What’s in the Bag?

No, this isn’t a version of LawDog’s “Angry Thing in a Sack” story (as a pilot, I do NOT want to discover that one of my passengers has brought along an Angry Thing in a Sack.) This is a version of what Brigit at Home on the Range (Mausers and Muffins) did the other day. What is in your day-to-day bag, if you carry one? Besides pet fur and that paper napkin that really ought to go in the trash because it’s gotten torn and shredded. Ditto the plastic grocery bag used to keep the rain off of the laptop (from before I got the zipper on the satchel repaired.)

When I’m at Day Job: Four black pens, two red pens, a mechanical pencil. Classroom key. St. Michael’s medallion. Car and other keys (unless they are in my jacket pocket.) Cutting bean (for opening envelopes and cutting packing tape). Notepad for taking notes, making quizzes, and so on. iLeash (phone so the nurse can ping me and vice versa). Cough drops. Antacid. Protein bar (In case I get one of those, “Miss Red, can you cover a few extra classes?) Girl stuff. Wallet and change purse, because I do drive to work. Ever changing assortment of reading material, teaching material, papers to grade, papers to return, paperwork, water, pop, e-reader on occasion. Laptop very rarely, if I know I will be making tests, or doing other non-internet things. Leather work gloves, because you never know, and it means I’ve got a spare if the ones in the car have a problem (get soaked if I have to change a tire in the rain or the like.)

Pocket litter – lint, keys, lip balm.

I know several of you are going, “Wait, what about [thing]? How can you leave the house without [sharp pointy thing]?” There’s at least one in the vehicle.


19 thoughts on “What’s in the Bag?

    • It is a little gizmo about as 2/3 as big as my thumb, with an extendable blade. You have to hold the blade open to cut – a spring keeps it pulled inside the case otherwise. I got it from Lee Valley Tools back in December.

    • Slightly more “serious”, a Raymond Feist character was always pulling apples/oranges from an empty bag saying that it’s a Trick.

      Later we learn that his bag held a portal that lead to different places (at first a fruit warehouse). When we see him in another book, he’s preparing from a dangerous journey but storing stuff he might need in a cave (which he blocks). 😀

  1. Sigh… Hard to believe that no one has a pocket knife anymore. If the teacher didn’t have one, ANY boy and half the girls in class would offer theirs… Re Feist, I remember that, some good stories in that series!

    • Agreed re: Feist, but I burned out a couple of books into the new continent.
      When saving the world more than once, you need a darned good reason.
      When the reader starts losing track of how many times there world has been saved, it’s time to do something else.

    • There was a two decade period in my state, where you could carry as many pistols as you could stagger about with, but a knife with a blade more than 2-1/2″ long could get you jail time. I got jacked up by the cops *twice* with a little Schrade folder with a 2-3/4″ blade, and quit carrying a Leatherman rather than grind the blade down to meet the law.

      All the knife laws quietly went away about a decade ago; you could carry anything from a microtome to a combine harvester blade if you put a wheel on it so you could drag it along. Unfortunately for the media, the streets failed to “run with blood” as they gleefully predicted…

      • Strange, how rarely revoking a foolish law causes mass massacres and chaos. As if there might be a pattern there . . .

  2. What has it gots in it’s pockets, precious?
    Keys, phone, wallet, pocketknife, and the occasional odd and end attached to the belt that’s a bit awkward to carry in pockets.
    Now, my car is another matter entirely. It would start with the rock hammer and change of clothes stashed under the driver’s seat, progress past lighter, chewing gum, cables/chargers of various types, basic tools, tire gauge, etc. before even leaving the front seats.

  3. If it’s the old Rusdian folktale, it’s Death in the old sack.

    The bag has files, laptop, cables, batteries, phone, headset as needed, officer supplies as needed, pens, pencil, notepad, aid kit, water bottle, shelf-stable snacks, pocket knife, small screwdrivers for itty screws.

    No henwei in the bag.

  4. I usually carry three knives. I LIKE knives. They’re shiny, and pointy, and sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp. Except for those that aren’t shiny.

  5. Pockets:
    wallet: Contains some cash, password list for client site, driver’s license, gun license (not necessary unless traveling out of state), health insurance card, VISA card. That’s the thinnest wallet I could find, and then I cut out all the bits I didn’t see a need for.

    change: only until I can dump it into the ashtray of whatever vehicle I’m driving that day.

    phone: not always. And even when I’m “carrying” it, usually laying somewhere in the general vicinity; I check it occasionally to see if there’s a missed call.

    I still have my original first-generation Leatherman, and I keep meaning to carry it, but somehow I never get around to it. Which led to a rather humorous interchange with a friend who was trying to get a network card out of a sealed blister pack. He asked if I had a knife. I told him I wasn’t carrying one, but I’d loan him a gun if he wanted to shoot it. He said he was carrying his own if it came to that… well, you had to be there, I guess.

    wristwatch on my wrist, gun in shoulder holster, backup gun in ankle holster. The only people who have less *need* for a gun have armed security to do that for them; I might as well live in Mayberry. But one was my Dad’s, that the Spawn kicked my way after I bowed out of the inheritance scrum. I got a gun license – we still needed them then – and I’ve carried it every day since. The other was a gift from my wife, and it would hurt her feelings if I didn’t carry it.

    The vehicles have various assortments of “stuff”, and there are differently-packed go-bags near the front door, but I travel pretty light nowadays.

    • Ah, forgot about keys. Unfortunately I carry far more than I want, even with all the padlocks and some other things keyed the same. Even pared down to the minimum there’s a first-size wad of keys. I split them into “vehicle keys” and “building keys”, and generally sling them around my neck when carrying them. Which probably looks stupid, but it’s better than them slapping against my leg every time I take a step.

      One key fits 12 padlocks on gates and sheds. One key fits four gun storage boxes, one in each vehicle, all keyed the same. Gas gap and camper shell keys stay with their respective vehicles. It’s just that I have to deal with too many freakin’ locks.

      • I have two four-padlock keys, one mostly for trailer tongues and the other for general stuff (implement shed, kerosene tank and so on). The house key covers front and back door, my wife’s shop is unique, and then there’s the barn/pumphouse/storage shed key. That keyholder also has a mini Leatherman. I carry a folding knife; different ones for in-town vs out-here (in-town doubles as a letter opener, out-here has a serrated portion.) Vehicle keys are separate, and placed on the holder when necessary. The fobs are a pain

        Carry is currently a .380 mouse gun unless I expect worse; the go-to is a 1911 w/shoulder rig, but I’m hoping to get familiar with the Ruger flat 9 in the cargo pocket.

        Flip phone (get off my lawn!), change, checkbook and wallet complete the pocket list.

  6. What has it got in its pocketses? Let’s see…

    Pants pockets – Keys. Pocketknife (always, except when traveling by air, and then it’s replaced by a pocket multitool that can’t be confiscated by the Thugs Standing Around because it has no cutting blade). Wallet. Change. A microfiber cloth for cleaning my eyeglasses.

    Laptop bag contains laptop, power cord, trackball, hard drives with backups of all my precious photos and other data files, other laptop gadgetry, pen, eyeglass cleaner wipes, usually a few business cards.

    Jacket (or vest, in summertime) contains phone, a pack of kleenex, occasionally a larger folding knife, and a spare set of my daily prescription meds.

    Camera bag (when I’m carrying it) contains camera, lenses, multitool (essentially a small Leatherman knockoff), spare camera battery, pocket binoculars, first aid kit, another pack of kleenex, fruit snack bars, more eyeglass cleaner wipes, emergency rain poncho.

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