Friday, March 30, 2012


Jordan Roberts, What's Actually in Your Handbag Right Now?

Men: so strong and mysterious. They're always going into and out of buildings, riding bikes, taking meetings, and eating pizza standing up — but what do they carry along with them? Jordan Roberts, a.k.a. commenter whizz_dumb, boldly goes where no man has gone before, which is to the depths of his daily backpack, so we might be enlightened, Pulp Fiction-style, about its glowing interiors. "Hahaha almost a man purse, never a bro bag?" he says. "I just made that up, bear with me..." We will, Jordan.

Items dumped from the juvenile-for-my-age Jansport backpack:

1. MP3 player & case, old-ass earbuds/headphones.

2. Phone charger.

3. Checkbook.

4. Doctor's office "final notice" bill.

5. Electrical tape.

6. Business cards.

7. Fancy notebook.

8. Easy reading fiction.

9. Difficult reading magazine.

10. Pen, pencil, marker.

11. Traveling corkscrew.

12. Nail clippers.

13. Flash/thumb drive.

14. Batteries.

15. Sunglasses.

16. Eyeglasses case with accessories (inside).

17. Emergency radio.

18. Breath mints.

19. Daytime cold meds.

20. Memory card.

21. Special toothpicks.

22. Gum.

23. Old lip balm.

24. Something to eat if I'm starving okay fine, ENERGY BAR.

Jordan Roberts, nice travel corkscrew.

69 Comments / Post A Comment


The Mysterious MANBAG: Uncovered!


It's really great to read these takes. Thank you.@y


All I saw was traveling corkscrew.


@TheRisottoRacket I totally carry one in my purse (Lady Bag?). Winos unite!


Yes, I will marry he who carries electrical tape (for putting over my boobs at raves obv) and an emergency radio.


<- Kindle, about five Express newspapers, two ties, paperwork I really need to mail, and an ancient banana.



I applaud you on your pen choice, good sir.

Lady Humungus

@Emby What makes this pen so great? I love office supplies. (seriously)


@Lady Humungus It has a very solid-feeling metal exterior, with kind of a brushed-stainless look to it. It has a very solid click. It looks just kinda fancy, but not pretentiously so. It's very, very solid-writing.


@Emby I want you to do all my office-supply reviews from here on...

Do paperclips next!


@Lady Humungus It's everything a pen should be. Fine line without being scratchy, ink that doesn't smear, solid body that won't get smashed in your bag, metal clip that doesn't break off, and it's not big or clunky or silly-looking. It's what an alien civilization would show a picture of when trying to explain what these humans have that they call, 'a pen.'


@Emby ZEBRA F-301 4 LIFE! It's been my main-squeeze pen for years and I've never been tempted to cheat, okay maybe that one time I was writing a really long hand-written note because, Limaceous, the one downside is the grooves that start to hurt if you write hard for too long (haha). But that's also an upside because it glides in and out your pocket with ease (haha). But really, who writes lengthy hand-written letters?


@Emby Okay, but how does it compare to the Uniball Jetstream? Because that is my favorite pen of all time, but I've never tried the Zebra so I can't challenge you to a fight to the death.


@SarcasticFringehead That's a good pen, too! I like that the F-301 is a little less bulky. It's very streamlined. The Uniball is a little more ergonomic, but also is a bit bulkier as a result. It probably comes down a bit to style vs. comfort here.


@Emby it fills my soul with joy to see that other people feel this way about F-301. I have been mocked for running ALL OVER BOSTON trying to find those things. there is no other pen. bonus: the ink doesn't smear (as a left-handed person this is #1 on my priority list and the reason that I abhor those terrible liquid inky pens).


@mangosara Those people clearly don't understand the real, tangible joy of using a thing that works in exactly the way it is supposed to, even, or perhaps especially, if that thing is as insignificant as a pen. See also: staplers.


@Ti:Sapph You, sir or madam, have the best handle of all time. Between your name and the fact that Jordan Roberts subscribes to Physics Today, this is the most nerdily excited I've ever been on the Hairpin.


@Renleigh Why thank you. Let me tell you how excited I was that it was an available Twitter handle (with an underscore rather than a colon) when I was signing up. All of the Ar+ variations are sadly all taken.


Ahhh I *also* keep my stamps in my checkbook, since the onlyyyy reason I ever need to write a check is while mailing in bill payments. High-five, Jordan Roberts!


@craygirl seriously! that flap where you're supposed to keep your register and be very careful about balancing your checkbook (which i obviously religiously do) is the perfect size for stamps.


Who has a checkbook?

