Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Entry #2

February 16th, 2009 by Wordsman


“I’m going to join them,” Theodore announced suddenly.

“You . . . what?” Abigail asked, lowering her camera.  “You’re going to join who?”

“Them,” he answered, pointing toward the group of men in front of them who were waiting patiently to proceed.

“You’re going to join the Funny Hat Brigade?” she asked skeptically.

“All it takes is a hat,” he declared solemnly.

“Uh-huh,” Abigail responded, rolling her eyes as she went back to taking pictures of other parts of the parade.  Then she stopped.  Theo liked to make proclamations like this, and most of the time he never acted on them, but every once in a while they were a prelude to his doing something insane that got them both into trouble.  Unfortunately, there was no way to tell which kind of statement it was beforehand, so if she wanted to avoid a disaster she had to treat them all as if they were serious.

“So how would you join them?” she asked, returning the camera to her pocket because she knew this was going to be a lengthier conversation than it really should be.  “Don’t you think they’ve spent weeks, maybe even months practicing for this?  You can’t just waltz in and take a spot in the parade.”

“All it takes is a hat,” Theodore repeated.


“No.  Don’t you see?  Look at them.  There are people of all types in that column.  Young and old.  Short and tall.  Those with glasses and those without.  Only one tie binds this group: their costumes.  If I had a hat like that, along with the rest of the outfit, then I could be one of them.”

“They’re also all men,” Abigail muttered, but this would not be an obstacle for Theo.  And it wasn’t like she wanted to join the Funny Hat Brigade.  “So why do you want to join them, anyway?” she asked, growing more and more concerned that this would be one of his tangents that actually turned into reckless action.

“To see the world as they see it,” Theodore explained.

“I don’t think they see the world any differently than we do.”

Theodore gave his sister a look, as if to say that she was the most naïve person he had ever met.  Then he turned back to contemplate the column arrayed in front of him.  “Their eyes are shaded by the brims of their hats,” he said at last.

“You want shade?” Abigail asked.  “We can go stand under that tree right over there.”

“It would not be the same,” Theodore said, shaking his head sadly.

“It’s exactly the same!” she began to protest, but her brother was already stepping away from the line of spectators.  “Wait!  Stop!” she cried, causing Theo to halt and turn back toward her.  “How are you even planning to get a costume?” she tried desperately.

“I will wait for one of the men to leave the parade in order to go to the bathroom,” Theodore explained, as if this was the most obvious thing in the world.  “Then, while he is unawares, I will use the element of surprise to knock him out and take his costume.”

“What?” Abigail asked.  She seriously wondered if he thought that the element of surprise alone was enough to knock a man out, or if he understood that his fists would also be required.  “That’s the stupidest . . . one of the stupidest ideas I’ve ever heard!” she corrected, recalling some of their previous conversations.

Theodore shrugged.  “It always works in the movies.”

Before Abigail had a chance to explain that just because something works in the movies doesn’t mean it will in real life, or that that particular trick no longer worked every time even in films, one of the members of the Funny Hat Brigade abruptly left his line.  He had an expression on his face perfectly befitting a man who has been trying to hold it in but can take it no longer.  “Now’s my chance,” said Theodore, and he took off after the man, cutting through the crowd with surprising ease.

Abigail was unable to follow, being disadvantaged by the height difference between her and her brother, so she remained exactly where she was, hoping Theo would be able to find the spot again.  She tried to take a few pictures but wound up spending most of the time worrying about just how much trouble he could get into and growing more distressed with each answer she came up with.

A few minutes later, the man returned to his place in the line, followed shortly afterward by Theodore, who remained amongst the spectators.  Abigail was thoroughly relieved to see no signs that they had either fought or attempted to exchange clothes.  “So what happened?” she asked, natural curiosity overriding the desire to move on and forget the incident had ever happened.

“We talked,” he answered.  He sounded slightly disappointed, but mainly his tone was thoughtful.


“He said I am not yet ready.”

“See?” she said, pulling out her camera again.  “I told you that you need practice to be in a parade.”

Theodore shook his head.  “It is not a matter of practice,” he explained.  “It is simply a matter of being ready.  He said that any man can put on the hat, but there are few who can truly wear it.”

The camera descended once more.  “That doesn’t make any sense at all,” Abigail said.

“He said he could see it in my eyes,” her brother continued, talking more to himself than to her.  “That someday I would be ready.”

“You’re making all this up,” she said, deciding that at this point it was best to just ignore him.

“Someday I will wear that hat, and I will see the world through their eyes,” Theodore went on, no longer paying attention to his sister’s doubts, or the click of her camera, or the parade passing by in front of him.  “And I will be one of them.”

Posted in Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? | 4 Comments »

4 Responses

  1. Dragon Says:

    So are these all going to form a story, or will there just be a few that go together?

  2. Wordsman Says:

    They may tell a story, if you consider a series of scenes that involve the same characters to be a story. It may, however, be a story that requires a fair amount of organizing within your own head.

  3. A Fan Says:

    Can we submit pictures for the Wordsman to do an entry about?

  4. Wordsman Says:

    You may, but they may be rejected on the basis of not being of a certain quality or being unable to strike me with an inspiration for a particular scene. Pictures may be submitted to

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