo was taken, which was…. not this year, dammit):
Especially if it includes some advice on how a giant sun hat does NOT, in fact, blind people from noticing that you are wearing elaborate lingerie.
Tichina Arnold from Everybody Hates Chris went with something a little more artistic at a Derby party (edited to add: a year ago, because I am stupid).
In a way, the hat’s loop-de-loops echo the design of the dress, which seems intentionally to be giving the impression that her dress straps — and her bra straps, because we know she’s waring one, since we can SEE IT — are hanging out, choking her blood flow to her shoulders. I wonder if Tichina spent the entire time at this party fending off well-wishers who tried to stuff them back up inside the bodice. On the flip side, if Jessica and I ever decide to host some sort of Fug Olympics, I think that hat and its crumbling cascade of charred rings would make a great logo.
And of course — because no major event is complete without the star of some horrible reality show in attendance to remind you that acting like a spoiled asshole/oblivious moron/oblivious asshole/spoiled moron (or other variant of your choice) on television will turn you into a household name — here is Bethenny Frankel of The Real Housewives of Please Make This Entire Franchise Go Away:
A baby-pink jumpsuit with a handy dish-towel accessory, a hat that looks like you tied a ribbon on it to hide that it got crushed in your suitcase on the way over, and a LOLLIPOP? Honey, you are not Shirley Temple. For one thing, Shirley probably would’ve made sure you couldn’t see her nipple shadow. And for another, back in her lollipop days, Shirley was SIX. I hate to break it to you, B, but you are not six. However, you and Shirley do have one thing in common: apt anagrams. Shirley Temple’s can turn into “Thee Perm? Silly,” which might be true depending on your views on her hair, while yours is just “Barf En Thy Kennel” — which I think says it all.