Sometimes fashions get ripped out of our closets and fade away into the abyss of memory because they're just not cool anymore, even though they are quite practical. They work as intended. They function, but for one reason or another we all collectively decided that they'd had their shot, and it's time to put them away. Sometimes, as they ascended into the fashion afterlife, they somehow picked up an ugly stigmatization, which is like nailing the coffin shut, wrapping it in chains, and blasting it into space. If we can somehow move past the stigmas attached to some of these no-longer-cool-but-crazy-useful items, I think we'll all be much happier people. Trends like ...
#4. Fanny Packs
I've long despised pockets. Wallets make me feel like I have a massive tumor on my ass. Keys are always molding into the most obnoxious, uncomfortable position they can be in at any given time. Modern smartphones are only getting bigger and wider, and if I wanted that in my pocket, I would carry a spatula. A book bag is a little too much for my needs ... but a fanny pack. Ho-ly shiiit -- a fanny pack would rid my pelvic area of all its encumbrances.
We could all feel this free if only we would accept fanny packs into our hearts.
I would love to have one right now. If we were friends and you needed ChapStick -- BOOM -- it's in my fanny pack. You're welcome. Hold on; I think I've got a coupon for Golden Corral in here somewhere. Half-priced buffet if we eat before 6. You're welcome. Dude, you want a Tic Tac? Wintergreen or Fruit Adventure? You're welcome, but don't thank me -- thank the fanny pack. I'd be so goddamn cool.
The Rock in a fanny pack AND an Insane Clown Posse shirt. That's ... that's incredible.
I had a fanny pack when I was a kid. I got rid of it when I entered middle school, which is around the age when kids start asking questions like "Is that where you keep your vagina?" The biggest reason for that, I think, is that fanny packs are too practical for their own good. They're so functional, they practically sell themselves, but they're also so tragically uncool that they practically recall themselves back to the factory and their Asian sweatshop manufacturers commit seppuku for shaming the world with the uncoolness of their functionally perfect product.
It also didn't help that fanny packs were worn almost exclusively by off-duty professional wrestlers. Wrestlers aren't exactly fashion trendsetters; they tend to dress like athletic homeless people. They hit the gym, scream at a train, and then fall asleep on a brick.
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Work that fanny, Granny!
Everything that's cool today will fade into uncoolness with time, only to be brought back by some trendy, useless heiress 15 years from now. Fanny packs are about due for their resurgence, and when they return, you better damn well know that if we're hanging out and you've got the sniffles, I've got a travel pack of tissues for you. They're in my fanny pack. You're welcome.
I played roller hockey when I was younger. I was pretty good. I also skateboarded. I was awful. Naturally, I gravitated more toward in-line skating as a preferred mode of childhood transportation. Being someone who straddled the line between the two worlds, I noticed there was a soft-spoken tension between in-line culture and skateboard culture that no amount of X-Games could ease.
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Back when "X-treme" sports were gaining national attention, the two sides struggled for supremacy. Roller rinks were cool, and everyone had in-line skates. At the same time, skate parks were popping up everywhere, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was infinitely better than most other nouns. Skateboarding won the culture war, and in-line skating faded into the realm of kitsch fads alongside slap-on bracelets and Pogs. Rollerblading became stigmatized; it was shorthand for lameness, which is sad.
So popular that we made our fingers do it, too.
There was no pressure in having to learn a trick with Rollerblades. If you were riding a skateboard around other skateboarders and wanted to feel the wrath of their dickishness, all you had to do was tell them you didn't know how to ollie or kickflip. They'd fire condescending glares at you through the shaggy, moist hair drapes covering their eyes. I couldn't skateboard just for transportation; I had to constantly be working toward becoming the next Rodney Mullen.
In-line skates were more inclusive. Everyone had them laying around somewhere in a garage or closet, and there was little competitiveness to try to do something incredible with them. They were more like bikes, in that a person could use them to go on a nice, leisurely ride, but they could also go apeshit and try to jump a neighborhood canal that has a "Beware of Alligators" sign beside it, which I actually did once.
One day, rollerblading will be in style again, and we're all going to have a ball while the skateboarders look on, wishing their irrational hatred of shoes with wheels didn't prevent them from taking part in all the fun.