#1
Old 08-29-2005, 10:14 AM
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Beware the Old Man in a Hat

When I was a kid my dad and I would go camping, visit the grandparents, etc. He said you always have to watch out for old men driving while wearing hats. The idea is that nobody under a certain age would wear a hat, and that people who did were slow or poor drivers. Did anyone else hear this while they were growing up?

Incidentally, I've taken to wearing a pork pie hat. I often wonder if there are people who have heard the 'hat thing' and are being wary of my driving?
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#2
Old 08-29-2005, 10:33 AM
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In fact we always refered to them by the akward acronym: LOMWH..Little Old Man Wearing Hat.

I see the hat as more of an explaination, however, than a warning.

If your not driving 10 under the speed limit, with your left turn signal on for the last 4 miles, and stopping at green lights, most people aren't going to look for the hat. Oh yeah, and shaking your fist at drivers who pass you.
#3
Old 08-29-2005, 10:33 AM
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Old men with hats and little blue haired ladies that look through the steering wheel barely over the dashboard are scary.
#4
Old 08-29-2005, 11:18 AM
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Indeed they are. Especially on the highway.
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#5
Old 08-29-2005, 11:59 AM
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I don't know if you guys have special Veteran's license plates or not, but we have them in Canada now. I was wondering why, yesterday, when it occurred to me that they can be a handy warning system. "Warning: Occupant of car never, ever looks around him. In fact, he's hardly aware he's IN a car."

(Old people not knowing when to hang up the car keys is a peeve of mine. Mostly because they can, you know, kill me.)
#6
Old 08-29-2005, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by featherlou
I don't know if you guys have special Veteran's license plates or not, but we have them in Canada now. I was wondering why, yesterday, when it occurred to me that they can be a handy warning system. "Warning: Occupant of car never, ever looks around him. In fact, he's hardly aware he's IN a car."
I feel the same way about Oregon plates.
#7
Old 08-29-2005, 12:39 PM
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I'd never heard any saying about old men driving while wearing hats, but I managed to figure it out on my own. It's practically ingrained in me to do everything I can to avoid getting stuck behind one.

Also, oldish boxy cars are generally occupied by slow drivers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevbo
I see the hat as more of an explaination, however, than a warning.
Where I live, there are a lot of 2-lane roads that become 4-lane for a few hundred yards either side of a stop light. (And then it's 5-10 miles to the next stop light.) If I see a car being driven by a man wearing a hat, I've got a brief opportunity to be in front of him, rather than behind him, even before I see whether he's going to be the guy leading a parade without a permit. So I'm in a position to use the information constructively.
#8
Old 08-29-2005, 12:42 PM
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I live next to a building the blue hairs and old men in hats go to play bridge - I am always scared when they back up to leave and it is dark.

I'd say 99% of them should no longer be driving in the day - never mind night driving by the way they back up and leave.
#9
Old 08-29-2005, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly
I'd never heard any saying about old men driving while wearing hats, but I managed to figure it out on my own. It's practically ingrained in me to do everything I can to avoid getting stuck behind one.

Also, oldish boxy cars are generally occupied by slow drivers.

Where I live, there are a lot of 2-lane roads that become 4-lane for a few hundred yards either side of a stop light. (And then it's 5-10 miles to the next stop light.) If I see a car being driven by a man wearing a hat, I've got a brief opportunity to be in front of him, rather than behind him, even before I see whether he's going to be the guy leading a parade without a permit. So I'm in a position to use the information constructively.
Before they widened the roads around here I used to have to use this strategy all the time to keep ahead of all the slowpokes (who often exhibited all the warning signs of a slow driver). One time, however, my strategy failed. I was at an intersection where, after passing through it, there was only a couple hundred feet to go before the two lanes merged into one. Old guy complete with the hat/earlaps ensemble and driving a big boat-like car was in the left lane. Thinking for sure he'd hold me up if I stayed behind him, I got into the right lane, expecting to race ahead of him once the light changed to green. How wrong I was! That old son of a bitch stomped on the gas and was determined to keep ahead of me, only to force me to drive his speed once the merge had passed. Dick!
#10
Old 08-29-2005, 04:41 PM
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We always said: Watch out for old men wearing earflaps. You know the kind of hat that has furry flaps that are often snapped on top when it's not all that cold? We determined that more often than not, old men wearing earflaps were the kinds of drivers you wanted to avoid.

My MIL gave my husband a hat with earflaps - I thought it was funny!
#11
Old 08-29-2005, 04:54 PM
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I completely agree! One of my cardinal rules when driving is to get past anybody driving while wearing a hat ASAP. (There are certain exceptions, of course, such as guys in muscle cars wearing feed-corn caps. I use them as highway patrol bait instead) Likewise, if I can't easily see anybody in the driver's seat I take it as a given that it's an old mini-woman who's only clear view is of the tint stripe across the top of her windshield.
#12
Old 08-29-2005, 05:02 PM
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I used to work for one of those. He drove a mid-80's Buick Electra 225. He was 5'4" (not including hat). He would push the seat all the way back and drive with his tiptoes. He'd never get over 50mph.

