What’s in YOUR bag?

January 10, 2014

Y’all might think, like so many do, that we’ve become a throwaway society. But I beg to differ … and as long as you follow where I’m about to begin drifting, you may actually end up agreeing with me.

This doesn’t actually fit into the usual outline of a good column, but since I never promised this would be anything close to good, I will hit you right away with the premise, the theory, the punch line — if you will — right off the bat: We are a society of bags.

I don’t have to stretch my imagination very far to come up with a slew of bags that have become an integral part of our daily lives.


Book bags.

Lunch bags.

Sandwich bags.

Leaf bags.

Trash bags.

Shoulder bags.

Duffel bags.

Paper bags.

Plastic bags.

Gift bags.

Body bags.

Freezer bags.

Money bags.

Popcorn bags.

Travel bags.


Tea bags.

Grocery bags.

Carry-on bags.

Man bags.

Hobo bags.

Beach bags.


Sleeping bags.

Vacuum bags.

Old bags … wait, I sincerely apologize for that obviously non-politically correct reference to bags that have been sitting around the house for a very long time and have become wrinkly, brittle and possibly even unusable.

OK, that should give you a fairly good idea … about where I’m drifting. And I can almost hear you now: “Shut the front door! There are that many types of bags?” Yep.

But I want to add another type of bag that we need far more than any one of the aforementioned already in use: the Party in a Bag.

The thing about those bags I listed is that, for the most part, you pretty much know what’s in each one — except for women’s handbags, which could contain just about anything … including more bags. And that’s why the Party in a Bag is as unique to its owner as the handbag is to each woman who carries one.

The best thing about a Party in a Bag is that anyone can and should have one! Young, old, man, woman, black, white, Asian, European, doctor, teacher, retailer, wealthy, poor, etc. … doesn’t matter. If you wake up each day and don’t find yourself in a body bag, then you need to be sure and have your Party in a Bag handy.

Now, certain companies already have employed the Party in a Bag concept to market their wares — companies like Tupperware, d’Marie and Bumbles to name a few.

BUT … you have the opportunity today to put together your very own Party in a Bag — and I’d like to know how you do it. This is where you should actually start paying attention.

What kind of bag will you use? What size will it be? What color? Will you fancy it up with tassels or colored pictures or rhinestones? And the biggest question of all: What will you put in your Party in a Bag? Is there something in there that is uniquely you?

Once it’s filled with your necessary party tools, will you share it or keep it to yourself?

Now, what kind of party-er would I be if I didn’t tell you what I’ll have as part of my own Party in a Bag? So this is what mine will look like: It will be a medium-sized athletic bag with bright, cheerful colors that will include an amazing-looking sunset over the waters at Mallory Square, Key West, on one side and a newborn sunrise peeking over the horizon off the coast of Carolina Beach on the other side. There will be a cluster of balloons on one end and the words “My Party in a Bag” on the other end.

Right between the handles, a single zipper down the middle of the top, when opened, will reveal the following items …

— Swim trucks, because a main ingredient to a good party is a pool, lake or ocean.

— Passport, because I just have to be ready to go anywhere for a good party.

— Money, because I might have to run and get more chips or beverages.

— Sunglasses, because good parties start at night; great parties start a few hours earlier.

— Pocket reference guide to the best jokes, because at some point I may have to be the life of the party.

— An old wallet, because there needs to be a place to keep the money AND several easy recipes for things that will enhance a party — like wing sauce, sliders, dips, adult beverages and anything with sausage in it.

— Zip-Lock bags, because there are always leftovers to take home from any good party — so I will have two large and two small bags available.

— A blindfold, because there could be the need for an instant game — which could be hide and seek, pin the tail on one of the guests or … if someone is being a party-pooper, just blindfold them and then quietly take the party elsewhere.

— Aspirin and Tums, because the after-party effects may require some ingested relief of the previously ingested snacks and/or adult beverages.

— A variety of several music CDs, because a good party could easily spark some dancing at some point.

— A Frisbee, deflated balloon and deflated beach ball, because there’s always a good chance someone will want to play.

— A pack of matches, because whether it’s a fire pit or beach bonfire, someone has to have a light.

— A pack of thank-you cards, because how cool will the host think it is if I left behind a note of thanks for them to find when they are cleaning up?

So there’s my Party in a Bag. Now, what is yours like? Let me know between now and the end of the month, and I might share some of them in a future column. So start thinking!

Better yet, challenge your friends to actually put one together and then have a Party in a Bag party!

For your efforts, I will come up with some kind of Prize in a Bag for the one my staff and I choose as the best Party in a Bag. Just remember that Friday, Jan. 31., at 5 p.m. is the entry deadline.

W. Curt Vincent is the general manager and editor of the Bladen Journal. He can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or by email at