Recently, I’ve taken a lot of flack regarding the size and tonnage of my handbag. Not surprisingly, most of the flack has come from the other sex – that one that can’t find the butter in the fridge and has yet to come to grips with the purpose of a dirty clothes hamper.
Personally, I adhere to the “Purse as Weapon” school of fashion, mace being illegal in this country. Which is why I carry a large envelope shoulder bag. Very large. Imagine the Roseanne Barr of purses. One swing from the shoulder can knock a runaway truck back 30 paces. In fact, I’ve been known to clear entire subway cars in rush hour.
But the most effective use of a purse I’ve ever seen is this story from back in my bank manager days…
One day, a young man with a gun tried to force his way to the front of our lineup to make his demands known to the teller. Unfortunately, he chose to do this on the day the Old Age Pension cheques arrived in the mail, and worse, the person he chose to cut in front of was old Mrs. Pereira. Now, Mrs. Pereira may have been only four and a half feet tall, and probably weighed only 90 pounds, but so did her purse. And being somewhat shortsighted, she may have failed to see the gun, but she certainly did not miss the sudden appearance of a very rude long-haired youth stealing her place in the line.
Being old school, she did not call for help; instead, she commenced whapping him over the head with a particularly lethal black patent handbag with heavy brass corners, while kicking him smartly about the shins. The hapless bank robber was last seen howling and limping from the branch, followed by a verbal stream of indignant Portuguese.
Which only goes to show that one should always walk softly and carry a big purse.