Backpack Wearing Douchebags

Posted on September 15th, 2008 by The SUBWAYblogger in Live Blogging On the Subway, Outta the Way

Let’s just be clear, if you’re wearing a backpack on a crowded subway train at rush hour, you are a douchebag.  Period.  There’s no defense.

Secondly, if you are a grown man wearing a backpack for any reason (at any time) that doesn’t have something to do with hiking or camping, you are also a douchebag.

I know, “the backpack” is a new Euro-trend that’s been getting more and more popular for expense account hipsters.  I get it.  However, there’s a cool way to pull it off, and there’s a way to not deserve D-BAG stamped on your forehead.  Allow me to explain.

Ever been riding the train on a busy morning when some jackass gets on with his backpacked locked and loaded on his back as if he’s about to scale the outside of the New York Times building?  You’d notice him right way because every time he turns to the left or right, his backpack smacks into you.  

Or maybe you’re lucky enough to be standing back to back with him in the middle of the car.  You’ll know he’s there because his pack keeps shoving you in the middle of your back.  Almost like someone trying to shove you into the lap of that woman sitting on the bench in front of you.

The whole douchbaggery could be avoided if he simply took his pack off, and placed it on the floor between his feet.  Then you could both enjoy the extra room.

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  1. Harlan said on September 15th, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Agree with the subway backpack thing, mostly, but there are exceptions. I have a daypack with a hip strap that I use then schlepping 30 pounds of groceries (which I do weekly, since I don’t have a car). That’s just pedestrian, though. And I’ve done the same thing the couple of times I needed to carry very heavy loads through the city. (Not during rush hour.) You just can’t carry that much weight with more stylish options… But yes, take the damn thing off if the train is crowded…!

  2. Vinny said on September 15th, 2008 at 9:59 am

    I have to say that a thin slingpack usually isn’t a problem, it’s the guys that get on with gigantic backpacks stuffed with their lives and everything they’ll need at the gym if they happen to find themselves there later. For those people, I have nothing but disdain.

  3. The SUBWAYblogger said on September 15th, 2008 at 10:13 am

    @Vinny: Yeah, as long as it is slim.

    @Harlan: I schlep my groceries too. Never really felt the need to strap them to my back though. But whatever floats your boat.

  4. LauraV said on September 15th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I totally agree. The funny thing is that at NYU, all of the security guards who control the elevators say, as you’re stepping into the elevator, “Backpacks down, make room for a friend.” Maybe this could be a new conductor announcement? I could only imagine… hahaha

  5. backpacker said on September 15th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    agreed – take the backpacks off. however, not everyone who wears a backpack is a d-bag. come on man, shlepping a laptop to work/school everyday with books, etc. sucks on one shoulder. a backpack feels much nicer. but, got to put it on the ground when in a crowded subway, of course. i can only speak for myself, but if you’d like to give me an office so i don’t have to haul my computer and books everyday for work, then i’ll stop wearing my backpack. until then, concentrate on the etiquette of backpacks on the subway and save the name calling for elsewhere.

  6. Jeff said on September 15th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Heh Heh. A douchebag is also someone who likes to make blanket generalizations about anyone who wears (insert topic du jour) on a blog. That being said. I’ll extend your rant to anyone who increases their personal- space bubble during rush hour. I’ll make an exception for baby strollers.

  7. The SUBWAYblogger said on September 15th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    @Jeff: I’ll agree with you on the space bubble. Screw baby strollers…fold ‘em up as per the MTA subway rules. And we get paid to make blanket generalizations. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. David said on September 15th, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    I think you forgot to include photographers who need to wear backpacks. When I am out shooting, I will only carry my camera & related equipment in a camera backpack. The one time I didn’t, my DSLR ended up getting banged up.

    I do agree that people who wear them attached to their back in a crowd train are complete douche bags. I only wear mine like that if the train is empty & I am getting off within 1-3 stops. Most times I am not & will have it on the ground or slightly on one shoulder but not hitting or touching anyone.

  9. Ventibate said on September 15th, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    I do on occasion wear a backpack to carry my wife’s supply of douchebags around for her and we don’t have a subway in our city. Is that cool?

  10. The SUBWAYblogger said on September 15th, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    @David: Ok so I guess you get a pass for work. But I’m sure you take it off your back when the train is crowded. The last thing you want is someone to unzip it on your back and snag a lens or filter.

    @Ventibate: I think as long as you carry a Subway footlong sub, you’ll technically be covered.

  11. TigerTom said on September 15th, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    I live in London. We have a similar undergound system. I eventually found the way to beat commuting stress is to set off 15 minutes earlier than you need to.

    Result: a peaceful journey. You can take your time.

  12. Amy said on September 16th, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Absolutely – fold the backpacks! But the stroller… it’s not so easy to fold. Imagine if you will a parent, toddler, diaper bag… crowded subway. (And don’t think this is a situation a parent would LIKE to find themselves in!) Taking the kid out of the stroller, folding the stroller, holding an active toddler, stroller, bag… In theory, sure – in reality: not so much.

  13. Dave Sedgwick said on September 17th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    i have a backpack, it’s pretty thin, by most standards, but i do take it off when the train gets crowded. then again, sometimes i leave it on, to bash back at the women who have no idea what their 3.5 bags are doing. heh.

  14. Angus Grieve-Smith said on September 18th, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Count me among the thoughtful backpack-wearers. If I wear a backpack on the subway, it’s because it doesn’t aggravate my back problems as much as a heavy shoulder bag. But I do put it on the floor when the car is crowded, and I do get annoyed by people who don’t.

  15. mach bailey said on January 8th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Word. Funny thing is that the i’s exactly what I googled. I used to live in NYC and can say that it’s not nearly as bad as on the D.C. Metro – D.C. where the douchebag population per capita is assuredly the highest. It’s an amazing statement that so many of these people are oblivious and/or discourtesness enough to have no self-awareness that they are carrying up to a 24″ extension to their person. When someone is crowding me or whacking me with their douchebag hump – I simply take the uni-ball out of my pocked and place it within a mm or 2 on the lightest-hued portion and let the waterproof black ink bleed onto the nylon surface. Better that than upcaping the pen and plunging it into their carotid artery.

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  17. Lyle said on August 11th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I agree, As if the subways were not crowed enough.

  18. Club Penguin Cheats said on August 30th, 2009 at 7:26 am

    The funny thing is that at NYU, all of the security guards who control the elevators say, as you’re stepping into the elevator, “Backpacks down, make room for a friend.” Maybe this could be a new conductor announcement?

  19. Dominic said on September 3rd, 2009 at 6:55 am

    I always prefer backpacks. I feel really comfortable with it, especially on rush hours and on crowded areas.

  20. AJ said on December 2nd, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    I agree! I prefer bringing and using backpacks which makes me comfortable and always on the go! If you possibly can, just avoid crowded places, if there are places which are not.

  21. Backpacker Insurance said on October 21st, 2010 at 8:02 am

    That' true. As I also prefer to do backpacking with my backpacker insurance. I fel comfortable and it gives peace of mind.

  22. backpacker insurance said on October 22nd, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Normally subways are crowded and it is really difficult to get our backpacker from the steep places. We must carry those stuffs which makes us comfortable. They should not add burden on us and must not create troubles for the people around us.

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