Get ahead, get a hat!


My best memory of Royal Ascot is when my friend Lisa suggested sneaking out of the Silver Ring to see how the other half lived. Ascot is a microcosm of the British class system and you’re supposed to stay in your own pen, but we’d just had a liquid lunch and were ready to storm the barricades.

We attracted a few whistles as we headed for the main grandstand. Well, Lisa did, with her dress halfway up her bottom as usual. I’d gone to the other extreme and mine was trailing the ground. It was a lovely floral print and Matalan had thrown in a matching straw hat.

“Let’s have a giggle and crash the Royal Enclosure,” said Lisa.

“Fat chance!”

We’d just got close enough to hear the champagne corks popping and see the glitterati fawning over some minor royals, when a gust of wind whipped off my hat. It landed at the feet of an heiress popular with celebrity magazines. She was haranguing one of the bowler-hatted stewards, whose expression suggested he’d heard it all before.

“I’m very sorry, Madam, but I can only repeat that your headgear is not quite substantial enough for the Royal Enclosure.”

She snarled at him and bent to pick up my hat. “And I suppose a cheap titfer like this would be? Hey, you there! Can I have a word?”

Two minutes later, she strode past the steward, leaving me with a Philip Treacy fascinator.

This piece of flash fiction won a Writing Magazine competition. The brief was to write 250 words that included the slang terms 'liquid lunch', 'glitterati' and 'titfer'.