Rucksack enigma

I just saw an elderly gentleman get out of his car with a rucksack already on his back.

What on Earth was going on there, do you reckon?

I wondered whether he might have accidentally forgotten to remove his rucksack before he got into the car. But that seems unlikely: even if he had forgotten that he was wearing his rucksack, he would surely have noticed it when he sat down. It must have been extremely uncomfortable.

Then I thought that perhaps the elderly gentleman must have had short legs, and couldn't reach the pedals without some sort of padding at his back. But his car was a Vauxhall Corsa, which is a pretty small car, and I'm pretty sure they come with seat adjusters. And, besides, surely some sort of cushion would have made a far more appropriate booster. And, besides some more, I couldn't help noticing that he was about six feet tall, give or take.

When I told Jen about the elderly gentleman I had seen getting out of his car with a rucksack already on his back, she suggested that perhaps his wife had put it on for him, and that he was incapable of getting out of it on his own. If a man were to say such a thing about a woman, elderly or otherwise, he would no doubt be accused of rampant sexism, but us chaps are increasingly expected to put up with this sort of nonsense. I am sure that anyone who could parallel-park a Vauxhall Corsa as well as this elderly gentleman clearly could would be perfectly capable of manoeuvring himself out of a rucksack. It's not exactly rocket science.

Unless, of course, something had gone wrong with the clasp on the rucksack. Perhaps it had jammed. Perhaps the elderly gentleman had been stuck inside the rucksack for weeks, but was too embarrassed to ask for help. Us chaps tend not to like asking for help. The poor fellow! If only it had occurred to me at the time, I might have asked if he needed a hand. Well, to be honest, I probably wouldn't have: us chaps tend not to like offering to help either.

But the whole affair is, I'm sure you'll agree, very intriguing. There's some sort of back story there that we aren't party to. Something that explains the elderly gentleman's apparently odd behaviour. In fact, I'm half tempted to pop back into town to see if he's still there, so I can ask him about it. But I'm not going to.

Sometimes life's little mysteries have to go unresolved.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. First thing I've read since waking this morning. Very funny! Gave me a giggle or two.

  2. May I suggest that the man was a severe hunchback and had resorted to this disguise to prevent humiliation. It's a theory....

  3. Dear The Thorn Tree (or can I call you The?). I'll have you know that if brains were dynamite. dear Richard wouldn't have enough to blow his hat off!

    Incidentally, the buggers in the NHS I.T. dept, have finally blocked all 'social networking' sites. So no more gruts on the night shift, or bukkake sites for that matter...ooh, what a giveaway!!!

  4. My father puts on his rucksack in the car. He has back trouble and finds that less twisting is required if he supports the weight of th bag on the seat as he puts his arms in.

    He's 76 and probably 5'10''. I can't imagine that he was in Hebden Bridge on Sunday, but I shall check, just in case. Perhaps he is leading a double-life.

  5. In my part of the world, people who wear rucksacks...(is itwear one or carry one?) tend to wear cut off denims & wellie boots. They also generally can beseen carrying a gnarled stick.

    However, I shall be taking a rucksack to Egypt in 2 weeks time. I shall send you a photo of yours truly, sporting said rucksack & standing next to a pyramid. Do you think we might get a trend going & ask others to send their photos of their rucksack bearing activities?

    Sorry...I had a momentary lapse of reality!

  6. "However, I shall be taking a rucksack to Egypt in 2 weeks time..........."

    Is that any way to speak of your partner?

  7. I have a sticker in my car, courtesy of Sainsbury's. It was designed to encourage us ecologically minded folkto re-use carriers. It reads 'take an old bag shopping'. The strange thing is that the 'old bag' put it there!

    The spam code today is VIMTO. Must put it on the shopping list.

  8. .,...and sunny delight would be an anagram of puke inducing muck, if the letters were the same!

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