I’ll Take a Hat
My cousin Tony walked into a Porsche dealership one day when he visiting Sydney from his native Lebanon. Now Tony, you must be warned, is a bit of a character — he has a shiny bald head, speaks in broken English, and has a penchant for the ridiculous.
On his visit to the dealership the car salesman at Porsche greets him, and asks his name. Tony answers ‘Tony Sajir’ — immediately the car salesman’s eyes light up with dollar signs. Lebanese-Australians with that last name, in this part of Sydney, are known to have disposable income lying around.
Tony is like a kid in a candy store. For the next three hours, the car salesman gives him the full treatment. They go model by model and test-drive by test-drive, covering every square inch of the showroom floor. As the visit is nearing the end, the car salesman turns to Tony and asks the penultimate question, his eyes gleaming in anticipation.
“So, Mr. Sajir, which one is it going to be?” he asks. The last three hours are about to pay big.
Tony furrows his eyebrows, raises his hand to his chin and re-examines the showroom floor. He looks across the 911’s, the Macan’s, the Boxsters and the Spyders. Then, he catches the shelf behind the salesman’s desk and sees a string of Porsche merchandise, and at last beams with delight. He turns to the car salesman and says…
“I’ll take a hat”.
Taking a hat
People prefer the safe and inexpensive. They choose the thing they can wear proudly to show off their membership. They choose one part of the whole, and use it to say they are part of the group, the movement, or the faith.
No matter how many hours you spend showing them Porsches, no matter how many test drives you give them of the truth, they’ll still only want the hat, and not the real experience.
But they are not having the experience or following the faith. They choose the hat because they want to find the least amount of work they can do to tick the box and feel a sense of purpose.
But really, the hat is trivial. You don’t become a Porsche driver by buying the hat — you become a Porsche driver by buying the car. Buying the car is everything that buying the hat is not…
Expensive. Risky. Hard work. It takes time to get there, but once you’ve got your vehicle and you’re driving properly, there are few who regret it.
- Institutional religion
- Protesting against, well, anything really
- Feeling like part of the movement
- Charity and giving back
- Romantic and platonic relationships
Do you see people taking a hat?
Where do you see yourself taking a hat?