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Life is only what you wonder.

Friday, January 14, 2005

It's In The Bag

I have a confession to make. I am with bags the way some women are with purses. I have a ton of them and I keep on buying more. Messenger bags, bookbags, backpacks, gym bags, totes, and duffle bags, I have them in every conceivable color and size, from the incredibly small (only big enough to hold a pack of cigarettes, lighter, housekeys, and fare for the subway) to the utterly humongous (big enough to carry a large walrus.)

There are even a few I've bought specifically because they were the perfect size to carry Rico around town in.
Yes, I carry my dog around in a backpack, OK? You want I should carry him around in a papoose? All I know is any bag snatchers I happen to encounter are in for a rude surprise.

The only trouble is, the bigger the bag, the more I'm tempted to carry around with me. When I had my large (walrus-sized) bag, the following list of things were invariably contained within:

  • Emergency money (One $10 bill, one $5 bill, five $1 bills and $5 in quarters -- not to be used unless absoloutely needed)
  • A couple bags of snacks (trail mix, chips, Doritos, etc.)
  • A couple bottles of water, juice, and/or soda (I dehydrate easily)
  • Aspirin or Tylenol
  • Travel-size pack of tissues (Because you never know)
  • A couple of saftey pins (Ditto)
  • Travel-size bottle of hairspray, travel-size tube of gel, and a small (unbreakable) comb (for touching up your 'do on the go)
  • travel-sized bottle of mouthwash, collapsible toothbrush and travel-size toothpaste (because you never know whan you'll get that not-so-fresh-feeling)
  • At least one magazine (Details, GQ, or Tiger Beat)
  • Latest Baltimore City Paper
  • 2 paperbacks (1 partially read, the other unread)
  • Appointment book and electronic organizer / calculator
  • Spiral notebook or marble composition book
  • Pens, pencils, multi-colored Sharpies, Marks-a-Lot markers (Enough to outfit a whole classroom of children)
  • Spare pack of cigarettes, 2 spare lighters, and a handful of books of matches (Because I am NOT going to be without fire)
  • Discman and CD carrying case (that holds 20 disks)
  • 4-pack of AA batteries
  • Pocket-sized set of screwdrivers (flat-head and Phillips) and penlight
  • A few band-aids
  • Snakebite kit
OK, I'm lying about the snakebite kit part.

And --guess what --those were just the basics. Depending on the weather and anything else going on at the time, any number of things could be added: umbrella, scarf, gloves, bus schedules, GO Pass, sunglasses, sunscreen, (then disposible) camera and anything else under the sun I could throw in there. After I'm done the bag weighed at least 25 pounds.

I used to be a Boy Scout, so I am a firm believer that you should always be prepared, but wouldn't you agree that's an insane amount of stuff to be lugging around everywhere?
It's convenient, because if you (or someone you know) needs a safty pin or band-aid -- Voila! -- you've got it right there.
But after dragging that stuff around every day and not being involved in eathquakes, floods, railway accidents, or an elevator stuck between floors, I realized how foolish I was being.

Now I don't even carry half that stuff around with me. Rico needs his space.