The Ladies' Hats Are Too Big These DaysCommentary • Judgment • ISSUE 31•13 • Apr 9, 1997 By T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911) With the coming of spring-time, the ladies will soon be out promenading in the parks in their new fashions. It is my wish that the Paris couturiers reduce the size of the ladies' hats this season, as in years past I have had many unpleasant encounters with enormous millinery.The worst incident happened many years ago when I was city editor of The Onion. I felt a touch of the "spring-fever" and decided to take in a matinee vaude-ville show at the Rialto. Normally, I eschewed this vulgar and low-class form of entertainment, but the gay zephyrs of the equinox must have tainted my judgment. So I paid my two bits and sat down in the back.On the program was a comedy duo that exchanged jests and japes and clouted one another upon the head with indian-clubs. There was a gifted ape who wore a tuxedo and could ride a small goat. And, to my great delight, there was the soprano Miss Charlotte Wren, the beautiful and famous "Dainty Songbird," toast of all Europe.But just before the day's amusement was to begin, a lady was shown to the stall immediately in front of me. Upon her head was the most massive and garish hat I had ever seen. It was decorated with silk rosettes, fruit and small stuffed birds. Not only did this nightmarish thing provoke instant nausea, it blocked my entire view of the stage!I attempted to rid myself of the eyesore by slipping the usher a silver dollar to find me a better seat. He said that all the good seats were filled. Enraged, I struck the insolent whelp with my cane. Then, the lady in the offending hat told me to be quiet. That did it! Forgetting all chivalry, I ripped the hideous bonnet off her head, and with my cane dashed it into a heap of severed bird parts.Of course, the rival papers had a field day with the incident. "Onion Editor Zweibel Assassinates Lady's Hat At Vaude-ville Matinee," snickered TheBrickton Atlas-Trumpet in a front-page headline. The impertinent bastards!I have not seen another Vaude-ville performance since and have strictly forbidden any female from wearing a hat at my estate. No ladies' hat will govern my life, no matter what the fashion.