Last month, I got rid of my 17 year old car and bought a new one. Last week, I got rid of my 4 month old toothbrush and started a new one. Today, I got rid of my 18 year old backpack.
The black Eddie Bauer backpack was close to the end anyway – the zipper teeth had many faults, such that holes might open up along its length if there was too much weight in it (a half load of groceries was about the limit). The zipper pull itself had broken, so only a tiny piece of less-than-smooth metal was available for pulling. The stitching on the bottom and inside pockets had broken, so stuff could move from one compartment to another and fall out if it were small enough. I had been using it in Bermuda with the intention of using it until it died, or I left, whichever came first. It was used for grocery shopping and beach trips, so I could avoid gathering piles of paper/plastic bags (added bonus of not having to tip the baggers, schoolkids who often made more money than the checkers) and didn’t care if it got dirty. I was able to MacGuyver a fix for the broken zipper and stitching with twist ties and a pocket knife, which extended its life a couple of years. It’s what I do.
Tonight, it made another step towards irreparability. While loading groceries, the backpack fell off the checkout counter and the glass bottle of root beer broke, leaving the backpack soaked with root beer and filled with glass shards. Most of the liquid spilled out and most of the glass was dumped out. Knowing the ant situation in Bermuda (they will find and swarm bread crumbs left on a counter within an hour), it wasn’t worth trying to clean, so I walked the half hour back to the apartment with a wet backpack and soggy groceries, then used it one last time to carry out the garbage to the dumpster.
Worry not, as I have another backpack with me. This one is a North Face Recon II, and I believe it is even more durable than the late Eddie Bauer (backpack).
By the way, I picked up another bottle of the (Jones) root beer, it wasn’t very good.