Man, I love this bag

I have a man bag. You can tell this because it says “Man Bag” on a wooden tag hanging off the handle. (It really says this. What next? A big sign saying “sink” on your new stainless steel Franke?)

Anyway, I’d often get slagged off by my friends – actually, my so-called “friends” – for this. They’d laugh like drunken cavemen and grunt, “Uh-huh-huh-huh. Oh, is that your man bag? Huh-huh-huh.”

I’d take a sip of my pink gin and retort, “Well…yeah. That’s what it says on the tag, isn’t it? You non-literate fart-brain.”

Why would they be mocking my man bag, though? I am a man. I have a bag. This makes perfect sense to me, although then again, lots of things make sense to me but not to others. Like the voices I hear in my head, for instance, telling me to hunt down and eat one of the Wayans brothers every month in tribute to the Great Lord of Flies Azazel.

But I digress. You need a bag, don’t you? To carry all your bits and bobs around. Ciggies, spare lighter, pen, spare pen, little notebook should inspiration for a new poem strike, small tin of Vaseline/lip-balm, bottle of water, book, spare book in case this one turns out to be sucky, pack of gum, MP3 player, phone.

Those are just the basic necessities of any trip longer than a shamble down to the corner-shop for milk and this month’s issue of Nekkid Danish Farm Girls Wot Got Biz Bazoobies. (I buy it for the articles.)

Some man baggers also include things like keys and their wallet, though I like to keep those about my person. It’s very much up to the conscious of the individual, as per Vatican Guidelines on Man Bags and Transportation of Miscellaneous Personal Items, first published 1961 and updated 1998.

Should I be going to Dublin for the night, say, you also have to factor in a change of boxers, change of socks, spare t-shirt/shirt, jim-jam pants, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hair-wax, night-cream, day-cream, hand-cream, nail-cream and eyeball-cream.

And a Taser, because you’re going to Dublin for the night and so are 90% likely to get molested by a glass-chewing crack-head who hates culchies almost as much as he hates (but also loves) “de dhroooogs”.

This is why I have a few man bags, of different size. Big leather one (the one with the tag) for overnights. Slightly smaller cotton one with sexy pinstripe design, also for overnights. Smallish canvas one if I’m just schlepping around for the day.

I can’t fathom how other men manage to carry everything without a bag – even just my initial list of “things to bring when mooching around the shops for an afternoon”. Do they have magic pants with magic-er pockets, which look normal from the outside but expand to gigantic proportions on the inside?

Coz otherwise, they’re going to have sharp-edged things poking into their leg all day. Like keys, or toothbrushers, or that Taser you’re about to use on Crazy Dermo as he lurches towards you, frothing at the mouth and babbling about how “bleedin’ culchies are arter takin’ all me dhroooogs an’ anyways”.

What any of that means, by the way, I have no idea.

The only alternative explanation is that these chaps, for God knows what reason, leave the house without the full list of accoutrements as outlined by me above. But that’s lunacy. Sure, how could you go about your business without the mental/emotional comfort of knowing your lip-balm was close to hand in case your kissers felt a little bit chapped or sting-y?

You couldn’t, of course.

Regardless, I will continue to proudly wear my man bag. I may even start using that Twilight: New Moon hemp tote-bag someone gave me a few years ago. Edward looks sooooo dreamy on the side…

And that hair! My God, that hair. Higher than a pot-head on payday. Hair you could build a Pyramid on. I bet he’s got a man bag and all.

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