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A mailing list I'm on has had a high-volume discussion lately of what the participants carry with them. I find the results somewhat interesting, but mostly I'm mentioning it because people seem to like the question (and enjoy answering it) a lot. So if you, too, like the question, you can consider it a meme to be answered in your own journals and blogs (and point to your answer in my comments if you like), or you can answer it in my comments. (LJ users: remember to follow the link to the entry at kith.org before posting comments; I won't see comments posted to LJ.)

Here are some possible versions of the basic question. I'm thinking of them more as a choose-one kind of thing, but I suppose if you really feel the need to answer each of them separately, you can do that.

  • What do you carry with you all the time?
  • What is the minimum set of stuff that you always grab when you walk out the door?
  • What do you often and/or always carry in your pockets?
  • What do you often and/or always carry in your purse, waistpack, belt pouch, shoulder bag, sporran, and/or backpack?
  • What would you carry with you if you could carry anything at all? What if it had to fit in your pocket/purse/waistpack/etc? (Yes, science fiction and fantasy answers are acceptable.)
  • What keys are on your keychain?
  • What do you keep in your wallet?

Discussion of related issues are fine as well: gender differences, pockets in women's clothing, what you always carry vs. what you sometimes carry, why you do or don't take much more stuff than you need, seasonal variations (in stuff you carry and/or in number of pockets available), etc.

Thanks to Jacob M. for the original questions.

P.S.: Sometimes I think I've copied some text using the Copy command, but when I attempt to paste it, it turns out I didn't actually do the Copy operation, and I get whatever I had previously copied. In this case, when I attempted to paste the question "What do you carry with you all the time?", this text appeared instead: "The Old Testament God."


My answers are up on my LJ. (Which you probably knew.)

I never leave home without my wallet and my backpack.

The pants pocket not containing my wallet almost invariably contains a couple of pens, a kazoo, and some tissues. The coin pocket contains some coins and/or train tokens, and my keyring.

The keyring contains three keys (building front door, mailbox, apartment door), and small cards for my supermarket and drugstore.

My coat pockets currently contain lip balm, lip ointment, a Walkman, gloves, earmuffs, a scarf, and batteries. (I have lots of coat pockets.)

The wallet contains credit cards, ATM/debit cards, library and video cards, health insurance card, Student Advantage card, business cards, my ACLU card, several different kinds of Band-Aids, some cash, and a bunch of receipts. (The receipts are used as scrap paper.)

The contents of the main backpack pocket vary, but generally include some books and papers. The smaller pockets contain an extra pair of socks (it's winter in New England), asprin, moisturizer, three maps of Boston, batteries, pens, more business cards, my passport, a first aid kit, my glasses, some breath mints, and a couple of condoms. Obviously, I believe in being prepared for all eventualities.

I started trying to compile a list but, y’know, it just didn’t have as much pathos as Tim O’Brien’s.

Tim O'Brien? ...Oh, okay, you must be talking about The Things They Carried, yes? I think the only thing of his I've read is The Nuclear Age, and that was back in college so I'm not even certain of that.

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