Are you packing? No, just looking like a Wyo. has-been old-timer


The first time it happened was when I was in the bar area of the Lander Community Center during a Whiteheart charity fund-raiser to benefit disabled veterans. I was in the process of ordering a glass of IPA beer and some white wine for Nancy.

“Are you packing?” 

I did not think the question was meant for me.  I kept minding my own business. 

“Are you packing?” the voice to my left continued.  

I looked over and here was a nice-looking female. She was the one asking the question.

When my look back at her was obviously a confused one, she asked me a third time: “Are you packing?” She pointed to the holster attached to my belt on my right side. 

I turned and showed her it was just my cellphone. 

“Oh,” she said, “I thought you were packing a gun, wearing a holster like that.”

“No, it’s just my cellphone,” I answered. 

Now I pal around with a lot of guys who really are armed most of the time. Some carry guns in their boots, some in hidden holsters and sometimes, right on their belts.

I have not gotten into the habit of packing a firearm even though my wife thinks we own too many guns. Not sure it would be safe for me or the folks around me.

But that gal’s question about my cellphone holster got me thinking. 

Does wearing a cellphone on my belt make me an old fogey? Am I out of fashion?

Most of the other old goats at the Fox News All-Stars coffee group wear cellphone holsters just like me. 

So I started looking around and noticed that just about anybody under the age of 60, well, is not packing a cellphone in a holster. They either keep them in their pockets or stuck somewhere. That holster that I have fondly used for 25 years seems decidedly out of fashion flavor.

Thus, the reason the gal asked if I was packing was that no doubt nobody in her immediate circle used a cellphone holster. And probably never had.

Has the cellphone holster gone the way of the pocket protector?

Now to young folks who have no idea what I am talking about, when I was in school back in the 1950s and 1960s, every teacher and most professional adults wore a plastic pocket that fit inside a shirt pocket and that was where you kept your pens, pencils, paper clips and whatever. It was handy. 

About the end of last century (from 1985 to 1990) the pocket protector went out of fashion for good. You never see them any more. Even I know they broadcast a certain fashion statement that is not a compliment.

During my research of cellphones, I noticed that every little girl (aged 8 or higher) or older gals, too, packs her cellphone in the back pocket of her jeans. The phone sticks halfway out and apparently was jammed into something called an Otterbox™. The name Otterbox apparently means it was strong as iron and the phone would never break, even when you sat on it, which happens a lot.

There are an inordinate number of women of all ages who pack their phones and car keys around and stack them somewhere in their immediate vicinity when they are drinking coffee, having a drink or practicing yoga. 

For some reason, lately, I have been hearing a lot about gals dropping their phones into the toilet. Seems that if you soak your wet phone in dry rice, sometimes you can save them. Who would have guessed?

Seems to me that I need to get back on the fashion track. Not sure how I will replace my cellphone holster — it is too small for one of my handguns. 

I can’t imagine putting my phone into an Otterbox and sticking it into my back pocket. Sounds crazy and not very comfortable. 

I know one young gal in her 30s who sticks her phone in her bra — no kidding.  

A few years ago I passed an age milestone, which caused me to write the following in a column back then: “Am I finally at that age when I can wear my pants with the belt up around my chest?”

Perhaps the more meaningful question was: “Does this mean I can finally wear black socks and formal shoes with my walking shorts?”

Just trying to keep up with appropriate fashion trends. 

Check out additional columns at www.billsniffin.com. He has published six books.  His coffee table book series has sold 34,000 copies. You can find them at www.wyomingwonders.com.

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