1.11.2005

What's in Your Fanny Pack?

A panel of technology leaders assembled by the Lemelson-MIT Program has come out with their long-awaited list of the top 25 innovations of the past 25 years. According to CNN, "Back in 1980, the expression 'you can't take it with you' carried a lot more weight than it does today--mainly because 'it' weighed too much. Over the past quarter century, though, scientific innovation has made almost everything portable."

The list includes cell phones, laptops, ATMs, memory storage disks, hybrid cars, and many more (20 more, to be precise). But one scientific innovation is noticeably absent from the inventory, especially since the group sought to recognize "non-medically related technological innovations that have become widely used since 1980, are readily recognizable by most Americans, have had a direct and perceptible impact on our everyday lives, and/or could dramatically affect our lives in the future."

That's right: I'm talking about the leather fanny pack. We "couldn't take it with us" because we had nothing to carry it in.

Sure, we had purses and pouches, backpacks and billfolds. But none were so stylish, streamlined, and superbly sensible as this wily wonder worn around the waist.

Ideal for navigating the crowds on Fifth Avenue or scaling the summit of Mount Everest, a fanny pack is the perfect companion for any excursion. (If you find yourself in London, however, be sure to call it a bum bag. For our friends across the pond, "fanny" refers to another part of the female anatomy--similar in location, but vastly different in function.)

I was recently visited by the Fanny Pack Fairy, so look for me out making the scene. But watch your step. You never know what I might be packing in that hip pack strapped to my hip.

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