Last year, I was sitting in our compact but adorable city apartment, when I heard a noise from the street, the like of which I had never heard before, so I rushed to the window to see what on earth it could be. In the few seconds it took to stand up and look out, various possible causes flashed through my mind, and the most striking one was of some sort of alien army invading our little town, riding on a contraption which was not designed for earthly pavements. I was not far wrong.
About 50 Japanese tourists had been disgorged from a nearby coach, and were all making their way along the road, dragging these suitcases over the uneven slabs and producing an awful cacophony with their identical luggage.
I used to think that skateboards should be fitted with softer, quieter wheels - until I was almost hit by a few riders in town. Now I believe they are kept deliberately noisy to warn you they are coming. I cannot see any advantage to hard wheels on luggage though - the danger with them is when you trip over their handles after they have gone past you and turned a sharp right or left without warning.
People seem to be losing the strength to carry the smallest weights, and every article sold that weighs more than about 10 pounds has to have a 'lifting hazard' sticker on it, depicting a euro-figure with a bad back, just in case you can't speak the language. Cement is now sold in sacks of 25 kilos, when it used to be sold in 1 cwt measures (50 kilos or 112 pounds - the ideal maximum weight for a fit builder).
I was looking out of the window last summer, when I saw a tourist dragging one of these bags down the road, then I noticed that the wheels had come completely off it. This (healthy-looking and large) bloke was so brainwashed by the basic principal sold to him when he purchased the bag, that - rather than push the handles back into retracted mode and pick the wheel-less case up with the handle provided, he just continued dragging it along the sandstone pavements, wearing away the black fabric it was made of. I reckon he only had about 200 yards left to go before he spilled his budgie-smugglers (you see, John - I have found a use for it already!) out and over the street for all to see.
Then there are the particular type of people who always use small back-packs, when an ordinary carrier bag would have sufficed. It's not as if they need to have both hands free at all times, as when cycling or climbing mountains - they just don one of these bags when they go to the shops for a few groceries.
Without exception, every single person (particularly men) who use back-packs in inappropriate circumstances, have absolutely no sense of personal space whatsoever. It's not just that they turn around in china shops and knock rows of cups off the shelf with them, they simply stand in front of you when it is obvious that they are in the wrong position, so the back-pack is merely an outward sign to warn you that they are selfish, stupid space-invaders. The ones with umbrellas as well as back-packs are even worse.
Railway Porters.... no, maybe not.