I’m having a hard time believing that summer is almost over. I feel like I blinked in May and woke up in August, which wouldn’t be so bad if I stilled lived in Massachusetts. Up north, school starts around or after Labor Day, but in Georgia schools start in the middle of August.
That means, we’ve got one last week to summer like we’ve never summered before. And that’s what I plan on doing. For the next week, Stuff Christians Like is going to be summertastic. I’m going to bring back summer favorites with essays rambling through topics like VBS, camp and mission trips. We’ll end the week with a post that more than a dozen of you wrote and then a book giveaway on Saturday.
In the meantime I’m going to use this week to teach my daughter L.E. everything she needs to know about starting kindergarten. A boy in preschool asked her last year if she would kiss him, so most of my wisdom is going to involve judo and possibly windmill punching techniques.
Fresh stuff will return this Friday, in the meantime, let the farewell to summer commence,
#384. Mission Trip Leader Fanny Pack Syndrome
Something happens to mission trip leaders about a month before they go on a trip. It’s subtle at first, most of them won’t even notice it before it’s too late. But it’s there, quietly lurking, waiting for just the right moment to strike. I am of course talking about Mission Trip Leader Fanny Pack Syndrome or MTLFPS. That strange phenomenon that overtakes people who have spent their entire lives as productive, healthy, non-fanny pack wearing members of society. That odd desire to fasten a small piece of luggage to your waist. It’s a problem, and one that few people are willing to talk about.
But after careful consideration and some quiet time, I decided to come forward. To address this growing concern and invite you to take a look at the journal of someone about to fall prey to Mission Trip Leader Fanny Pack Syndrome.
5 weeks before the trip, a leader journals:
“I can’t believe that elder suggested I get a fanny pack. That’s crazy. I’m not a fanny pack kind of guy. I’d never wear one. Seinfeld was right when he said, “it looks like your belt is digesting a small animal.”
4 weeks before the trip:
“I have so much stuff to keep track of. My passport, my money, emergency contact numbers, a bus pass, keys to the rooms where we’re staying. I wish there was an easy way to carry it all. Some sort of bag, maybe a satchel. I’m not getting a fanny pack though.”
3 weeks before the trip:
“I need to make sure I don’t get my money stolen when we’re downtown on the trip. It’s probably statistically safer than my own city, but I still want to be careful. A backpack won’t work because someone could just stand behind me emptying it without me even knowing and I don’t want to be that guy that wears it on the front of his belly like he’s pregnant. I wish there was another way to strap valuables on to me somehow.”
2 weeks before the trip:
“During my lunch break today, I went to the mall without telling anyone. I tried on a few fanny packs. And actually, they’re not even called that these days. They’re called ‘hip bags.’ I like that, it sounds, well ‘hip.'”
1 week before the trip:
“If you think about it, Batman kind of wore a fanny pack. I mean he might have called it a “utility pack,” but it was really a fanny pack. What am I saying? I’m better than Batman? I’m too good to wear a fanny pack? I’m too cool to wear a hip bag?”
2 days before the trip:
“I heart hip bags!! There are so many pockets and zippers and compartments. And Velcro and snaps and buttons and I am in ‘waist pack heaven!’ I know the kids will tease me on the trip, but what do they know? With their hip hop and their twitter. This is cool. They’re wrong. I will never remove this hip bag from my body. I am in love!”
It all seems like a joke at first until you notice that your mission trip leader is still wearing that fanny pack a few months after the trip. And he has a name for it like “Roger.” And he fills its plethora of pockets with things he doesn’t need instant, constant access to like dental floss. The only thing you can do at that point is to gather the people that love him, get a pair of scissors to cut it off his waist and have a fanny pack intervention.
Stay alert, only you can prevent MTLFPS.
And fess up, have you ever worn a fanny pack?
(I did in junior high but it was like a mini fanny pack for your wrist and it was made by Hobie, and I was wicked cool.)
P.S. Thanks for the fun idea Jan.