By D. John Bray
American have become carriers. I’m not referring to anything medical; I’m talking about carrying “stuff." The late comedian George Carlin covered “a place for my stuff” in a great routine some years ago but it has now evolved into what I call “carrying my stuff around.”
People today are walking around constantly carrying their small stuff: cellphones, water bottles, coffee cups, food. It’s now commonplace to see folks walking and talking on their phones, drinking, eating. We have tons of stuff at home and now some of it travels with us always. Heaven forbid we walk around without our little stuff that apparently tides us over until we can get back home and sit with our other stuff.
I call them "stuff people."
Surveys show individuals cannot be without their phones. It's become an electronic addiction evidenced by nearly everyone carrying their phones "walkin' and talkin' " at all times. This addiction gets reinforced by drinking water or a large cup of fancy coffee as one walks and talks – home on the run so to speak.
I know people who have left their cellphones at home and went to great trouble to return home just to retrieve it. “Can’t be without my phone,” they say grinning. I know some women who carry their phones in their bras.
If by chance you are walking around and not carrying anything people look at you suspiciously. If you have gray hair like I do, they excuse you as an old guy who is out of touch.
Today we have so much stuff of all kinds that homes and garages have expanded to hold it all. As Carlin said: “If you didn’t have so much stuff you wouldn’t need a house.”
Now, storage units are all over the country, so we can store our stuff we don’t have room for at home. You literally pay to store your stuff, even special cars and motorcycles.
And, an epidemic of backpacks has spread to children, students and even some adults around the country. Where did they come from and why do very young children struggle to school with a backpack loaded with whatever? They are being indoctrinated to carry their stuff at all times – a sinister plot I think.
College students lug the things, some weighing 30-40 pounds, all over the campus. Maybe it’s part of an exercise program. How did we survive without a backpack when we went to school? (The only allowable exception I will make is if I am carrying a lot of beer in a backpack. Then a backpack becomes a necessity.)
What is the most popular vehicle being sold today? It’s the sport utility vehicle or SUV. And why is it so popular? To carry our stuff, and perhaps our children.
An SUV can go almost everywhere so you can load your stuff in it and take it anywhere, even the mountains or desert. A dream come true for the stuff people. Of course, you can use it to go the store and load a lot of new stuff in it and lug it home.
With the growth of online shopping, it’s easier than ever to order whatever stuff you want, delivered free to your door. Feeding your addiction so to speak.
When you get tired of some of your old stuff you can donate it to one of many organizations that, you guessed it, get it to people who don’t have much stuff and hopefully can use it. Stuff lives on.
We have more stuff now than ever before, more clothes, more cars, more phones, etc.
The only bright spot in all of this is that we have a great deal more of a selection of the good stuff: beer.
When last seen, D. John Bray was entering a beer store with a large backpack.