He was once pulled over on the interstate by a state trooper and told to either pick up the pace or get the hell off the intersate or he was going to get killed.
#13
Old 08-29-2005, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A.
Incidentally, I've taken to wearing a pork pie hat. I often wonder if there are people who have heard the 'hat thing' and are being wary of my driving?
" Beware of men driving while playing the saxophone and wearing a porkpie hat"

~~ old Interstate traveller's saying.
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#14
Old 08-29-2005, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Blue Sky
I used to work for one of those. He drove a mid-80's Buick Electra 225. He was 5'4" (not including hat). He would push the seat all the way back and drive with his tiptoes. He'd never get over 50mph.

He was once pulled over on the interstate by a state trooper and told to either pick up the pace or get the hell off the intersate or he was going to get killed.

I had a Little Old Lady tell me that a policeman had told her that everyone going faster than her was on drugs, so she should pull over and let them by, because there was no telling what they'll do. Bless him.
#15
Old 08-29-2005, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A.
I feel the same way about Oregon plates.
I feel the same way about Volvos. The double whammy is old man with hat driving Volvo. I haven't encountered any old men with hats driving Volvos with Oregon plates yet - I wonder what that would be like.
#16
Old 08-29-2005, 07:25 PM
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Yes, and it's still a standard joke/observation around here, likely to result in the "wise" comment, "Ah, a little old man wearing a hat."
#17
Old 08-29-2005, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A.
I feel the same way about Oregon plates.
*glares*

Actually, the mildly amusing thing is that when I first moved to Eugene I was advised to change my plates ASAP because I'd get a lot of, shall we say, unwanted attention with California plates on my car.
Now I go back home and people are giving me wide berths right and left

~mixie
(formerly of Davis, CA)
#18
Old 08-29-2005, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manduck
I feel the same way about Volvos. The double whammy is old man with hat driving Volvo. I haven't encountered any old men with hats driving Volvos with Oregon plates yet - I wonder what that would be like.
Get ready to duck, Manduck! I too have a thing about Volvo drivers. However, there is a little pack of them here on the boards that will attack you as soon as they figure out how to take the emergency brake off.

And yes, old men wearing straw hats in their car generally mean they will turn right at the next intersection, despite the left blinker having blinked for the past 9 miles.

And sorry, Johhny LA, but I think porkpie hats look like a bottle cap stuck on a guy's head. Can't stand them ever since the first Rocky film. Still see stupid Stallone wearing it and can't shake the image.
#19
Old 08-29-2005, 10:03 PM
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It's an old story. My dad told me about old men wearing hats when I was about 14 (1936). He had heard it from his father who was born in 1860.

I'm an old man and I never wear a hat while driving, and for a reason.

About 40 years ago three guys (and a dog) from here were going fishing at a lake about 60 mi. away. To get there they had to go over a mountain pass that includes a sharp, hairpin turn (safe speed about 15 mph.) Their vehicle was a crew cab pickup and right in the hairpin the dog decided to jump into the front seat which knocked the drivers hat over his face. The truck went off the road and rolled down a boulder strewn slope killing two of the guys and the dog. The third guy spent a year in hospitals and rehab.

I don't drive around with many dogs but that's not the only way a hat can get knocked off.
#20
Old 08-29-2005, 10:57 PM
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I witnessed an old guy having an accident once - he was backing out of his parking spot, and the car that was stuck behind him was honking, driver waving his arms, all he could do to get the old guy's attention, and the old guy backed straight into him without looking behind him once. Heh. It's funny cause it wasn't me.

Another time, I saw this old guy get out of his car once he parked it, and oh so slowly shuffled into the building he was going into. Oh yeah, you know that guy's reflexes are topnotch.
#21
Old 08-29-2005, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Simmons
It's an old story. My dad told me about old men wearing hats when I was about 14 (1936). He had heard it from his father who was born in 1860.
I'm surprised it's that old.
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Simmons
I'm an old man...
Yeah, but you're so
#22
Old 08-29-2005, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manduck
I feel the same way about Volvos. The double whammy is old man with hat driving Volvo. I haven't encountered any old men with hats driving Volvos with Oregon plates yet - I wonder what that would be like.
Not the LOMWaHDaV. There is not a special place in hell for them. They actually are Demons, driving the roads trying to spread hate and anger through the land.

SPOILER:
LOMWaHDaV=Little Old Man Wearing a Hat Driving a Volvo
#23
Old 08-30-2005, 12:27 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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I'm a little old lady who doesn't see too well. Do you think I should wear my father's old hat just to warn people?
#24
Old 08-30-2005, 01:06 AM
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[QUOTE=Johnny L.A.]I'm surprised it's that old.[QUOTE]Well, I doubt it goes back past 1900 but it wouldn't take long after the first automibles for people to start joking about others' driving.

