Rupert Howell 3/12/13

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rupert Howell

Man purse gets ridicule despite practical function

Oops! I’ve been outed.

Not in the way some might think, no gender rearrangement here, but outed just the same.

It’s not a woman’s type bag; it’s more like a half-backpack and now I’ve been seen in public carrying it. And, yes, I’m afraid some may question my manhood.

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It is an outdoorsy type brown keeping with a familiar usual earth tones motif.

Never went for the fanny pack. It wasn’t me. How could anyone feel comfortable wearing something that accents the obvious? Who, in their right mind, wants a bigger backside?

The pack has become necessary and should have been in my possession for a long time.

For most of my life I’ve carried:  a pocket knife, keys, wallet, small change, handkerchief, and writing utensil. The only items dropped from the old list are fire and tobacco.

As life progresses there seem to be additional needs added to my usual plunder. Now, there are two writing utensils  (a red one for proofreading), allergy medication, cellphone, two or three sets of keys, recorder, note pad and camera.

This is not a problem in the cooler months when a seasonal jacket or sports coat can be worn. With pockets bulging like a clown preparing for magic tricks I travel from home to office to reporting assignment  and other meetings. There also seems a need to have a source of water nearby. Can’t determine if that’s an age thing or just trendy.

At a recent school board meeting I was kicked out because those inside didn’t want me to know what they were saying. It’s a small town—I figured it out anyway.

After determining that the closed door session was going to last for a long while, I slipped to my vehicle and retrieved my pack and decided to have a picnic. (The pack is also good for stashing junk food.)

While the board was arguing about administrators and gender rearrangements, I had a spread going in the lobby.

After more than an hour of banishment the doors were opened when I learned nothing much had happened in my absence, despite loud voices heard through the  walls.

It was then that the female chairman of the board exclaimed in a high pitched voice, “Oh, you’ve got a man bag!”

“It’s my murse!” I retorted sharply before realizing that I had indeed been outed and that life may never be the same.

I could hear interim superintendent Mike Foster snickering among others as I quietly exited the room at the meeting’s end—head hanging and my murse in tow.