The name “Medicine Hat” is the English translation of ‘Saamis’ (SA-MUS) – the Blackfoot word for the eagle tail feather headdress worn by medicine men – or ‘Medicine Hat’.

Several legends are associated with the name from a mythical mer-man river serpent named ‘Soy-yee-daa-bee’ – the Creator – who appeared to a hunter and instructed him to sacrifice his wife to get mystical powers which were manifest in a special hat.


Medicine Hat, Alberta is our town’s Sister City to the North. We used to have an active student exchange program and parade float swap but interest and funding have dwindled over the years. Now we just send them our used crossword puzzle books and they pretend we don’t exist.

However. Although. On the Other Hand. Be That As It May.

One aspect that retains local interest is their founding Serpent Man’s Medicine Hat and its wearer’s enhanced abilities. At least three of our town’s Antique Shops and Thrift Malls claim to have the authentic Mediciine Hat in their private collections. An ex-mayor (four mayors ago, not the one that liked olives, no, the one with all those photos of himself looking scared, yes that’s the one) is said to have worn the hat prior to his wife’s first pregnancy. He complained it was itchy and made his boy plain. We dismiss him.

In the end, it was our founding Serpent Man’s failure to embrace such flash-flash headgear that lowered the population and guaranteed that the secret shadow government of Serpent and Lizard men would bypass our hamlet with their global subterranean, high-velocity transport tunnels.

Sure enough they did. And now the governor has to tax old ladies’ pensions to pay for our playground maintence crews and support staff. Unbelievable.

Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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