And old, and young, men in hats operated farm machinery including steam engines. I can remember members of threshing rings commented unfavorably about how some men drove their teams when coming up to the business end of a grain separator.
#25
Old 08-30-2005, 02:57 AM
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I'm generally apprehensive about old men with wide brimmed hats, especially if they only have one eye, and there's a pair of black birds flying around.





(Yes, that was my first thought when I saw the title of the thread. I'm that much of a nerd).
#26
Old 08-30-2005, 10:28 AM
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It's not just old men. ANYONE wearing a hat is a dangerous driver.

There are two exceptions: People wearing toques (but only if it's very cold outside) and train engineers.
#27
Old 08-30-2005, 10:46 AM
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This was something that my friends and I noticed when we first started driving around 1970. We refered to them as members of OMH - Old Men with Hats. We figured they drove around all day long just to tie up traffic and cause other people to crash into things. We thought they were probably radio-dispatched (before cellphones) like taxi drivers and would suddenly appear on a clear stretch of road in order to drive 15 mph below the speed limit along side each other.

Down here in Texas it is best to watch out for anyone driving with a cowboy hat on. When someone can drive a less-than-full-size car or truck while wearing a big 'ol cowboy hat where you can see daylight between the hat and the roof of the car - you know they are a short fella. They're going to wear that hat everywhere because they think it makes them look taller. I think the hatbands are a little too tight around their head because they often drive crazy. It's only a matter of time before they shrink down from age and change from a cowboy hat to a Tom Landry fedora.
#28
Old 08-30-2005, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Simmons
It's an old story. My dad told me about old men wearing hats when I was about 14 (1936).
1936?! Wasn't hat-wearing pretty much universal at the time?

Was there a typical kind of hat you were supposed to watch out for? Bowler? Homburg? Collapsible topper? Hillbilly wide brim?
#29
Old 08-30-2005, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beware of Doug
Was there a typical kind of hat you were supposed to watch out for? Bowler? Homburg? Collapsible topper? Hillbilly wide brim?
Beats me, I was only 14. As I recall we were walking down town (no car because of somewhat difficult economic times) and when we came to a street to cross a car was come. Dad said something like 'Better wait for him, it's an old man with a hat and dad always told me to watch out for them.' Of course my grandfather was an old man who usually wore a hat. Maybe the idea was that you had to watch or for all old man drivers, or maybe all drivers.

Come to think of it the hat is unnecessary, they're all out to get you..
#30
Old 08-31-2005, 02:05 AM
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I'm an old guy and I promise I won't wear my hat while driving any more. Please don't hurt me.
#31
Old 08-31-2005, 02:22 AM
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It's a worldwide phenomenon, I think. Even down here in Australia, you've got "Bloody Volvo Drivers" and "Bloody Old Bastards Wearing Hats". I was taught as a young'un to watch out for both of them, and get the hell out of the way when the two were combined.
#32
Old 08-31-2005, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoe
I'm a little old lady who doesn't see too well. Do you think I should wear my father's old hat just to warn people?
Those of us who spend their leisure time as hobbyist haberdashers tend to think that you might present yourself best in this hat when driving the Nash down the Interstate.
#33
Old 08-31-2005, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisB
I'm an old guy and I promise I won't wear my hat while driving any more. Please don't hurt me.
Hey, around here you'd just blend.
#34
Old 08-31-2005, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra Indigo
It's a worldwide phenomenon, I think. Even down here in Australia, you've got "Bloody Volvo Drivers" and "Bloody Old Bastards Wearing Hats". I was taught as a young'un to watch out for both of them, and get the hell out of the way when the two were combined.
I see a lot of Volvo Driver bashing. Locally we've noticed the ads for VW {where they are looking for drivers} is because most VW drivers can't drive. (Excepting the drivers of the Bugs)
You see that guy on the highway that can't keep a small car in his lane going around a curve, yep VW.
Change 2 lanes at once cutting off several people and now going slower than the lane he barged into: you got it VW. Etc.
#35
Old 08-31-2005, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cartooniverse
Those of us who spend their leisure time as hobbyist haberdashers tend to think that you might present yourself best in this hat when driving the Nash down the Interstate.
Howwww-dee! All it needs is a tag reading "$1.98".

Actually, today it'd be more like $198.-
#36
Old 08-31-2005, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Simmons
Come to think of it the hat is unnecessary, they're all out to get you..
I've felt that way. But then, I ride a motorcycle. (Actually, when I was riding in L.A. I noticed that Mercedes drivers in particular apparently have some sort of antipathy toward motorcyclists.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisB
I'm an old guy and I promise I won't wear my hat while driving any more. Please don't hurt me.
Yeah, well I'm getting old and I'm definitely going to wear a hat!
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