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2013 Counselor Road Tour

It's In The Bag

21st Century Road Tour Vagabonds Motor On

Joe HaleyAs we set out to spend eight days on the road, the one thing that always slips my mind is that we are going to spend all that time living out of our bags. Yes, we're 21st Century vagabonds in and out of town in one night, constantly digging in our bags for clean clothes while we try to find room at the bottom for the "worn" clothes.

The bags are as constant as is that long road ahead. We are forever shoving them inside the White Whale (which is what we call the behemoth we drove from New Jersey to St. Louis, although Melinda keeps calling it Great White) as we set off for the day's visit. Then we unload them as we reach our accommodations. Rinse, lather, repeat.

As the trip winds on, I start to resent my bags. As I pack up – again – in the morning sometimes I mutter "I hate you." And deep down, I realize I don't, I just tire of the routine, "look at us, we don't do anything anymore. Yes we're together but it's the same thing!"

Then there's the airport, where I start resenting people because of their bags. Sitting at the gate yesterday, waiting to board our flight to Dallas I became keenly aware of the bags people are toting. And I become resentful. As they're standing close to the gate agent I know they're getting on the plane first and I also see that there is no way that one of the two bags will fit under the seat in front. But who am I, the airline luggage police? If only. We've all flown. We all know they tell you one million times, "One carry-on bag and one personal item." Lady, those two steamer trunks are in violation.

So I sit there, not really stewing and not really being vengeful. Sure it would be a delight if her bag ripped open and her contents spilled all over the jet way. But, that would have delayed the flight even more. I just sat in a loathsome way.

The other thing I notice about bags – and especially at the airport and in planes where one's personal space would hardly fit on the head of a safety pin – is that back packs get on my nerves. I love the utilitarian nature of the bag, but some people pack those things with so much stuff they make Quasimodo's hump look like a pimple. Then, even more grating is that a lot of people forget they have it strapped to their back. I sat there and watched as a lady sitting at the end of a row at the gate was whacked several times by a college student's bag. Really student-from-Washington-University-in-St.-Louis, you couldn't feel or sense that? (That poor woman was also butt bumped several times by a woman in a pink velour track suit.)

As we reach the midway point of this journey, I look over to my bag and say, "Ok, sweetheart, time to get going." And, I'll try not to pack angrily.

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