Friday, October 01, 2010

Quote of the Week: Baggage

"Saggy-bottomed and stained from sitting around in puddles of beer, the knapsack is -- along with its sober older brother the briefcase -- one of a limited number of stealth purse strategies by which men routinely attempt to circumvent, elude, or transcend the cruel code of the pocket. The advent of the laptop computer has led to a renaissance in the category of luggage formerly occupied by the satchel, an all but forgotten item just a few years ago, now more commonly designated a messenger bag and hybridized in leather, nylon, and plastic, leading to all kinds of knapsack-cum-attaches and tote-cum-briefcases. And there are the gym bag, and the paratroop bad, and the flight bag, and those other hopeful attempts to provide a man with a rugged GI Joe kind of place to carry around his Walther PPK, his cyanide pills, his safe cracking tools, and his Kiehl's lip balm. But check your pockets, or the pockets of the man standing next to you, the one with the commando kit-cum-road warrior carryall. I will bet you a cyanide pill that he's still packing his wallet, keys, and spare change in his pants. Otherwise that rugged satchel becomes, by definition, nothing but a purse."
- Michael Chabon, "I Feel Good About My Murse," p. 153 of Manhood for Amateurs

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