We sat around for a good while, like we always done, stretching out our meal with crackers and ketchup. Finally, when the waitress refused to bring us any more crackers, we got up and paid and then went on over to the hat rack and got our hats and started to leave. Except J.B. just kept standing there with his hat in his hand and a funny look on his face. Player stopped and turned back to him and asked, in this real serious voice, if something was the matter.
"Hell, yes," J.B. said. "This ain't my hat!"
Player looked at it, even reached out his finger and touched it. He said, "Why sure it's your hat, J.B. Looks just like it."
"But it ain't!" J.B. said in this kind of anguished voice. "It ain't got no silk lining on the inside, and it ain't got that little tag that says it's a Leddy Supreme. Hell, it's just a damn old junk hat!"
Player put his arm around him again. "Why, it looks just like your hat, J.B."
He turned to me. "Ain't that J.B.'s hat?"
"I—I guess," I said.
"Don't it look like it?"
"Yeah," I said. "Sure does."
But J.B. said, in a voice that kind of went up and up and up and then took off from there, "But this ain't my hat! This is just some old junk hat."