Last Fanny Pack Rolls Off Production Line in China

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JINJIANG CITY, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA — The #1 fashion accessory of the late 1980s and early 1990s is dead.

Long live our memories of the fanny pack. The crotch purse. The belly bag.

The “scrotum with a zipper.”

Yesterday, workers at the Quanzhaou Hoosam factory in Fujian Province glued sequins onto the one billionth and last fanny pack to be produced in China and, without fanfare, packed it into a shipping box headed for a Walmart in Jackson, Mississippi.

“I lost my virginity wearing my fanny pack,” said 39-year-old Akron, Ohio, secretary Brenda (not her real name) happily reminiscing about the fanny packs she’s had over the decades.

“It was denim with a picture of Motley Crue on it. I used it for carrying Juicy Fruit gum, quarters for the payphone, and lip gloss.”

“I still have it…kept it for, you know, sentimental reasons.”

At their peak of popularity in 1991, fanny packs appeared in movies and TV shows, and on the hips of everyone from the Rolling Stones to the late Pope John Paul II who famously said it was “the dandiest thing for keeping a few bottles of Holy water in, just in case a few unforeseen blessings come up.”

In 1992, a Cosmopolitan Magazine cover headline read, “Five Fanny Pack Styles That Positively Shout You’re Horny.”

By 1994, Seniors’ Living Magazine’s headline said it all as the fanny pack crashed from being a sexy fashion statement to being an embarrassment for all but tourists, retirees and over-weight, middle-aged men wearing white tube socks: “Two Must-Haves for Your Walk Today: Practical Shoes and a Fanny Pack.”

With less than 1,000 fanny packs sold in North America so far this year, the once-stylish strap-on pouch made a brief comeback in 2011 when the Colt Arms Company, Hartford, hit the market with fanny packs specially designed for the concealed carry of hand guns. Sales collapsed however when the side-to-side movement of the fanny packs caused several hand guns to go off, “2nd Amendmenting” four Texans.

But fans of fanny packs say they don’t care about fashion trends and will continue to sport their “waist wallets.”

“I don’t leave home without it,” said 63-year-old Elwood (last name withheld) of his black Just-Like-Leather fanny pack with the hidden cash pocket.

“The wife and I are going on a Carnival sea cruise tomorrow and I’ve already got it loaded up with Tums, my nail clippers, clip-on sunglasses…all kinds of important stuff.”

“I’ve left my fanny pack to my oldest son in my will,” said Elwood.

“My daughter’s getting the wife’s. It’s more sorta girly…not masculine like mine.”

Megan D’err
Reportering for The Lapine
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