Double Strap Attack! or Why I am Still Haunted by my High School Experience

During my sophomore year of high school, almost everyone started wearing his backpack with both straps. Previously, one strap had been preferred; with a limited amount of time between classes, it was in a student’s best interests to wear his backpack in a way which minimized the time it took to get it off and on when making locker visits.
So widespread was the new practice that my brother’s best friend started making fun of people who had adopted it. Upon the approach of more than two or three people wearing their backpacks in the new style, he would often turn to my brother and, with that trademark grin on his face, warn of an impending “Double Strap Attack.”
Now by this time, the two of them were seniors and had essentially declared war on certain elements of high school society. I suspect that they saw the new trend as a metaphor for all that they thought was wrong with our high school. But the practice was not confined merely to those they didn’t like; almost everyone was now using both straps. Brains, athletes, basket cases, criminals, and princesses wore their backpacks with two straps.
The Single Strap Resistance had about as many members as Wyoming’s Congressional delegation, and would lose two of it’s best people when my brother and his best friend graduated in 1994. And other than our irreverent spokesman, who would have heaped contempt upon a good deal of the student body anyway, we really didn’t have much.
We had been taken by surprise; all of a sudden, everyone started wearing his backpack with both straps. Not for any particular reason, nor symbolic of any group or cause. Like a lot from those days, it frustrated me then, and intrigues me now.

Thank you for providing a valuable insight into the Wyoming educational system. Best wishes to you in your chosen career.

I use both of my straps–but one is squished flat while the other is still nice and plump, because I always put my bag on right strap first. I think my back would get messed up if I only used one strap, seeing as it weighs about more than 1/4 of my body weight.

Man, I thought this thread was gonna be about some lesbian jailbait double strap-on penetration confession. :frowning:

Backpacks shouldn’t be allowed in schools. Makes it too easy for nerds to sneak in WMDs.

You know what I’m still haunted by? Fearing for my damn sanity every single day, because apparently treating classmates like utter crap is perfectly okay, not to mention the egomaniacal raving moron of a principal who never had a handle on anything in his entire damn career. Did I mention that this was a Catholic school that cost about $1,200 a semester?

Every day was another traumatizing experience. Every day was learning absolutely nothing and listening to another mountain of BS from various facutly members about how putting me through the most inhuman torture imaginable was somehow normal.

So, um, were you, like, expecting me to sympathize with your plight or something? :rolleyes: :stuck_out_tongue:

My double strap story should not be considered a tale of woe; I simply felt it to be an amusing story that others might appreciate. Perhaps my use of the word “Haunted” in the thread’s title was an overstatement.
I am grateful to nitroglycerine for making me laugh out loud, as well as to Mirror Image egamI rorriM for offering us one person’s views on the advantages of wearing both straps.
I sympathize with anyone who has ever suffered at the hands of others, and did not mean for my story (which probably belonged in MPSIMS) to trivialize anyone else’s experiences.

This will sound like a stupid question, but I have to ask. If you’re going to your locker between every class, why bother with a backpack? If you’re going to carry one, load it up with enough stuff to last you till it’s convenient to go back. Or at least when you’re not scrambing for the couple of seconds it will take to slide that extra strap off your shoulder.

That being said, I’m the same age as your brother, and the one-strap thing wasn’t about practicality. It was about being cool. Nobody who was anybody used two straps, because only dorks carried enough stuff around with them to need the extra support.

Then, someone finally said, “Screw it, I don’t have time to hit my locker every other class, and this is making my back hurt,” and boldly donned the second strap. Thus a revolution was born.

In my case, it was a cane rather than a strap. The head master got it in his head to cane me. I got it in my head that this was entirely undeserved. The end result was me grabbing the cane and then chasing him around the room whacking at him. Now that was a revolution.

Similar to CrazyCatLady when I was in high school (way back when) only the dorks used both straps. As mentioned above, it was all about being cool. I would have loved to use both straps–those darn chisels and stone tablets got heavy I tell you!

Why do teenagers do impractical, silly things to be cool then switch when a new fad comes along? I don’t know. Has anyone figured that out?

In my high school you will be teased if you actually make a big deal about someone wearing one or two straps.

Seriously, it’s a non-issue. shrug

But the fact that no one switched back to a single strap is precisely what made it all so intriguing.

Thanks, Caesar’s Ghost, I was wondering if I was the only one mystified by this “trend.” I usually wore mine with two straps because it was too heavy if I didn’t. And I didn’t think it was an “issue.” In fact, I assumed this had something to do with jockstraps in a locker room. Rowdy football players, something homoerotic. I don’t know…the backpack thing is just kind of a let down after my torrid imaginings. Such is the case with IMHO threads. Le sigh!

Earl, what do you do for fun? After-school stuff in particular.

I like moonlit walks on the beach and listening to jazz on a rainy day. I like to go to spelling bees and heckle the contestants. I like movies about junkies. I like cooking (earwig soup is one of my favorite dishes), I like Democratic politics, and I take great pleasure in refusing to sign a person’s cast if asked.

Backpacks? Hah!, I say. And Hah! again! In my day of horse and cart, we carried our books from class to class. Boys carried them slung under one arm, girls carried them clutched in both arms in front of them (to avoid chest stares?). The torture for boys was when some knuckle-dragger would walk up behind and “flip” you, sending your books and papers cascading down the stairs. Ah, but high school humiliations die hard, if ever.

I’d say in my school, the no-backpack movement is gaining a strong foothold in the student population. Straps be damned, we dont need your freaking straps!!

At most middle schools where I live, students aren’t allowed to carry backpacks during the school day except during the first and last two weeks of school, because then we don’t have lockers.

Fortunately, where I’m going next year, I can have a backpack the whole day…

Nobody at my school wore their backpack with both straps. It was one strap. That was it. I have no idea why.

Then I went to college, and watched people carting their books around in rolling suitcases. And I thought - “These people have too many books.”

Hmmm. We were allowed them in high school (class of 95’) because the time between classes was only** two** minutes. It was theoretically possible to visit your lockers between classes- assuming that the locker and the class were near each other, but usually… With two floors, you had to haul ass just to get to your next class without being written up, never mind waste time in the hallways grabbing books- unless you’d forgotten them and would be in danger of being written up for that. It was in a person’s best interest to have all the books they needed for the first half of the day with them, and trade them over at lunch.

Until this thread, I’d forgotten that only geeks wore them with both straps :smiley:

I hate those bastards with the rolling suitcases. You know the only reason they have them is because they don’t use their locker (because it’s on the wrong floor or whatever), but it isn’t hard to get another locker in a better place.

Also, our school is four stories. Those idiots with the suitcases block up the stairs something awful.