It is with great pleasure to introduce James’ Adamson, my guest blogger for Career Courier updates. James has picked to write about the bicycle messenger bag. When I bought my first messenger bag I knew no better than to buy a medium size bag from Timbuk2. They make a great bag, but it’s largely consider the rookie’s choice. But James touches on the relationship of the bag to the messenger, not what company you buy your bag from.

As for me I feel naked without my bag on my back, 24/7. I was playing pinball and didn’t have my bag with me one night. When my turn was over I stepped away from the pinball machine and just instinctively slung the first messenger bag I saw over my shoulder. The messenger playing pinball next turned and said to me, “Why are you wearing my bag?”

The Messenger Bag
by James Adamson

The messenger bag, courier bag, bummy bag, bag, sack, fashion sack, fat sack, satchel, satchel-of-joy, pillow, receptacle or as most cats think of it—litter box. My beagle considers it, depending on mood, as salt lick, nappy time burrow spot or reservoir redolent of forgotten secret snacks. (The beagle and I are alike with regard to desperate snack sack digging. On many a day every fold, flap and pocket has been turned out trying to unearth a lost 25¢ granola bar, Little Debbie or even a now tacky and fuzzy Jolly Rancher. More often then not, however, dire bag searches (Dire here refers to the search not the bag. As in the bag is not itself a dire bag or a more prehistoric bestial and fearsome form of the more quotidian bag.) are for trying to find an errant quarter for just one more pinball game—making it the worlds largest and most ill suited coin purse.) This is my bag there are many like it but none smell like this.

Many messengers could likely identify their bag by smell alone, especially if it’s wet. (After reading this one may feel inclined, for reasons best know only to oneself, to go scratch and sniff ones’ own bag. Please, don’t.) Collectively messenger bags are known by many names.

It’s odd then that rarely does anyone name his or her individual bag.

“Could you hand me Herbert over there?”

“Let me just put your package in Wilfred here.”

“Henri is so heavy today.”

Old timey men’s names seem appropriate. People name bikes. The Bag is just as essential and, given the attached nature to one’s body, used more. Often times outlasting the sobriquet bestowed bicycle the bag remains just a bag.