On high hats and ice

I was watching an old move the other day in which the term “high-hatted” was used. I’ve always savored this bit of slang, which implies being ignored by someone who thinks he’s too good to know you. I love the whiff of old-timey white-tie types out on the town, looking down their noses at those pathetic enough to have to work for a living.

This is altogether different from being “cut” by someone for cause (imagined or real), which connotes a sort of purposeful shunning missing among high-hatters.

Due to politics, I have occasionally been cut, usually by wives who think I’ve done their men dirt. (I’m utterly blameless…No, really.) They have their own style, so frigid that the term I use for it is being “iced.” This was never common, and it is even less so now that I’m no longer really involved in local doings, but I was iced at the post office just a couple of weeks ago by a woman with a long memory.

Only once, long ago, did one of these ladies actually engage the issue and berate me. There was a time when I was decent in debate, but I have never known how to handle fact-free tirades. Maybe I should have high-hatted her.


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