Backpacks are a wonderful invention. The amazing thing about them is that, when someone has strapped his or hers on, it seems to magically disappear. You know how that goes. The person has a fully-loaded knapsack and seems completely oblivious to the havoc he or she is raising by -oops- turning around and smacking all passersby with that whac-a-mole backpack.
This seems to be particularly prevalent in small spaces, such as an airplane aisle. (Folks, this is a hazard of air travel, especially if you have been lucky enough to snag an aisle seat.) You know how it goes: the person in question is laden with the weight of the backpack, only to be asked a very important question by his or her companion, such as “where do you want to sit?”
The backpacker then turns sharply around, slapping you in the face with the backpack, only to respond something profound such as “I don’t know.” The party of the first part then turns back around, wiping the blood on your face with the offending backpack. The key here is that the person who just nailed you twice is completely and blissfully unaware of his or her transgression. Then the person does it again a few minutes later.
Charming. You might have just had thousands of dollars of dental work done, all for naught. The next person in line will do it to you as well, rendering all previous dental work or plastic surgery null and void. And so will the people behind them, after those two move on.
What are you to do? I have tried holding up my hand but all that did was transfer the bruising to my forearms. Ducking seems the most obvious remedy to this malady, but the person in the seat next to you might look askance at your attempts to avoid disaster. Standing up does work reasonably well, unless you have a sensitive gut.
My personal favorite is to strike before they strike you. Give that ol’ backpack a hearty smack and I guarantee that you will get its owner’s attention. It might not be the type of attention you want, but they will take notice.
How do you solve the problem of whac-a-mole backpacks? Please hurry. My next trip into backpack land will be here before we know it.