Mode Rage: Rucksacks

I dislike rucksacks. Actually, scrub that: I despise rucksacks.

This won’t be news to many, as I have often referred to the rucksack
as one of the items most unsuitable for gentlemen of style. This has
proven to be a somewhat incendiary position as rucksack owners, quite
naturally, have lashed out at the criticism and, by extension, the

However, my general dislike of rucksacks developed  into active hatred
when I experienced a post-work rush for late-night Thursday shopping
in the West End. It proved to me that the rucksack itself is not only
an unattractive, utilitarian and inelegant item but also one that is
downright offensive.

When rucksack owners wander around, they lose all sense (if they had
it in the first place) of others’ existence. Attached to their back
like some great nylon cyst, the rucksack transforms the mild,
middle-management, middle-aged businessman into an aggressive yob. He
wanders down the congested aisles aimlessly, swinging his sack behind
him from side to side, oblivious to the faces seeking a view of the
goods on display. Conscious of nothing but the product he is looking
for, he turns around without caution or care, swiping unsuspecting
shoppers with his ludicrous bag.

They say that people are free to choose to wear whatever they like, as
long as it “isn’t hurting anybody.” This is as true of rucksacks as it
is of offensive t-shirts; or, more accurately, it is true of rucksacks
in a crowded metropolitan context. No one can deny that rucksacks are
the most suitable item for an expedition, but as bags to carry a light
laptop, work papers and stationery, they are incredibly overused and
quite inconvenient for anyone that happens to be in the close
environs. People can laugh at someone in a bow tie and say it is
archaic and stupid, but they would have to admit it is not something
that hinders their own enjoyment of life. The rucksack, however, does.

So aside from the fact that it destroys suit shoulders, is hideously
ugly and has no connection to the classic style of a gentleman, I have
also discovered that the rucksack is an anti-social item that assaults
innocent bystanders and paints an unfavourable picture of the wearer.
The very worst enemy of good manners in congested environments may
still be the ‘clueless parent in command of a stroller’, but an
unconscious carrier of a bulky rucksack is only one swipe away with a
silver medal.