BTW, I carry a man purse. NOT ASHAMED. NEED SOMETHING TO PUT BOOK IN. also energy bar.

I want to say that the lameness of having a checkbook is balanced by the awesomeness of having a corkscrew, but...I'm just not sure I can, dude.


@Alexander What's wrong with checkbooks? How do YOU pay your rent?



People who pay rent in New York City often have checkbooks. People who pay their dog walker in New York City often have checkbooks. People who need to pay anyone who cannot or will not allow for electronic transfer of funds have checkbooks and it is not a sign of lameness. Calm down, child.


@meetapossum I set up payments from my bank account! No stamps, no hassle, no leaving my desk! *snort* yeah, it's totally just an NYC thing. You guys are so sophisticated.


@City_Dater What is special about New York City that their landlords and dog walkers are uniquely insistent upon checks? Just wondering because I live outside of New York City and also pay my rent via check.


@Alexander Haven't you ever seen Law & Order? New Yorkers are so busy they can't even stop being On The Go long enough to be interrogated by a homicide detective. What if they run into their dog walker at one of the glamorous all-night parties they are always attending and s/he demands that all arrears be settled on the spot?

(EDIT: Not that I think it's weird to be carrying your checkbook. It's weird to insist that you're doing this because of New York City.)


@Alexander Well, I didn't suggest it was only an NYC thing; I think a lot of people pay their rent by check. I also think we have a different idea of what constitutes a "hassle".


@Alexander I've totally known landlords who wanted you to hand-deliver a check (not mail it!) to their doorstep. Others preferred automatic deposit. Age of landlord was often an issue in these preferences.


@meetapossum No, of course you didn't - that was directed at City_Dater's bizarrely location-specific defense. Sorry to sorta lump you in there.

And yes, we probably do have different ideas. The act of mailing something seems impossibly intimidating to me. Seriously, it's a whole Thing. I have to figure out how much stamps cost now? And if I happen to have stamps around, which I don't, they're from like four years ago and I need two and a half of them to mail this? And then I have to write things on the envelope, and I've basically lost the ability to write with a pen...maybe if I get drunk first that will help.

I have a postcard I've been meaning to mail for eight months now.

Hey! Let's have an informal poll. Do YOU still use a checkbook?



I've noticed that people who overreact to checkbooks (GASP! And he has PENS too!) tend to live places where rent situations are less likely to be sketchy and/or weird (illegal sublets/landlord's brothers who want the rent paid to them even though they don't own the building/elderly owners who want to be handed a physical check/etc).


All of my truly sketchy/weird rent situations have tended to involve cash, not checks.

Also, I'd hazard a guess that age of the over-reactor is often an issue here.


It seems like it'd be more likely that in NY you would be able to do electronic transfers for paying rent? I live in a smaller city and have rented directly from property owners for the last 7 years or so though. A lot of times when setting up a direct withdrawl / deposit you have to attach a voided out check, WHAT THEN HUH.

I use checks mainly for rent and things related to my kid, like school trips or fundraisers. Kids are so lame.


@Alexander In Defense of Checkbooks, Part 1: I don't have time for this writing checks takes up all of my free time.


@Alexander I do use a checkbook, but not often enough to carry it around with me. (I no longer rent a sketchy, illegal apartment, and the property management company happily takes transfers.) In fact, I mostly use the checkbook to pay my boyfriend for my share of the bills. (If I did it online, it would just take five days for him to get a check from me in the mail, which is silly as I can just write him a check and hand it to him.)

To be honest, I don't get the whole mailing anxiety -- did you know they have this new kind of stamp that never expires? Get the Forever stamps, never worry about that again. (At least, in the U.S.; maybe you're overseas?)


@Alexander In Defense of Checkbooks, Part 2: The Internet Collapse of 2014. In the beginning (of the internet age), there was no online banking. Then there was. Then the hackers got wise. duhn daahhh


@Limaceous And I elsewhere just admitted that I dislike phones so much that I only order pizza from places who take online orders, so...part of the problem here may be that I'm insane. And also incapable of doing anything that's not on the internet.


@Alexander Forever Stamps are the answer. Also, I use a checkbook for stuff like paying my utilities bill (no e-payments?!?!)and for the random no-credit-cards-accepted cafe.


@ghechr I just refuse to pay for checks, because it seems like paying for money to me? And like Alexander I can cut checks from my bank account and then the bank mails them for me. Not e-transfers, like, they print a check and mail it. (you can do e-transfers too, but my landlord/internet company don't take them) Win! Another upside is that it subtracts the amount from my account immediately when it mails. This is nice because my landlord takes approximately 4 months to cash checks and then does them ALL AT ONCE.

