Once upon a time there was this guy, and he was a very distinct character. Everyone could tell what a character he was because of the hat he wore. It was an extremely distinctive hat.

Well, it goes without saying that such a distinctive character of a guy couldn’t possibly go for very long without doing a thing that somebody would notice, and sure enough, he did. This guy did a thing that was so incredible, everyone was talking about it. And I mean everyone. All over the place. They were just super excited about this thing this guy did, and they couldn’t help being extremely interested in him because of it.

At first the guy liked that everyone was interested in him, because he knew that when everyone is interested in someone, it means that person is very special indeed. He liked the idea that he was special. But pretty soon, it started to annoy him that he couldn’t go anywhere without people knowing who he was, or asking about the thing he did, and when was he going to do another thing. He was kind of scared, to be honest, because he wasn’t sure that he could do another thing. Not another thing that special, anyway. He got so fed up with people recognizing him everywhere that he even tried taking off his distinctive hat, but it didn’t help. Everyone already knew what he looked like. So he suffered through, and he got used to people knowing who he was, and he tried to be patient about it.

After a while, people stopped coming over to him in restaurants or at the grocery store. He figured it was because they had gotten used to him, and they had. But the truth was that another guy had done a great thing, and everyone was getting really interested in that. Basically, they had forgotten all about the first guy. He stopped getting offers for endorsement deals, he stopped getting free liquor in the mail, he couldn’t get into clubs anymore without showing ID, and when he did show ID, the bouncers didn’t even comment. Nobody cared about him anymore, not even when he put his hat back on. In fact, one day some hipsters did recognize him because of the hat, but they just laughed at him.

“That hat is soooooooo ‘remember when I did that one thing?’” they snickered, in mean voices. It made the guy feel worse than ever. He took the hat off again.

He didn’t know what to do. He wanted to do another cool thing, but he didn’t know what thing to do. He thought about going back to his old job, but he couldn’t face it. He even considered doing a reality TV show, but the network wanted him to wear the hat, and unfortunately he had gained awareness that the hat was stupid. He spiraled into depression.

Then one day, he got an email. A college kid with a podcast wanted to interview him. He suspected that he would only be mocked, but he didn’t have anything else to do, so he agreed. And then, over Skype, talking to a total stranger, it all came out, like foam out of a baking soda volcano. All of the anxiety and doubt and self-loathing and fear of hipsters. It was like vomiting – he knew he was grossing people out, but he couldn’t help it. It happened on its own.

When he was done, the college kid with the podcast was quiet for a minute.

Then he said, “Fuck hipsters, man. None of them even wear clothes that fit. I liked that thing you did, and if you did another thing, I bet I’d like that, too.”

The guy thought about that. Really rolled it around in his brain. Took a good look at his hat.

“Thank you,” he said.