During a very recent visit as Captain Burwash the pirate to a Yorkshire school I asked the children if there was anything ‘on my person’ they wanted to ask me about – after all I was carrying a lot of things and so far we had only discussed a handful of them.
A little girl put her hand up and asked, “What is that on your back?”
I did the required comedy spin to try and see what she wanted to know, then asked if she meant the cutlass, or the baldrick (belt) it was hanging from.
“No, that,” she said, helpfully pointing at my back again.
I began to list various other things she could mean: My belt bag? The knot on my head scarf?
Then the teacher helpfully answered the girl, “Ah, now you see, Captain Burwash is very hot.”
The girl was asking about the sweat patch!
(Moral of the story: A new linen waistcoat might be cooler than a woolen one, but the consequences of a hot summer’s day are rather more visible!)