From my cold, dead ass.

I’m 48. I have a kid who is about to turn 18 so technically I could become a grandparent any day now (But I bloody well better not!). I’ve been with the same woman 27 years, drive a Honda and live in suburbia. My fashion-minded friend Lori regularly chastises my lack of stylistic sense.

I am the definition of someone who wears cargo shorts.

Anyone remember the murse? It’s a portmanteau of “man purse” and the Urban Dictionary definition is
from 2005. The weird guy from The Hangover was still trying (and failing) to make it cool in 2009.

And what about fanny packs? Do you really want to see those come back?

There is a reason why guys like cargo shorts. On any given day a man needs to carry around some or all of these items:

  • Wallet
  • Cell phone (which are getting bigger and bigger since we realized we could watch porn on them)
  • Keys
  • Epi-pen (allergies are becoming more common – both my kids have peanut allergies)
  • Pocket knife / Leatherman
  • Portable battery pack for cell phone
  • Wipes for cleaning up kids’ faces
  • Wipes for cleaning up your own face because it’s rib night
  • Loose change
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Philosopher’s Stone
  • Will to live
  • A flask filled with Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve
  • Whatever it is that she has in her hand that she passes to you and says, “Here, put this in your pocket.”

The railing against cargo shorts apparently reached a fever pitch last month with this story in the Wall Street Journal about a woman who has been throwing her husband’s cargo shorts away throughout their marriage. And more recently those who love cargo shorts took a major hit because some of the biggest, women-hating douchepuddles on the planet chose wearing cargo shorts as a form of “protest” against women who tell them what to do, or some bullshit.

The “protesters” are a bunch of whiney man babies who don’t like the fact that women aren’t subservient to them, and I figure that decent men who still love cargo shorts can set themselves apart from these fuckwipes by not wearing fedoras and refusing to act like a bunch of sexist ass monkeys. So, problem solved.

Anyway …

I lift weights (and I don’t skip leg day) and I cycle. I also stay pretty lean. Ergo, I have been told I have a nice ass and that I should show it off. Well, I did that once and it resulted in me taking an involuntary vacation in Facebook jail for a few days.

But Twitter is cool with ass photos, so it’s still there. Warning: gross.

I haven’t linked it yet, because it’s gross.


Told you.

Having anything in back pockets, especially while sitting, is a recipe for low back pain. Having anything bulky in front pockets has my penis saying, “Hey, dude. Move over.”

We need those side pockets, dammit!

You can try to make the murse socially acceptable and most guys are never going to use it simply because we like to have ultimate freedom of movement so we can hold a distressing damsel in one hand and a rapier in the other. And fanny packs were never a good idea. Having to remember to spin that thing forwards before you sit down? I crushed my Sony Walkman and threw my back out when I forgot to do that as I was getting in position to do dumbbell bench press in the early 90s.

I’ll close by saying that I’m an equal opportunity cargo shorter. As much appreciation as I have for the female form, I’ll defend to the death any woman’s right to wear these practical and comfortable shorts.

And I can do it too, because my hands are free.

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James S. Fell is an internationally syndicated fitness columnist for the Chicago Tribune and author of Lose it Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind, published by Random House Canada. He also interviews celebrities about their fitness stories for the Los Angeles Times, and is head fitness columnist for and a regular contributor to Men’s Health.