Informality can be disarming, especially when you are a man who carries his laptop, books and lunch around in a straining supermarket carrier bag. Some can rely on their looks to make an impression but the rest of us need something else.
I cannot speak for Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin, who, according to the FT, carries his papers in a plastic bag, but for me, carrier-bag reliance began as a substitute for buying a new leather satchel. The benefits were clear: it was light, free, flexible, disposable and losable. There were issues with Angelos Epithemiou comparisons, or when the sides split, but you’re never too far from another outlet for a fast solution.
But like any treasured possession, the bag soon moves beyond its uses and becomes a symbol of something important: an ostentatious casualness, a self-conscious slumminess, a supposed interest in pure utility. And then it starts to rain and you wonder if they had a point.
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- JD Wetherspoons