Dropping my girls off at school, I noticed a young man wearing a faux coonskin cap, set at a jaunty angle upon his head. It reminded me of my own youth, of a strange little (actually functioning) horn made to look like it came off an animal, and of Disneyland which is, I think, where I got my own coonskin cap (faux save for the tail which was REAL and no, it never occurred to me at the time that there was a maimed raccoon out there, sitting on someone's back fence and lamenting his lack of a striped tail). Strangely, I had been singing the "Davy Crockett" theme song to myself only the day before (or, that is to say, I had been singing the phrases I remembered so that it sounded like this: "something something something something, killed him a 'bar' when he was only three...").
In any case, as I passed the young lad with the mammal-inspired cap I casually said, "Great hat. It's really cool."
And the boy's face fell. I could tell I had ruined his whole day. It was one of those moments where you can see a phone book length missive written in the disappointed eyes of a child, and I knew that several topics he was dealing with included: why a lame old man thought his hat was cool; I thought I was going to be a rebel wearing fur this close to Portland and now I am being encouraged by an authority figure for my act of daring; and, not least by any stretch, oh no have I made a terrible wardrobe choice and will my friends mock me instead of giving me an amazing nickname like Coonskin Cody.
I wanted to grab the kid and tell him it was going to be alright and that he could always take the hat off, but you and I both know that once you wear the coonskin hat into class you have to wear it all the way home. There's no backing out.
Get a pet raccoon and take it to school. They won't be making fun of you then. It's not too late, you can still turn this into a reservoir of cool the likes of which will cause them to the remember you from the fourth grade to the retirement home. I was proud to see your genesis, Coonskin Cody.