Poco Loco esta perdido…
Please forgive me if my grammar is off, but I’m in mourning. I lost my Poco Loco Club hat this week and I can’t stop thinking about it.
I had gotten this blue cap sometime in the early 90s, possibly on a trip to Mexico when I covered then-Connecticut Governor John Rowland’s trip south of the border.
The cap sported the cartoony image of a toucan in red-polka dot shorts with the name that means “A Little Crazy.” And I was more than a little crazy when I discovered it was gone.
Yes, the cap was losing its color and shape and I was seriously thinking about tossing the thing away. But I wanted that to be a conscious choice and not as a result of negligence.
My auntie has relocated to her summer place in the Berkshires for the next few months and I had gone to her apartment to clean out the refrigerator and do a few other chores.
I had been there earlier in the week and had forgotten the Poco Loco hat.
Once I was done, I gathered up my backpack, stuffed the cap inside it, and bounced up to the express bus stop at West 30th Street.
I was strolling up to Fifth Avenue when I saw the light was about to change and I launched into my rat-psycho mode and took off running.
You have to understand that showing a changing traffic light to a New Yorker is like throwing down the gauntlet.
Other people will wait until the light changes in their favor, but a New Yorker will shriek “get the hell outta my way!” and take off as if Satan has just climbed out of the nearest sewer.
I charged across the avenue and raced to the bus stop to wait for a bus that was nowhere in sight. But at least I showed that street light who was boss.
And apparently somewhere in that mad dash I managed to drop the Poco Loco sombrero. Naturally I didn’t discover the loss until I was on the bus and heading back to Brooklyn.
The toucan had flown the coop and I was feeling muy estúpido. One of the oldest warnings in history says to “hold on to your hat!” How did I fuck that up?
Yes, this is only a battered cap that should’ve been nuked a long time. But I was so annoyed at my carelessness, that I had actually ran across the street with my backpack half-opened and expected everything to be perfectly in place when I finally stopped.
I’m always running someplace, damn it, and I don’t think I have a hell of a lot to show for it.
I googled “Poco Loco” and found someone was selling an atrocious canary yellow version of the cap on eBay.
Someone else was peddling a “vintage” long-sleeved shirt with the logo emblazoned across the front.
I’ve resolved to be more careful with my backpack and try—really try—to be a little less loco when I see a yellow caution light.
I hope some needy person found that little toucan and is giving him a nice home on top of his or her head.
And I really hope they give that bird a new pair of pants. Those polka-dot things have gotta go…