Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hobo Closets

Backpacks weren't always called backpacks. This is a thing that few people know. You see, originally, backpacks were known as hobo closets. And Latigo Flint recently decided that if he has anything to say about it, they very soon shall be again.

So this afternoon found Latigo Flint leaning against a chain link fence outside the local high school, trying to immersively market the term: "hobo closet" to the youth of America.

"I reckon that's mighty fine hobo closet you got there." I drawled in a low but not unfriendly voice.

"Excuse me, what did you say?!" The young lady was genuinely perplexed.

"Your hobo closet." I repeated with a nod. "I reckon it's mighty fine. Or rad as the kids might say these days."

She must have had somewhere to quite urgently be.

Two slouchy young men passed by, tiny white headphones rammed in their ears.
"Well I'll be horsewhipped." I exclaimed. "They're building hobo closets with cord ports now?"

The slouchy boys didn't hear me over the din of their thumpedy beats. I flicked the earpiece from the ear of the one closest to me.

"Hey, what the fuck man?!!!"

"Your hobo closet young sir--it seems to have a cord port built in to the fabric, allowing you to secure your digital music player and yet still listen to it in transit. Isn't that just a most splendid thing?"

He stared up at me with dull eyes. He seemed wholly unable to form an opinion on whether or not it was a most splendid thing. Then he tried to knife me. I did not permit him to knife me. Instead, I sidestepped and pulled his hobo closet up and around his head, immobilizing his scrawny arms like bird wings in a freeze frame.

"No knifing your elders." I hissed. "That's a bad slouchy boy."

He seemed unrepentant and I was sorely tempted to beat him to death with his own hobo closet. But that sort of thing is frowned upon and after a while I let him go.

Next it was time for a smoke break. I needed to reflect and reevaluate my strategy for the reintroduction of "hobo closets" as a common term for backpacks. (I walked two blocks before lighting up because in California they execute you for smoking upwind of a school.)

On my break I saw a hobo. He didn't have a closet.

Back at the school I redoubled my efforts. I strolled around the commons, complementing nerds on their hobo closets. I sprinted up to popular kids and asked them where they purchased their hobo closets. I even went so far as to round up several jocks, and like Anne Sullivan to Helen Keller, placed their fingers on my lips as I spoke the words, "hobo closet" while simultaneously bashing them in the face with their own backpacks.

In the end, the authorities ambushed me with beanbag projectiles and tear gas. I fell screaming "hobo closet" over and over as I writhed. And according to the court appointed attorney, that's the rebar in my insanity plea.

Anyway, 'yall be sure to pass it on--backpacks are hobo closets; hobo closet means a backpack.

Well, good night for now. Or as Helen Keller would say, ...


At 12:55 AM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Your persuasive methods are indeed very...methodical, Mr. Flint.

At 1:00 AM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I noted your absence yesterday evening and thought it must have been some sort of a brush with the long, strong arm of the law and/or the weak, floppy arm of a court-appointed attorney.

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous The Macek Collective said...

Perhaps shopping carts are the new hobo - hobo closets.

Coincidentally, I'd never seen Lee Van Cleef with a shopping cart (may God have mercy on his soul).

Hardly a coincidence.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Will do, Latigo.

Do you have any new phrases for boxer-briefs?

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Ari said...

Odd how the nation's youth are the foremost employers of hobo closets, while most actual hobos employ drippy grocery bags plucked from the gutter or the hollowed-out carcass of a recently eaten pigeon to carry their belongings (twigs, Green Stamps, pebbles, aluminum can pull tabs, cigarette butts).

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Ari said...

Anyway whatever became of the time-honored method of using a long stick to which a red bandana full of a can of sardines or something was tied?

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Noir Muse said...

How cute! I’m going shopping right now to find myself a slouchy boy to bring home. The vet will have to de-knife him first though. I’ll lead him around by his ipod cord and feed him fast food and pizza roll treats. And if he ever calls his backpack anything other than a hobo closet he’ll be beaten mercilessly with a rolled up newspaper. (I believe in well-trained charges).

Should I crate him or will he be fine if I just plug him into Myspace while I’m at work?

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Rasmus said...

Oh, your timing was awfully off, Latigo.

I have just returned from a full weekend with my hobo closet, but due to you posting this after I left, I had been calling it a back pack all that time. I feel so very terrible now.

At 2:07 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Yeah Sam, I've been a machine all right. For nigh on two years I've regularly posted. Machines eventually break though. And they can't heal themselves when they do...
(I'm breaking. I'm dying. That's the point.)

Angel Eyes was never a hobo Macek! I don't even know why you would reference him in this capacity. Yes Angel Eyes needed to be killed, and so Blonde did it. But Angel Eyes was always classy in an evil sort of way, and never ever wore a hobo closet.

Of course LBB... Hobo Wallets. (Was there ever any doubt?)

Irony. That's what that is Ari. You mean a bindlestiff? I don't know what happened to the bindlestiffs. Perhaps that shall become my next cause.

I don't know sweet Noir Muse. I've never kept a slouchy boy before. I reckon Myspace oughta keep 'em pretty well occupied while you're at work. Probably be a good idea to scatter the kitchen floor with porn though, just in case.

My timing is never off Rasmus. The failing must be yours. It must have a poorly planned holiday. People should check with me before leaving to see when I plan to post next, that's what I think.

At 5:29 AM, Blogger Helga von porno said...

Oxford will be informed.


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