Here's the Scoop: July 10, 2013

History is in the bag
“What about this?” There’s not usually an easy response when my wife asks me this question.
You see the “this” referred to above was the well-worn Pro-Keds duffel bag she was delicately clutching while trying to conceal her mild disgust with the status of this piece of my athletic history. As you may have guessed, the question referred to whether or not I was OK with her throwing out this way-past-its-prime apparatus.

The term “retro” sprang immediately to mind when I saw my her daintily holding my beloved carryall. Frightened by a growing number of cautionary tales from “mature” fellows still competing in kids’ games, it’s been years since I’d donned spikes for softball or let fly with any three-point attempts on the hoop court. But, throwing out my Pro-Keds bag?

This was not a decision to be taken lightly. Plus, I’m sure the bag would be useful to carry equipment for backyard Whiffle Ball games with “automatic” base hits that don’t involve running. Or jumping.

Pondering a response
My wife could instantly read the hesitation on my face. Part of my brain was racing to find a legitimate reason to hold onto the Pro-Keds bag. The other section of my mind was firmly aware that my wife had no lingering doubts about what should happen to the bag. She was merely being polite in asking me.

Still, I couldn’t part with the bag without putting up some resistance. It’s not that I’m a hoarder; it’s just that I have respect for the earth and hate to add clutter to landfills.
“Ummm,” I stammered, stalling for time. “That’s my good luck bag — I carry all my stuff in there to the Fantasy Baseball draft each year!”
My wife didn’t miss a beat.

“Well, maybe it’s not working so great lately and you need a new one,” she responded in a not-so-subtle reminder that it’s been a few years since I hauled home any first-place winnings in my “non-contact sport” of choice.

Not the bag’s fault
Even though I couldn’t blame the bag for some of my questionable Fantasy Baseball picks, maybe she was right. I could use a new satchel to help change my luck. As I stood mulling this possibility, my wife refused to let me think of a reason to keep the bag.
“Have you smelled it?” she added bluntly.
Ouch again.

I had little reason to doubt her logic, but I did take a whiff (like many players on my Fantasy Baseball team) and found there would be no arguing with her logic.
“Well, I do have a backpack that’s in pretty good shape,” I conceded. “Maybe starting to use that would help me make better choices on Fantasy Baseball draft day!”

My wife eagerly agreed, although deep down she knew that the bag had little involvement with the draft picks. She was just happy to toss the Pro-Keds duffel.

Me, I was just a bit sad over seeing a piece of my personal history headed for the trash heap.
As I carefully carried the bag toward the garbage, I stopped to look at my wife and told her, “You know, this has scent-imental value to me.” With that, I quickened my pace.
— Brian Sweeney