So long as you don’t live in a cave, you probably have a specific set of modern items you take with you whenever you go out. I certainly do.
I was heading out to pick up Karin and Amanda at the train station last night and as I was putting all these things in my pockets, I got to thinking about their necessity and the different reasons I had for carrying them with me everywhere I went. I mean, it’s a full pound* of stuff and I have to go through this ritual (that feels frighteningly like loading up a utility belt) every time before I go out. Do I really need this stuff? Well, let’s see…
Necessary evil, since I’m not much into cycling. Or running. I’m a far cry from being a sweaty, pork-rind devouring couch potato, okay, but I’m equally as far from attempting to pedal back from Albertson’s with a frozen family-size lasagna, a gallon of milk, and a 25-lb bag of Johnny Cat all balanced on the handlebars.
Oh, and speaking of car keys, do you know what’s not funny anymore? Here it is. You realize you left your keys at the register and go back to get them and the clerk, thinking himself the cleverest S.O.B. ever, quips, “Won’t get very far without those! Ho ho!” Grrr. Makes me want to say, “Same to you, funny man” while simultaneously pummeling him in the testicles with a frozen family-size lasagna.
I suppose I could just stuff my driver’s license in my pocket, but carrying it around in a wallet makes me look less like a loser artist who’s always down to his last three bucks and more like a loser artist with three bucks, a book of postage stamps, and countless wads of Arby’s coupons. See? Better to have a wallet for your license, hands down.
It’s a communication device. It’s a timepiece. It’s a camera. It’s a handheld game. It’s a lo-jack. It is the pocket item voted Most Likely To Save My Ass Someday. I love my cell phone. I wish it were waterproof so I could take it into the shower with me. Nothing worse than missing a call because you were taking too long behind the ears! If you know what I mean.
I must have music everywhere I go and it must be my music. I can’t listen to blow-hard radio personalities or contrived radio commercials for more than five minutes without wanting to pour acid in my ears, so it’s absolutely imperative I never forget the iPod. The new car has an audio jack right in the front of the stereo, just for my iPod. I have earbuds for when I’m not driving. I have headphones at work and on my desk at home. There’s simply no reason not to have my iPod with me at all times.
Like right now, for instance. Good thing this is the ‘net, because I wouldn’t even be able to hear you if we were face-to-face. iPod’s got Killing Joke's Pandemonium cued up right now. Requires high volumes.
I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to my pocketknife. I don’t want to carry an inferior piece of crap and end up with a broken blade going through my thumb or some other silly shit. For this reason, I insist on my knife being a Benchmade.
With this baby, you can cut a seatbelt off of someone trapped in an overturned Hummer! Not that I’m cutting seatbelts on a regular basis, but it’s nice to know I could if I felt the need. And then, you know, I could turn right around and slice a cucumber wafer-thin as if the knife had just been sharpened. Of course, there’d probably be bits of nylon on the cuke slices, but you get the idea. Sweet blade.
Flash Drive (Supplemental Item)
Less important than all the rest, but quite often a very welcome convenience. Only goes with me on longer excursions. The one I have right now is 1GB, which is big enough to hold just about any data I’d need to take somewhere on the spur of the moment. You know, such as top-secret plans for a doomsday device or video evidence that Sasquatch lays eggs instead of giving live birth. Stuff like that.
* That’s about half a kilo and YES, I actually weighed it on my kitchen scale.