Again With the Backpack

Despite my publicly shaming her about the contents of her backback, the human female has done nothing towards cleaning it out. Well, all right, she has recycled the macaroni and cheese cup and the tuna can, but still!

To…ah...encourage her to winnow out the junk in there, I discreetly loosened the lid of a mostly-full water bottle, thoroughly moistening the contents of the main compartment. She was thus induced to empty the thing. Its contents are currently spread out on the dining room table, drying out. Her poor little purse took the brunt of the wet is turned inside out to expose the sodden lining.


No real harm done–her eyeglass prescription was a total loss, but if she’s smart, she probably has other copies. What am I saying? Of course she doesn’t!

At any rate, perhaps she will be motivated to sort out all this stuff as it goes back in in a day or so. In the mean time, I think I see a $20 bill she shouldn’t be allowed to keep… Sigyn, want to go out for lunch?

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A Perilous Expedition; Part X: An Orthopaedic Post Script

I can’t leave without pointing out that I found this padding-and-rubber contraption in the human female’s backpack, where it most assuredly should not be.


What is it and where is it supposed to be? It is a tennis-elbow band, and it is supposed to be on the human female’s arm. Not that she is coordinated enough to play tennis, mind you, but she has given herself an intractable tendinitis sewing doll clothes, typing, doing yardwork, and attempting dangerous things like folding laundry and reaching for her water cup.

The fact that this has been going on for months now is probably the reason why I found this in the pack as well.


The physical therapists have been unable to help her and now she has to see the Big Guy. Her appointment is next week. My prediction is that he will take one look at her knobbly arm, determine that half the problem is in her shoulder and neck, and tell her to UNLOAD SOME OF THE CRAP FROM HER DAMN BACKPACK!

At the very least, she should quit lugging it around by only one shoulder strap. Using both is much more ergonomically friendly. Though I don’t know how much good that will do as I have magicked them so that one will always be precisely three inches longer than the other.


Farewell. My work here is done.

>|: [

A Perilous Expedition, Part VIII: I can’t even.

We are nearing the end of this foray into the unknown, and I have saved some of the more bewildering objects to show you. Why she has any of this, I could not begin to tell you.


Memories of lunches past? Mercifully, both are clean. She really does need to tackle the recycling!


An empty plastic shopping bag. Why? Perhaps something else that should have been recycled?

There is a pachydermic slogan button.


And a rubber fish. Why?


I’ve heard she keeps a huge rubber bug, too, but I have not found it.

Here is a spring-loaded… thingy. It’s either something for holding papers together or another fiendish exercise device. Neither one belongs just loose in a backpack.


I think I will clip it on the last few hairs of the cat’s tail while she sleeps.

And this! What…? I can’t even…


It is a miniature candy container, empty, and carefully placed inside it is a small brick of dense black felt. I defy you to come up with a scenario for which this makes an iota of sense.

And this?


Explain to me… Oh, wait. Just the other day she tossed out clickable pen that had lost its click. Found: one click. Note the icky little fibers caught in the end. This whole backpack is toxic. Suddenly I am wondering if my tetanus shot is up to date. Have I ever had a tetanus shot?! Do Jotuns even get tetanus??!!

There’s only one more region of this backpack of horrors to explore. Next: The Very Depths.

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A Perilous Expedition, Part VII: V.I.C.

There is some V.I.C. in this compartment. Very Important Clutter.

First we have these tinted glasses.


They keep the sun from hurting her eyes and keep me from having to see so much of her face. It’s win-win. Note the obnoxiously bright orange case. She had to get that because she kept losing her old case–in the backpack.


Music. Always music. I think it drowns out the voices in her head. Her taste runs to the baroque. Mostly I don’t mind it, but a steady diet of chamber music can get old. Perhaps I should broaden her collection? I shall have to work on that….


Her computer tablet is usually here, in its snug blue case. I must admit that I am surprised and rather impressed that she hasn’t lost or broken it yet. I am not surprised that she hasn’t figured out that her online opponent in Qwirkle, a gifted player who uses the screen name lowkey579, is none other than her favorite Jotun houseguest.


Umbilical cord for the tablet or the phone. It lights up blue when powered on. (I actually sort of like this, though it would be better in GREEN.)

This is also the compartment where the human female stores her mobile pharmacy. The various eye goops have their own little bag.


But this is merely a start. Just look at this.


She has medicaments for every ailment and megrim under the sun–one for heartburn, one for coughs, one for sneeziness, and–count them!–three separate medicines for headaches. My favorite sort are the tiny round ones that taste pleasantly of mint as they dissolve on the tongue. She counts them carefully, as they come in prescriptions of only nine, which have to last her all month, but she always seems to be missing one or two. Ehehehehehe! I wonder why?

The other two kinds she has stuffed into an old pill bottle. ( I keep hoping the authorities will stop her in an air transport terminal at some point and demand to know what they are and why they do not match the label. It is such fun to watch them work someone over!)


The lid is supposedly child-proof and difficult to open, but it is most definitely not Loki-proof. I have now be-spelled it so that it will unscrew itself about once a month, and she will have to hunt the dusty pills in the bottom of the bag. Now, is this blue one the kind that will destroy her liver if she takes too many, or the kind that will chew through the lining of her stomach if she is unlucky?


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A Perilous Expedition, Part VI: Is There No End?

I have reached the final compartment, but there is still much territory there to cover. Do you see that brightly colored fabric object behind the eggshell from Sigyn’s monstrous avian friend? (Why is that even still around?!)


