October 8, 2006

Every couple years or so I switch from a shoulder bag to a backpack (or vice versa). When I weary of a shoulder bag, I long for something that will distribute weight more evenly across my back. When I tire of a backpack, I yearn to carry my things in something that won’t make me feel as if I were in seventh grade.

A few months ago, I decided it was time to retire the trusty shoulder bag that had seen me through good times and bad since 2004. However, my search for a backpack to take its place in my affections proved to be more frustrating than I had expected. The bag store where I had bought my shoulder bag had closed, and every time I went into a sporting goods store I was overwhelmed by the complexity, size, and technological subtlety of the backpacks on offer. They had pockets and zippers and straps whose purpose I could not fathom, and/or they were capacious enough to hold any number of corpses I might not wish to leave in plain sight, and/or they featured heated compartments or MP3 players or built-in emergency flares. I was interested in none of these (except for the room for the corpses, but those ones really looked ridiculous on my rather small frame). I had almost given up and resigned myself to a life of back problems.

Then I walked into Staples and saw this:


I bought it at once. I am now happier than I have been since learning that Tycho Brahe died not from accidental mercury poisoning via his alchemical experiments but because he was poisoned by his protegé Johannes Kepler, the father of astronomy (among other things).

E.S. expressed his concern that the people living in the crack house two doors down might not react with unmitigated enthusiasm to a pink and silver backpack. Here I played my ace in the hole: the people in the crack house two doors down love me. They call me Jimmy, after Jimmy Olsen, Clark Kent’s enthusiastic if not overly penetrating sidekick at The Daily Planet. Whenever I walk by, they tell me to have a blessed day. They will love the pink and silver backpack too.

Now I just need to find some unicorn and rainbow stickers to put on it, preferably puffy ones.

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18 Responses to Every couple years or so I switch from a shoulder bag to a backpack

  1. Signalite says:

    …and lots of Hello Kitty. I’m sure you already have the Hello Kitty “back massager”, right?

  2. Todd says:

    OMG! WTF! and any other acronym I can think of. I have half a mind to nominate you for “what not to wear” or some other show that will reprogram your bag-purchasing habits. Maybe you can pass it off that you are borrowing your sister’s bag due to yours being stolen or lost, and I would seriously consider another sachel shopping expedition.

  3. Aidan says:

    I have to say, I’m a little bit on the good doctor’s side on this one. But whatever makes you happy, dear…

    I’ll look for a “My Little Pony” fob for the zipper. And maybe a “Care Bear” clip so you can attach your lunch box. Sissy.


    p.s. — Tycho Brahe…you crack me up. Pity the poor woman who had to polish his nose ring!

  4. Lauren says:

    I think glittery stickers are really only for those things that need embellishing, like one’s AP European History textbook. The bag might actually stand on its own.

  5. Chris says:

    I think that’s a really pretty bag. Definitely put unicorn and rainbow puffy stickers on. Hooray to Aidan for thinking of My Little Pony and Care Bears too.

    Speaking of which, does anyone know where I can buy a care bears singlet that will fit a guy?

  6. anapestic says:

    You do realize that Kepler poisoned Brahe because Brahe bought him a pink and green book bag, don’t you?

  7. Rosi G. says:

    But…does it have WHEELS???


    PS: You’re hilarious!

  8. Jeffrey says:

    I definitely think you should kick it old-school and get some Rainbow Brite stickers for that bag. That would be hot.

  9. Monica says:

    Wow, I have sneakers that match!

  10. David says:

    Is it possible for someone to be “too” gay?

  11. KB says:

    I can’t decide if this makes you “too gay” – or if it’s total lack of any fashion sense whatsoever pushes you into “not gay enough”.

    Please do not wear it in my presence, or I may have to mock you to your face.


  12. Groomzilla says:

    The question is not Do your neighbors approve of your pink backpack, but rather Did they see you arranging a photoshoot for it on your front porch.

  13. Crystal says:

    i use a backpack exclusively, and now, frankly, i’m jealous.

  14. Eric says:

    That bag really does qualify you for uppage in your quest to be the gayest gay ever.

    It’s fagtabulous!

    Only last month, I opted to leave behind the shoulder bag (but not my going out Tumi manpurse) for all-purpose use but opted for an el cheapo barrio backpack while I find something a bit more suitable for the long term.

  15. Megan says:
  16. goblinbox says:

    Overly penetrating?!?!?

  17. Rey says:

    God forbid that I reveal myself as the cheap bastard that I am in my very first comment on this blog, but Target has some amazingly cheap, simple, and cute backpacks. I know you already have one, but keep it in mind when the cycle has come around again. There’s a Target way up north in Inwood, one in Queens, and one in Brooklyn for all us New Yawkers.

  18. Carrie says:

    Wait! I thought Tycho Brahe died because his bladder exploded. Did he really die of poisoning? Say it ain’t so!


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