Strange Radiation

Andrew Willett, unreliable narrator.


Got my new Tom Bihn Smart Alec today, to replace my old one, which was mauled by a ferocious beast. Am quite pleased, although the redistribution of pen slots et cetera will take a day or two to get used to.

I initially learned about Bihn’s bags in 2004, when BoingBoing pointed out their care-instructions label. At the time, the last two lines of the label’s French text read:

We are sorry that our president is an idiot.
We didn’t vote for him.

(Much as I found the sentiments laudable, that only got me as far as the website; it’s the excellent laptops/backpacks/messenger bags that got me to make the buy. Highly recommended, honest.) Anyway, I checked the tag in the new pack. Reflecting the changing times, the new tag’s French text is merely a translation of the English care instructions. But at the bottom it says:

Siquid mantica non capit, domi relinquendum est.

Is there a classicist in the house?


The Sound of Water


Frak me. (Sir.)


  1. Robin

    I think it means more or less “If the bag can’t take something, then it should be left at home”. Or, less stiltedly [sic?]: “If it’s too big for this bag, leave it at home”. Nothing more glamorous than that, I’m afraid. But useful advice. Albeit in Latin.

  2. Excellent! Thank you, good sir. I suppose where useful advice is concerned, this would rank up there with “don’t eat anything bigger than your head.”

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