What's In Your Bag?

Andy Rooney Notices A "Cosmic" Change In America

This segment was first broadcast on Nov. 25, 2007.

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.

I'm always looking for major changes in our way of life in America and I think I've noticed one cosmic change in what people are doing.

It is my observation that people are carrying more stuff than they used to. You don't see anyone carrying nothing. Many people are carrying things to work even though usually what they're carrying doesn't have anything to do with their work.

WOMAN: I have [a] donut, wallet, sunglasses, BlackBerry, make-up case, digital camera.

I should think women might be getting stronger than they used to be too because the bags they carry are heavier.

I hadn't realized women were so well organized but one of the items most women are carrying is what they call a "planner". They carry "planners" and a bottle of water.

When they left the house that morning, they planned to drink water I guess.

If people don't have something in their arms, they're carrying it on their back. Backpacks are almost as common as pocket books. Some of them are attached to the back of the person carrying them. You wonder what they have in there that's so important.

MAN: There are some newspapers, some notebooks and various odds and ends I use for work.

Some backpacks are so heavy they're no longer "back" packs. They're "wheel packs."

I talked to a lot of people, and most of them who were going to work had a book in their bag. There were big books and small books, but everyone on their way to work was carrying some kind of a book.

It was my inescapable conclusion that there's a lot of book-reading going on at the office, on company time.

Most of the people carrying books denied that they read at work of course.

ROONEY: On company time?

MAN: Of course not. No, no, no. On my break.

ROONEY: At the office.

MAN: No, No.

ROONEY: Do you read on company time?

MAN: No, I read on the subway.

WOMAN: A book to read, a book I need to study for later on.

ROONEY: At the office?


Next time you're walking down the street, look around and see if there's anyone who isn't carrying something.
Written By Andy Rooney