How much would you consider to be too much to pay for a backpack? Just a backpack. Zippers. Straps. Interior compartments. The kind of things that kids sling over their shoulders on their way to school or outdoorsy types haul their supplies in while walking over long distances that could much more efficiently be traversed inside a car or that the Asian kid who is the object of “Suspicious Eyes” in the song by the Rakes carries on his back. What should the maximum limit for the price of a such an everyday object as a backpack in America?
$100? $200? Oh, that’s right. You forgot what F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of “The Great Gatsby” once famously wrote about the very rich : “They are different from you and me.” The very rich are portrayed in the media as being especially brighter than you and me and everyone, as well, though F. Scott neglected that observation. Tom Perkins, a very rich idiot who thinks the 1% of America that controls most of its wealth are being treated no better than Jewish prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp, is just one of many rich people who thinks that what separates the 1% from the 99% isn’t the money they make, but the brains they possess. Of course, he’s probably right…just not in the way he assumes. .
Because if guys like Tom Perkins and Mitt Romney are right and the rich did get very rich by being smarter than the rest of us, then why are they spending not $100 or $200 for something you and I can buy for $40, but–hold your breath–sums so beyond reason that the Frye Logan Antique Pull Up Back Pack is actually a bargain at $450?
If Indiana Jones were alive today, the Frye Logan Antique Pull Up Back Pack is the backpack he would probably sling through jungles, mountains and desert in search of ancient relics . Provided, that is, that Indiana Jones was the host of a TV show on the Travel Channel or the National Geographic Channel or at the very least had a wealthy patron behind him. So what do you get when you spend $450 for a backpack? Eighteen inches of burnished 100% pure leather on the outside and with leather lining stretching across the thirteen inches on the inside. Looks great and it’s got to be pretty lightweight. The brown version, anyway. The cognac version not so much.
But still, one must wonder, is it really a sign of intelligence to spend that much money for a backpack that doesn’t even have specific storage areas for smartphones, tablets , laptops and everything else that a modern day Indiana Jones would most definitely require in a backpack. I mean, c’mon, you can get a backpack with out any of that stuff for about 20 bucks a Target. Of course, it wouldn’t be leather. But, hey, maybe I’m just not smart enough to realize that leather is enough to boost the price of a barely functional backpack by several hundred dollars.
It’s not like the Frye Logan backpack offers all the modern amenities of something like the Tumi Alpha Bravo Kingsville Deluxe Brief Pack . Can you imagine trying to impress people with the $445 backpack you just bought by telling having to use that mouthful of meaningless. Alpha. Bravo. Aren’t those military and aviation shorthand for the letters “A” and “B” and shouldn’t that indicate that the big money you are shelling out for a backpack–a backpack, people!–is tough, sturdy and something like you might find Solid Snake hauling around?
Let me tell you a little something about what you get if you have more money than brains and so think you should shell out more than $400 for a backpack like the Tumi Alpha Bravo Kingsville Deluxe Brief Pack. Are you ready to hear why the expense of this backpack is not due to its sturdy military bearing that is of such a dependability that you could almost use it to fly safety to earth should the plane you are flying in develop fatal engine problems? How rich do you have to be, one wonders, to be so smart as to pay nearly $500 for a backpack with a slot perfectly sized for your iPad, along with special slots and notches suitable keys, pens, travel drives, a one-liter beverage bottle and, not to be forgotten, a storage area perfectly sized for containing a laptop roughly the size of an $1800 MacBook Pro. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it. A backpack perfectly priced for someone smart enough to require all that technology to make more money by expending only the effort required to use an iPad or MacBook Pro.
Just make sure that you are also smart enough to never put this backpack down with anything less than the delicate care with which you count your money. Why? Because the very bright people who made this backpack for those few who are smart enough to become rich enough to buy this particular $445 backpack neglected to provide adequate padding on the bottom. Anything less than a soft landing is going to give new meaning to crunch time for the rich people who are different from you and men who are not bright enough to spend less on a better constructed model. Put this backpack down on the ground with enough force to cause the vibrations to become audible and that $1800 MacBook Pro and iPad may very well come out of their perfectly sized storage compartments completely useless or at the least with a cracked screen.
If the idea of spending nearly $500 for a backpack makes you feel superior to rich people, then be prepared to send the very rich to the very curb of idiocy. What kind of person has so much money and so little sense that they would spend in excess of $1400 for a backpack?
Remember, now, we’re talking a backpack. The same thing you send your kid off to school with every day. The $1400 backpack doesn’t come with super cool features like a built-in microwave or freezer or even some sort of informational technology. It is ergonomically designed to cut down on wind resistance when worn by motorcycle riders. But when all is said and it’s still just a backpack that doesn’t even come with many bells and whistles.
Fitzgerald was right. The very rich and different from you and me. Just not in the way they would like to be. Not smarter. More like Tom Perkins.