Today’s backpack is much different from the backpacks of old. So different, in fact, that if you saw an old backpack you’d probably mistake it for a paper bag. This is understandable, because the earliest backpacks were actually paper bags. People hadn’t even started to wear them on their backs yet, I believe, instead opting to cart them about on horseback, or sometimes, in hard-up families, on a gerbil’s back.
(This is sort of like cars, because early cars were actually horses. It’s also similar to corporations, because early corporations were also horses.)
Today, backpacks range from earth-toned sacks to neon plaid multi-pocketed luggage that also makes coffee and translates five languages.
With increasing backpack size and strength has come increasing backpack weight, though. Now, your average teen student carries 3 textbooks, a binder, 4 notebooks, 2 novels, 12 pens/pencils, 6 pieces of gum, a water bottle and lunch, a graphing calculator, a computer, a generator, a desk, two chairs, an oriental rug, a surround-sound stereo system, a small car, and a maple tree. Today’s backpacks, therefore, usually weigh more than an entire herd of wildebeests (sometimes, if a teen is really messy and disorganized, you may find a wildebeest or two in the backpack itself, often chewing on the gum).
This all means one thing: we should go back to the horse/paper bag/gerbil method. It also means you need to know how to wear your backpack properly.
The Single-Shoulder Method
Want to give off the ultimate “I don’t care” image? Want popularity to boundlessly abound? Of course you do. That’s why this method is so popular. By wearing your backpack on one shoulder you will permanently stunt the growth and development of that side of your body. You’ll grow up and have one shoulder two feet below the other, not to mention that your limp makes it look like you are walking on whatever that artificial material that makes up the inside of pop-tarts is.
And, thus, the coolness factor. You send the message saying, “I don’t care that I will be permanently deformed! I don’t care that most newborn babies walk better than I can! I don’t care that High School Humor Blog is the best blog ever, even though it definitely is! I don’t care, so I must be cool.”
The Traditional Method
No, I don’t mean the method I mentioned above; I mean the traditional way to wear a backpack: on both shoulders, squarely on the back. Sure, you won’t appear cool, but you also won’t need a personal tailor for all your clothes. Plus, if done correctly, you can hold up to seven or eight tons more this way than any other way, because it is more balanced. Now you don’t have to leave your mattress at home; you can take it with you and sleep anywhere.
The Low-Slung Method
Take the traditional method and lower the backpack so it bangs against your ankles while you walk (still on both shoulders). Essentially, this is the best of both worlds. You can carry more because you are balanced, but you also appear cool, because you will grow up with a permanent stoop. On the bright side, you’ll get really good at the Limbo, and we know that’ll never go out of style.
The Forehead Method
Starting with a single-shoulder setup, move the strap up to your forehead. Not only will your hair now spike perfectly, but you will also be able to strengthen your neck muscles to the point where your head butt can break steel.
The Hands-On Method
Essentially, this is a traditional method where you add a hand between the shoulder and strap on each shoulder. This really does nothing, but for some reason is quite common amongst teens. This is probably because it makes it easy to unsling your backpack and hurl it at an oncoming hall monitor, knocking them unconscious and quite possibly crushing them to death.
The Forearms Method
Again, start with a traditional method and then move the straps to the outsides, so they rest upon your incredibly muscular upper-arm. While this may restrict your arm movements to the point where you can only manage to flap helplessly like a clueless bird when you try to wave/fist bump/shake hands/live long and prosper, it is a distinct style that you can make your own.
Forearms or Traditional, Single-Shoulder or Low-Slung, I can guarantee that your backpack probably weighs way too much (or does it way weigh too much? As in “your backpack definitely, like, way, weighs too much, you know what I mean, girl?”). And so, in aims of improving the health of all teens who read this post, I recommend one thing: take the oriental rug out.
Last year in late March, we offered a post by Ted (yes, a rare occurrence) entitled “The Best Addition to Your Perfect Schedule.” As forecasting is still going on, I encourage you to read this post, with the assurance that it will make you feel better about those twenty five study halls you are planning on taking.