That garish item is the human female’s impractically tiny shoulder bag. When she can be induced to leave the backpack Mothership full of clutter behind, she will take this small Escape Pod with just the bare essentials. I shall explore.


Oh, dear. She has had this purse so long that the lining has quite given up. You can see that she has mended it once already and that her stitches have pulled away. All sorts of things could slip down between the lining and the outer wall. I think…yes…this important receipt, which has not yet been recorded in the checkbook, will just fit through that slit. She will look for it for days, and she and the human male will blame one another for losing it carelessly. Their quarrels are always amusing. What else is here?

Hmm. A few dollars in paper currency. What ghastly old men on Midgardian money! When I rule the planet, my face will grace all the bills and it will be glorious.

A reminder for a dentist appointment which she did, in fact, forget. The receptionist had to call her and nudge her along. (I am still having nightmares about that misadventure!)


A few coins.


It is a lot of work, always making sure she is about ten cents short of having the price for one of her loathsome snacks from the vending machine, but it’s one of my favorite activities. I save up, and when we have enough quarters and nickels, Sigyn and I go see a movie.

The purse has a number of small pockets, mostly full of card-like objects. I see the ones she makes purchases with. She has marked them all “ask for photo ID,” to keep me from using them at the local merchants, but I can occasionally sneak in an online purchase or two. I have also earned some extra income by selling her account numbers and security codes to some friendly fellows I “met” in a Russian chat room.

Here are two cards I haven’t seen before.


I believe they are what the Midgardians call “shopper-loyalty cards.” The black one is from a local Burritotorium. I have heard that the food is good. I shall hang onto this and take Sigyn there sometime soon.

What’s this in the last little pocket? Oh. Voter registration. Marvelous. Someone lets her have a say in who runs the country. That thought would keep me up at night, but in truth, it does not matter overmuch, because before long *I* will rule the entire planet.


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A Perilous Expedition, Part III: Flirting with Blasphemy

The next pocket of the human female’s backpack is larger, which means more strange and inexplicable things will fit in it.


This zipper doesn’t have a fancy canvas pull. But I’m happy to take the metal one. Or better yet, I’ll bend a few of the zipper teeth so that the pull just slides back and forth, back and forth, without zipping or unzipping anything. Did you know that luggage repairmen call that "Zipper Disease?" It’s true! (Would I lie?)

Let’s see what’s inside. Disgraceful! I can’t even have a proper look until I remove some crumpled brown paper towel and a single stray tissue.


Hairbrush. Useful for making the human female slightly more presentable, though I fear one cannot expect miracles. Your years are catching up with you, mortal! (There are many gray hairs tangled in the bristles.) I find other persons’ grooming tools to be distasteful, so I will press onward.


Ah. This corner is better. Hmm. I have found some curiously snail-like beads in a little blue pouch.


I… I think I will not meddle with this.

Moving on. I recognize this. It’s for examining very small things.


Like the human female’s logical faculties. I mean, look at this. Does this make any sense?


Yes, my friends, that is an eraser—and a permanent marker. I think perhaps no one has explained to her in tiny, simple words of one syllable what "indelible" means.

And –eew!–another paper handkerchief. This one is slightly used. That is just nasty. The whole point of those things, mortal, is that they are disposable.

What is the purpose of that blue ribbon? Ah, it is the tether for something Very Important.


No doubt that this is the storage device for all of her important photos and stories and correspondence. Probably the only copy of some things. (Backing up her files is like flossing–she’s long on preach and short on practice.) She’d feel just awful if something happened to it. My, what a… slender little cable it has. Trivia: St. Zita is the Patron Saint of lost keys. I wonder if she is in charge of lost thumb drives also, or will the human female have to appeal to the He of the curiously snail-like beads in the little blue pouch?

>|: [

A Perilous Expedition, Part II: Pocket number one.

I am now exploring the smallest compartment on the outside of the human female’s backpack.

Itty-bitty pocket. Vast quantities of vitleysa*

Take this, for example. Why is she carting around this little rag?


Hmm. It is very soft. Oh, I know! It is one of those fancy microfiber cloths for cleaning eyeglasses. But how in Hel does she expect it to clean glasses when it is covered with crumbs and I know not what? No wonder her lenses are all scratched. Junk.

Well, all right. Not all of the contents are useless. Among the half-empty tubes of lip balm and the crumpled receipts there are some little vials of liquid. You may recall that she is prone to dry eyes and that her medicine comes in these little twist-top containers.


Now that I think about it, my eyes are a little scratchy.


Huh. Empty. Both of them. She does that, you know–says she is going to put them in the all-types-of-plastic recycling bin, drops them in her backpack, and then forgets all about them. She does the same thing with her yogurt containers from lunch. I tell you, this place is a regular oubliette.

Ah, here we go. Keys. Important things, keys. These look like her work keys.


She’s so absent-minded that she had to put that carabiner on, so she could clip them to her belt loop. And the only reason she can ever find the one for her office door is because she painted it with some green nail polish. One of them doesn’t even unlock anything. I just added it to make the keyring weigh her pants down more. She hasn’t caught on. See that Medic Alert tag? It doesn’t say, "diabetic," and it doesn’t say, "epilepsy." Did you even know that they make one that says, "gormless"?

What’s this? More keys! These look important too.


Indeed! That is definitely a car key, and the square-headed one might open a door. The little one is for opening the curbside box where the junk mail lives.

This one, though? I have no idea.


You know what? Neither does she.

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*Google Translate is your friend.