the Red Hat

31 July 2011

Serge Verheugen - The Red Hat

Relief in wood and hardboard, high gloss paint, 2001, 120 x 200 cm
My fathers joke-repertoire was and is limited to two jokes. They worked for him once, they’ll work for him again. Never change a winning team.
He is very righteous and moral, like me by the way, but he thinks the mischief portrayed in the jokes is hilarious. And though he would never think of pulling something similar himself, it’s OK to joke about it.
This work is the illustration of one of these jokes.
A man walks through a forest. Suddenly he feels an irrepressible urge. He pulls down his pants and squats between the trees. He lays a big one but as he gets up he sees a policeman walking up. Quickly he throws his hat over the turd and calls over the officer.
“I have a collection of rare birds and this morning on of them flew away. But after hours of searching I have caught her under this hat. If you would be so kind to help me out here and watch over it for a few minutes, then I will go and get a cage so I can take it back home”.
Of course the dutiful policeman obliges. Nevertheless, after an hour he becomes a little restless, for he knows his wife awaits him for diner.
He doesn’t want to let the bird escape, so he thinks to himself, “if I am very quick I can catch it before it flies”, and thus lifts the hat a little bit and in a flash grabs under the hat…
Much like my father, and indeed most anybody else, I like this kind of fraud. We know we shouldn’t, but… says who..?

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