Monday, September 28, 2015

I wouldn't be without one

People are always surprised when I pull it out of my pants, reacting with shock, and shaken heads.

I'm talking about my bandana, whichever one I happen to be carrying in my pocket that day.  It might be red, blue, brown, grey or green, because I have them in a veritable rainbow of colors, but I always have one.  Count on it.

Only when I can't find a free Kleenex will I use a bandana for wiping Mr Drippynose. There are hundreds of other reasons to tote a piece of cloth 18" x 18" everywhere, a cloth which takes its name from the Hindi word bandhnu, which refers to the method of dyeing cloth using “binds."

I don't know the first thing about Hindi words, or about dyeing cloth, but I know what to do if I need a tourniquet or a sling in a hurry. People used to rob banks using a bandana to cover their faces, but so many of them tripped while making a getaway that they started just covering the lower half of their faces. Cowboys used them like a scarf around the neck for protection from the sun and the dust out there on cattle drives.  They make great helmet liners for motorcyclists, and, of course, gangs use them to identify and represent Bloods (red) and Crips (blue).

People use bandanas for as cords to tie things up, as water filters, trail markers and shelter flags.

Hobo with bindlestick
You can wrap up your personal items or your lunch in a bandana, and tie it on the end of a stick. That's called a bindlestick, and they were traditionally carried by hobos. (When is the last time you heard someone called a hobo? Today they are "people on a journey to find themselves.")

People have been known to use their bandana as a potholder, earmuffs, sweatband, or belt. How about a firestarter? Facial towel? Seat cover? Signalling device? Doggie decoration?

Charmin replacement?

There are more uses for a bandana than there are stones on the beach. And if you want to collect some of those stones to bring home for the aquarium, I think you know what to carry them in!

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