Words For Your Enjoyment: Fanny Packs

This week’s “Words For Your Enjoyment” brings us a quirky little idea from WFME friend Charm, who wonders aloud just what’s the deal with people continuing to wear fanny packs.

Sadly — the fanny pack phenom started in the 80’s when kangaroos became the most popular animal on the face of the Earth, as reported by National Geographic. For some reason, it was the combination of Paul Hogan’s “Put another shrimp on the barbie” Australian Tourist Commercials combined with these Shrinky-Dinks that introduced fuzzy kangaroo animal packs. Between the two, people suddenly started saying things like:

Man, I wish I could be like a kangaroo!

If only there was a way to look even more fashionally-retarded!

See this fat pooch on my belly? Man, if only I could store stuff in there!!

Well, to much surprise, companies began putting two and two together. What if they could create a fashion statement that allowed people to feel like they were a kangaroo (carrying things in a pouch on their lower abdomen)!? Soon after, the fanny pack was introduced.

I don’t think that fanny packs were ever treated as a cool thing. I could be wrong, but I often recall people who wore fanny packs as the same people who dropped hundreds of pennies accidentally on the floor, those who rode bicycles with seats that were way too high for their body types, and speed walkers. What speed walkers needed fanny packs for I had no idea.

But the problem with fanny packs is that people are still wearing them today.

People with fanny packs on their belt-loops often defend their actions by telling you that they just don’t have enough space in their pockets to carry everything they want to take with them when they go to work or the store. They need room for more than just a wallet, keys and some change. Fanny-packers of today want to carry:

Chapstick
A Passport
Imodium A-D
Toothpicks
Sewing Kits
Swiss Army Knives
Mouthwash
Mini-Shampoo Bottles
USB Keychains
Pain Killers
Pictures of their pets
And so much more…

To them, I ask — If you must carry all these things on your waist while you go to work (where you have a desk) or at the store (where you can buy all these things) or on a walk (where you will not need to sew clothing, freshen your breath, or retrieve important files from a USB keychain when there’s no computer nearby) or pictures of your pets (who are most likely walking with you while you have your fanny pack on anyway) then, dear God — why are you still wearing your fanny pack?

I would never discriminate against fanny packers but I will say that they have ruined particular things for the rest of us. Do you remember when you used to be able to walk into a retail store or a music store and go about your merry way without being asked to give them your backpack or bag? They used to trust us until the fanny packers started swiping objects and sneaking them back out in their pooches. In fact, if it wasn’t for fanny packers, homeland security probably wouldn’t be as rigid as it is today.

Sure, fanny packers have ruined it for the rest of us, but even more disturbing is the fact that they continue to wear their fanny packs with reckless disregard for the rest of us fashion-conscious people. Fads are called fads because they eventually DIE. Fanny packs have not.

It is a sad, sad state of affairs.

12 comments on “Words For Your Enjoyment: Fanny Packs

  1. charm - October 15, 2004 at 12:34 pm -

    Bravo! The kangaroo connection never entered my mind! It makes total sense that Paul Hogan is partially to blame for fanny packs. What gets me are women who wear fanny packs and still carry a purse. I mean if you have that much stuff to carry around on a day to day basis, that’s definitely a sign of some sort of obessive compulsive gotta have everything possible at my fingertips mental thing going on. And unfortunately I’m seeing this in California where we’re supposed to be a little more hip than the rest of fashion American, NY and Miami excluded.

  2. suki - October 15, 2004 at 2:51 pm -

    Also, the word fanny means an entirely different thing in Europe (er ..think front instead of rear and another word for cat) which makes the whole thing even more heinous.

  3. DAN - November 9, 2004 at 4:51 am -

    I carry all my stuff in a fanny pack. I got starred when I worked in a hospital and had to wear scubbs. Scubbs are short of pockets and the ones they have are priddy thin.Now I hate the fealing of having things in my pockets,so now I am a man whith a bag.

  4. Bob - February 13, 2005 at 6:36 pm -

    I wear a fanny pack everyday. Its holds my pda, cell phone, and wallet. I find I need the extra room. I have a black leather fanny pack, it has 2 pockets, one at the front and one hidden. I remember in the 90’s when they first came out, everyone in junior high had them including myself. I’m still going to keep using mine..

  5. Tyson - March 8, 2005 at 7:20 am -

    I don’t carry much, usually the typical Mobile phone, wallet, house keys and car keys, and sometimes a pda. I usually carry these things in my pant pockets and they are forever pulling my pants down. Almost had a flashing incident in the city. I started wearing a “fanny pack” so my pants don’t have to suffer, it’s a serious fashion crime though. And all of us in Australia blame Paul Hogan for a lot of things.. for starters we don’t have shrimp, we have prawns. 😛

  6. Alex - April 3, 2005 at 7:07 pm -

    I wear a black fanny pack because I like to bmx bike a lot. I found stuff kept falling out of my pants or my jacket, and when my girlfriend called me to tell me to come meet her some place, I would have to load everything up in my pockets, but now I just put on my fanny pack, she has one too. I wear mine under my shirt so nobody will tell, but they usually think i’m fat, so I just tell them i’m wearing a fanny pack. It is also able to hold my iPod which is great. Mine is a small one pocket pack but I manage to get my iPod, wallet, cell phone, pedometer, keys, and my bike tools. I say that they are still in style, because everytime I go somewhere, someone younger than me is wearing one.

  7. Mike - June 3, 2005 at 7:52 pm -

    I wear a black leather fanny pack aswell.. My friends made fun of me at first but then they started asking me to hold things for them. I wear mine under my shirt, a lot of people don’t notice I wear one as much. I carry my wallet, cell phone, multi tool, and keys in mine. They are pretty thin now compared to the old bulky ones. The only thing I don’t like is the cheap plastic buckle that breaks every couple of months.

  8. Jacob Wahs - June 5, 2005 at 6:33 pm -

    I went to a store today and got myself a fanny pack for 5 bucks.. It’s pretty good when I wear it in the front. I find that it is pretty good when i’m mountain biking. It can get pretty hard around the waist though, but from now on I will be wearing my fanny pack. I wear it under my shirt also because then nobody can see I am even wearing one except for that big bulge.

  9. Fanny Pack Wearer - October 16, 2005 at 6:35 pm -

    I wear a fanny pack at work.. They aren’t that bad…

  10. Marvin - October 29, 2005 at 1:21 pm -

    Whats wrong with wearing a fanny pack? I use mine at school, it became very handy, espescially when changing classes in university. I use mine to hold my bus pass, keys, wallet, cell, lighter.. My friend was pickpocketed, and ever since that happened, he bought a fanny pack and wasnt pickpocketed again. Not all of us fanny packers use them to carry all of the items listed above, we use them because we usually dont have pocket space. I have heard that probably within the next few years, they will probably make a comeback..

  11. Michael - December 6, 2005 at 3:29 pm -

    I wear a fanny pack to school.. I thought people would laugh at me but they didn’t.. It’s leather.. I remember back in grade 4.. when my fanny pack stayed on me all the time.. even other kids asked me to hold stuff for them..

  12. Justin - December 27, 2005 at 2:21 pm -

    I wear a fanny pack a lot, mostly outside of school, but now I find that I need one at school to hold my wallet, bus pass, keys, and other stuff..
    I checked out to see if they were allowed at my school, and they are. I want to use one, i’m just worried people will laugh at me, what should I do?

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