Red Meat & Blue – Meat Hats in American History

The history of the Cowboy Hat of Meat traces back to the earliest days of The Old West.

Ranch hands, who would often go for days without a proper meal, would fashion rudimentary hats from heavily salted veal, so that they would have a reliable, convenient source of nutrition.

These hats also served as a type of calendar, for when they had been entirely consumed, the cowpokes knew it was time to return home for a bath, a poke at a whore and a chance to shoot another man dead in a whiskeyinduced melee.

Famed Western showman William “Buffalo Bill” Cody earned the nickname by which he became famous from his hat made of bison mouth, or — buffalo bill.

Constructed wholly from American buffalo lips, tongue, gums and jowls, Cody’s original cap was recently sold at Sotheby’s for upwards of two hundred thousand dollars to an anonymous bidder, David Crosby.

The failure of Cody’s first road show, “William ‘Bison Mouth’ Cody’s Wilde West Programme of Some Renowne” was what led him, at the advice of his agent’s assistant, to change his moniker from “Bison Mouth” to “Buffalo Bill.”

For much of the 19th century, “Cody’s Cattle Cap” enjoyed popularity upon the heads of the nation’s most prominent ranchers, most notably Arlan Hebezed Sizzler, whose children later opened a chain of steak houses.

Rabbi Wolf Zitromirer was the keeper of a butcher’s shop in the village of Pantsk.

One day, a traveling yarmulke salesman entered the shop and ordered a quarter pound of boiled tongue.

As the hungry salesman was about to eat it without reciting a blessing, he suddenly stopped himself and said, “Forgive me, Rebbe, I was so famished from my travels that I almost ate it without reciting the brucha.”

Pulling the brim of his Ribeye Rebbe down over his eyes, Reb Zitromirer replied, “Fuck the blessing, you almost ate it without paying me!” (1) For generations, the Jews of Eastern Europe would buy their meat hats in shops known as “haberdashicatessens.”

Standing in a typical 1940’s Warsaw Ghetto strip mall, one could see “The Haberdeli” alongside a “Heaven-11” 24-hour convenience synagogue, a Kosher muenstery called “Cheeses of Nazareth,” and the “Sum Dum Goy” Chinese restaurant.

Also visible would be a “Matzoh Hut” and a “Goys R Us” toy store, where Jewish kinder could buy such novelty items as Third Reich voodoo dolls, and the popular “Tyler the Schmendrick” comic books, which detailed the riotous misadventures of a bumbling non-Jew who always wore a pork-chop dunce cap.

Just a few feet outside of the shtetl’s impenetrable wall of Lucite and earwax, Polish Goys shopped freely and gaily at the ubermarket “Traitor Jew’s,” which had cooler stuff and better prices.

The traditional Brisket Yarmulke is by far the most common meat hat (Hebrew: keepaw bassar) in all of Judaism.

Today NASA scientists, working in conjunction with reform rabbis, are developing the “Hamulke,” a yarmulke made of ham, intended for use at interfaith weddings.