Some people like their bags to be clinically clean: free
of folds, chewing gum or ethnic food stains. I, on the other hand, like my
bags to tell a story. Here's how Bruce
Kelly describes the progeny of the top specimen:
"I was camping in the Yukon Territories in Canada
this summer and at a camp ground I met a chap from Nova Scotia. One thing
led to another and before I knew it I was describing my barf bag
collection and without a word, he stepped into his tent and brought out
this bag which he had his toothbrush and toothpaste in. He had apparently
been using it as a toiletry bag for some 15 years while on the road. He
insisted on giving it to me as a contribution to my collection. I already
had one (in better shape) and I just couldn't throw it away as he was so
proud to come up with a Canadian bag for me."
If you've ever traded bags with Bruce, you'll know that he likes his
bags crispy and new, so I can understand that this ragged item felt out of
place in his collection. He gave it to me for free. Good chap.
Below is a scan of a mint-condition version of this bag, courtesy
Gerhard Lang. As far as I can tell, it's identical to the tatty bag above,
but has not had to bump around in the bottom of a rucksack for 15 years.
No, I'm not going to throw out Bruce's bag just because I've got a
Thanks Bruce. (2001)