As for needing voided checks for direct deposit, you can just get the routing number from your bank and then I write that down along with - it's never been questioned, every HR person/company I've done this with has seen it before, and it was no big deal.


@Alexander: I'm with you on check hate. They're just a pain, and they have to be cashed, so they exist in this in between state in transit, and they can be lost, and voided, and returned, and all this nonsense where the bank just penalizes the hell out of you if they have to do anything to your check, and blah.


@Alexander you know what i think is lame how my old stupid bank charged me for checkbooks, I guess they cost money or whatever to produce but seriously banks? You guys have lots of money. Give me my checkbook.

Ooh also, does anybody have fancy cases/sleeves FOR their checkbook? Now that would be some sophisticated-ass shit.

btw how much fancier is the canadian spelling i didn't use chequebook. so fanc


@redheaded&crazie I get free cheques but I DON'T get any book to put them in anymore! But I use cheques so infrequently (like maybe once a year?) that it doesn't really matter.


@Alexander I am 27 and I write a rent check still. I do use online banking for every other bill, BUT the reason I don't do it for the rent check is because my bank takes the money out of my account before sending the money, and while for other bill payments it's like the day before I ask it to be paid, for an actual check they mail they take it out about 5 days before I ask it to be paid. Since my landlord tends not to cash checks until the 10th of the month, I bring it to her myself, so the money stays in my account until she takes the rent checks to the bank.


@Alexander It's kind of lame if you are operating in the 21st century and are unable to make 99% of your transactions electronically. Do you think that using a check is not electronic? My mom uses them but otherwise, their time has passed.

But I do appreciate a good pen!


@whizz_dumb We've heard this before- the robots are going to take over, right?


@SuperWittySmitty We ARE the 99%. I use cheques (adorable spelling) for rent and one payment of my many credit cards because this credit union with low APR has the most tedious sign-in process to pay online it actually is less of a hassle to write a cheque (haha) out and mail it dinosaur style. Oh and that occasional final notice doctor bill. I'm really not worried about the robots but it's fun to speculate.


The contents of this bag are truly the manliest! But perhaps you should look into carrying one of these


I guess the emergency radio makes up for the disgusting lack of lip products. ONE IS NOT ENOUGH.


Glad to see I'm not the only one with wine emergencies.


Glad to see I'm not the only one with wine emergencies.


twinsiesss I have that EXACT SAME CLIF BAR in my purse! Good to have something vaguely breakfast-y in case you end up sleeping somewhere not your house. Or just, you know, to eat on the subway on the way home.


I am self-obsessed enough that I would kind of love to show the internet the contents of my overstuffed handbag. Can we expand this feature from hairpin contributors to random people who happen to read the hairpin?


@dakdakdak that's me! This is basically my first night as a bartender at the bar that I am usually a regular rambling drunk at. Self-obsessed must not transition to self-aware because I'm not very sneaky when I'm sneaking this booze.


Because I am a MANNNN MAN MAN (say in South Park MAN song cadence), I just have a money clip and no bag. But I do have an interesting keychain! I love keychain gadgets. Ask me about my keychain!

Dirty Hands

@Too Much Internet What, sir, is on your keychain/is your keychain?


@Dirty Hands and then he leaves us hanging! puh, men


@redheaded&crazie: That's... really weird, my reply is gone, until I sign in, then I see it. Do you guys not see my reply?


@Too Much Internet Nope! The hairpin gods have reviewed your comment and found it wanting. And deleted it foreverrrrr.


@redheaded&crazie: noooooooo

seriously, weird. I have three links in there, I might have tripped anti-spam bot stuff.

Here's my stuff, without links:

SWISSTECH Utilikey (looks like a key, has two screwdrivers, bottle opener, knife)
Nano LED light
16GB Patroit Flex USB drive


Um, remove the emergency radio (obviously a glove compartment thing and not a purse thing) and cork screw (have one on my Swiss Army Knife), then toss in hand sanitizer and birth control...

Totally my purse. Electrical tape! An SD card! Sharpies are 100% required.


@Quin What do non-electricans (assuming you are) use electrical tape for enough to always have it? Just curious. I've only ever seen it used for making places on floors. I don't know that I've ever actually used it myself.


@dg when I took dance classes we used it to mark points on the floor. Aside from that it's useful for on the go wire fixes (headphones and such), and emergency rain boot repair. Also to an extent it's just fun to have on hand.


Is it just me, or did y'all miss what the "accessories" are in the glasses case? One would think he would put his sunglasses in there ;-).




@saythatscool yeah girl, you seriously couldn't figure that out from his comments?


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