October 2: the role of the lanyard

These days you are nowhere without a lanyard. Is it lanyard or is it lanyon? Where has this word emerged from anyway? No matter, you need a lanyard. If you are wearing a lanyard around your neck, best to also have a collection of important keys on another tape clattering around as you walk importantly along. Some men, or women, wear keys, or lanyards, on their belt. If this is the case, they jingle around in the vicinity of your genitalia. Why not indeed? These, lanyards and keys, are signs of ownership. You are owned when you wear the lanyard. You do the owning when you wear the keys. Our whole life is owning or being owned, these symbols seem to say. Some people love the lanyard. They wear it when they are out and about town. It leaps joyously about their necks in the sunshine, clattering on their manly or womanly breasts. Though there are cheeky ways to sabotage its dominion. You turn it round so that the face offered to the world is no more than the plastic back with your jolly mug shot up sheer against your shirt, or else, and this is my secret way, you tuck its badge bit in between two buttons on your shirt, so that there is no way of identifying you, and if stopped you raise up your hands, present palms, guiltless as you like, and say, oh I’m sorry, I can’t think how my lanyard leapt into that gap between two shirt buttons to seek refuge. That’s the way it is with the lanyard these days. Like with so many things, it’s a game of high stakes cat and mouse.


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