austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

She was a day tripper, a Sunday driver, yeah

The thing about luggage is it doesn't do to arrive some places without it. You need it it on vacations; not so much the convenience store where you argue about whether you need those butter-caramel candies. You do. You should argue with yourself instead.

You can get luggage most anywhere. Just grab a bag. That's good enough, particularly if you enjoy having tense conversations with people often from airport security. If you don't, have a service whip up some luggage, which you pick up at your destination and abandon when you're done. But this costs, and if you carelessly leave traces might get you again into tense conversations with airport security still.

Still, pre-made luggage is going to be huge among people who want to have stuff only when they're somewhere. The industry knows know they can't call it ``Luggage'' when there's no lugging, but if they just call it ``-Age'' it sounds like uncalibrated belching. Create a name for this industry and you'll be in good with all the people creating the 2010's -Age bubble.

Till then, most people will pack themselves. I mean packing the luggage themselves, since it violates twelve FCC regulations to fly inside your luggage. Those rules are hardly necessary. Even if you squeeze into the bag you have to close it. Maybe you can deftly swing your hand around and pull it in, but that still leaves a hand-sized zipper hole. Close it? How? Magnets would let you, but then you have to carry magnets the whole trip, and transportation security officials have declared magnets are ``just spooky'' and will put any travellers having them under increased scrutiny and call them names. And not the right names, either. Plus, there's the problem of hopping your way to the airport, especially if you have to drive there.

Probably just as well to pack things. In deciding what to include, remember: wherever you are going normally has stores, and therefore supports commerce, and you can join the mercantile trades. For example, the toothpaste industry is a mature market, with all companies' products about equally effective, costing about the same to make. They must differentiate on superficial features such as taste or having dispensers that produce soap bubbles and chipper tunes. So toothpaste companies at your destination have stocked shelves with flavors ranging from ``mint'' to ``extreme mint''. You can bring your hometown flavors to trade, and wow their merchants with ``double mint'', trading toothpaste for shampoo or selling at a profit.

Besides trade goods you'll want things to wear. Clothes are popular, outranking tinsel, clipboards, and small doors by nearly four points. How many? Count the number of days you're to go without doing laundry. Then count again. If the number is the same both times, use the higher one. Assemble this many outfits, less one for each day scheduled to be spent sitting in bed, angry at the TV. Now add one more outfit just in case. Then repeat this, packing as many outfits again just in case the weather is much colder than expected. Next go back and suppose the weather to be much warmer, pack that many outfits again. Now suppose the weather is over twice as expected as normal and toss in a couple more outfits. Also throw in that sun dress you've had and never worn because you knew better than to buy it. In a strange land you wear it and see that yes, it was a mistake. Also include a paper bag to cover your head while wearing the sun dress, and a canvas sack in case it's raining.

Start by folding every bit of clothing and tucking it firmly, and eventually notice that you're getting nowhere. End by tossing clothes angrily towards the luggage, squeezing it down enough the zipper tread pops loose when it's closed. You can go to your destination secure in the knowledge whatever you needed has fallen out. It was underwear, which you can get in trade for ``super mint'' toothpaste.

The only mystery is why the FCC cares about your luggage. I thought they did TV and the FAA did airplanes. Well, it probably makes sense to them.

Trivia: Oil companies in the United States began distributing maps for free in 1919. Source: Maps and Civilization: Cartography in Culture and Society, Norman J W Thrower.

Currently Reading: The Grand Emporiums: The Illustrated History of America's Great Department Stores, Robert Hendrickson. It was published in 1978 and is relentlessly triumphal, so, there's a lot of talk about how awesomely successful every department store ever is.


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