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Archive for September, 2012

Innovation for the Fashion-impaired (Fanny packs save lives)

September 8th, 2012

I was strapping on my Fanny Pack (FP) last week, and my youngest (college-bound) daughter looked horrified …”Oh, my god Dad, whadaya doing?”, shes thinking, as she rolled her eyes upward.

Daughter #2 had less kinder words for me…”yeah , it’s practical, but it’s FUGLY Dad…”.

Designed for Practicality:  the Fanny Pack

Wikipedia’s definition is: is a small fabric pouch secured with a zipper and worn by use of a strap around the hips or waist.  They are also known as buffalo pouch, belly bag, belt pack, bum bag, banano, pochete, and moon bag (my favorite descriptor).

I maintain that The FP is one of the all-time great inventions for the male gender of the species.  Sure, bows and arrowheads were helpful, Chinese gunpowder was an impressive achievement, and even belts and suspenders helped keep us on the up-and-up.  But The FP solves many dilemmas for the modern male.  I fail to understand how this modern innovation has been killed by eye-rolling teens and dismissive spouses.

What’s in Your Fanny Pack?

My own FP allows me to:

  • remove the bulky wallet from back pocket
  • keep me from losing my umpteenth pair of sunglasses
  • hold my compact camera safely
  • contain bulky house/car keys  (they look horrible in pants pockets)
  • organize 4 sets of business cards (that’s right , four….don’t ask) for quick presentation
  • keep foreign currency organized, and hold various sizes of foreign money (I have traveled all over Europe and China without missing a Euro or a Yuen)
  • hold my iPhone safely, along with several iPhone peripherals
  • keep tickets, admissions and discount coupons organized
  • store maps freshly (I hate wrinkled/torn maps on an excursion through )
  • hide earphones and  – choose from among 3 types
  • iPad AC adapter  (that damn iPhone runs out of juice by mid-day if you REALLY use it properly)
  • keep hotel keys safely
  • hold loose change (keeps falling out of my pockets)

The FP is good for city use, sports workout use, travel, in-car coordination, airports, and weddings.

Oh sure, I could wear cargo shorts, but who wants to distribute this loot across my derrière?  Or, I could get a shoulder bag, but most are built for computers or iPads , not 3-dimensional items like keys, phones, wallet, or headphones.  And, in my case, that solution would clearly balloon over time to a 5-lb fiasco.

In short, the FP saves lives.

Excuses, excuses…

Need I say, as we get older, we are already testing the limits of our clothing – hanging on to old pants, jeans and shorts that USED TO fit (and what has happened?).  Who needs this additional bulk to highlight those few extra pounds we’ve gained.  The FP saves clothing.  It extends the use of those jeans we have from college years, those slacks that looked trim on our first job, those shorts that have been to Santa Cruz and back dozens of times…

Innovation trumped by fashion?

Why are  millions of men now suffering from innovation-deprivation at the expense of fashion? When is the last time you saw a woman without a purse, pocketbook, or shoulder bag nearby or on her body?  To be human is to juggle possessions no our bodies, to hold on to things that nobody else wants, and to walk on 2 legs, carrying our lives with us.

I noticed that many men are still wearing watches (look for a future blog post by me on the stupidity of this).  Our cell phones track the time better than most watches, and can display it in 20 different variations, voice-synthesis, any zone in the world, stop watch format, and timer.  Why are men still porting watches.  This is vanity at its worst.  Society has pushed these poor men to wear a watch that is no longer necesary, yet give away their Fanny Packs to good will.   This seems perversely reversed.

I can not make it in a foreign city without my FP. I cannot hit the gym properly without my FP.  I cannot go on a weekend trip to Napa without my FP.  The Fanny Pack has fallen pray to the fashions of the millennium .  It isn’t COOL to wear this anymore, I’m advised , or one could be dated back to the time of cavemen (or at least to the time of ABBA or the Bee Gees) .

Perhaps I’m getting old (or just losing too many sunglasses per week) but it seems to me that we’ve lost one of the greatest innovations know to man.  So, who will invent the next FP?  Will another “Wright Brothers” or serendipitous “click moment” occur for the fashion impaired.

I hope this happens in my lifetime.

In the meantime, roll your eyes all you want. I’m opting for practicality.