Jun. 29th, 2017

davemerrill: (Default)
we were at a fan event in a restaurant last Sunday and it was kinda crowded. Shain and I were at a table that had two other spots, and someone from our group was urged to sit down at our table by both the waiter and Shain and I. He didn't want to sit there, though, he wanted to sit against the wall at another table on account of his backpack, which was filled to bursting with... something.

Now, I can remember fans bringing backpacks to anime club meetings in the 1990s, and they'd be gigantic overstuffed backpacks full of giant 1990s era video game systems and cartridges and VHS tapes and issues of Animerica and CDS and manga and whatever he (it was always a he) was bringing to the club meeting to share. A lot of the fans were college students used to filling their backpacks with whatever they were likely to need for the next twelve hours, if I had to venture a guess. I suppose it gets to be a habit, I'm leaving the house, gotta take the backpack. I still see a lot of people at AN staff meetings with the backpacks. Me, I show up at the AN meeting with a pocket notebook and a pen and my phone, and that means I'm good to go.

This event Sunday was not a club meeting. It wasn't any sort of fan organization business meeting at all, strictly a social eat-food-and-socialize kinda thing, and days later I am still haunted by the question... What on Earth was in that backpack? I mean in this day and age you can fit the entirety of 1990s video game history, anime, and manga in the palm of your hand, so it's not that. What was it? A change of clothes? A year's worth of library books? Nice ripe grapefruit? What was so vital to life and comfort that it needed to be hauled into a crowded restaurant and sequestered in its own chair against the wall where it was safely out of everyone's way?

I still see this a lot, particularly at conventions, comic shows, and the like; worlds apparently bereft of hipster messenger bags, worlds where ever carrying implement has to jut out a full twelve inches into space, becoming a giant blunt object smashing into whatever is unlucky enough to be behind Nerdlinger Backpack Man. Because that's what backpacks do, they sit on backs and they get in everybody else's way, especially in crowds.

I am kicking myself because I didn't ask the guy what was in his backpack. "Man, seriously, I gotta ask, that backpack is jam full of stuff, what the hell is in there?" Maybe I'm being too nosy. But you don't manhandle that thing into a crowded room full of diners, not without a good reason.

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davemerrill

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