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Conventional methods of hat-removal having failed completely, Philemon opens the task to the county’s finest natural philosophers.

“The die-press leaves plenty of earspace,” drawls the first presenter, “now.”

“No,” says Philemon.

“We lure the hat off with premium peanut butter,” chortles the second. “Never cheese!”

“No,” says Philemon.

“And when we’re done with the circular saw,” says the third, “the masking tape–”

“No no!” says Philemon. “No!”

The day’s last applicant is a small and serious girl.

“Hello,” says Philemon, curious.

“You’re not going to like hearing this,” says Corbin, looking–not without kindness–at his perfectly naked head.