I was glad to do it. She was confined to bed and needed someone to help her a little. I’m supremely qualified to help as little as possible, so I took the job.
She thought I would be uncomfortable lugging a purse around through lobbies and halls and offices.
This was not the problem. Lifting the dang thing was. I grasped the straps and started walking but the purse didn’t come with me. It went to the floor, jerking my arm halfway out of its socket.
I distinctly heard a metal “clank.”
“ You have an anv il in this thing?” I sweetly inquired.
I g ot “ the e yebrow” b ut s he ignored my question. “Honey, I’d like that little packet of Crystal Light, grape flavored. It’s in there. Would you please bring it to me?”
Before me lay an undiscovered country of wonders upon which I, and no other man, had ever gazed.
I felt like Columbus, or Neil Armstrong, or Curly when he knows he’s about a second from getting his eye poked by Moe.
“Uh, and whereabouts in here would it be?” I stammered.
“Oh, it’s in one of the pockets,” she said.
My mind went back to the time she saw a bear on the side of a mountain in Colorado and guided my eyes to it by breathlessly exclaiming “it’s by the pine tree.”
Exactly which of the 384,313 pine trees in view at that moment she didn’t say.
The purse seemed composed entirely of pockets. Had it been a little larger—only a little—it would have made a fine pool table.
I swallowed hard and reached into the first pocket with my trembling fingers.
Have you ever noticed how women save t heir used K leenexes? Lovingly preserve them like an archaeologist caretaking a lost treasure of Troy.
After pulling out four of those, my quest got re-directed
“That’s not a pocket; that’s a pouch!”
I gently pointed out this hadn’t been covered in the marriage vows and asked what was the difference.
“ Pockets have zippers and pouches don’t” she said, in the tone reserved for telling your three-year-old not to stick the cat in the microwave.
So I unzipped the first zipper. I found, and held up, what was either a pair of nail clippers or an instrument of torture left behind by Hannibal Lecter. “No, that’s not a pocket, you’ve gotten into my billfold,” she said.
I didn’t figure this was the time to ask why she needed a billfold if she had a purse.
I replaced the billfold and continued my journey through the Twilight Zone.
In bet ween the paperback book s, t he ex t ra sock s, t he half-melted Butterfingers and the keys to locks we no longer own, something started glowing purple.
Fearing I’d located the plutonium core of a nuclear reactor, I jerked my fingers out, then realized I’d turned on her cellphone.
She’s asked me before to turn on her cellphone and I’ve never been able to do it.
The light enabled me to find another zipper. At last! I unzipped it and....
Why do women save their used Kleenexes?
Underneath was makeup. This turned out to be the pocket I’d mistaken for an anvil.
I decided on a new tack. I backed off and looked at the purse overall, noticing that there were several pock—uh, pouches— on the outside and wondered if I should be looking in these.
“Uh, honey,” I said. “This isn’t the same purse you had on our vacation, is it?”
“No, I changed,” she said. “I never could find anything in the other one.”
At this point I began mentally reviewing my chances of pleading justifiable homicide.
I f inally decided it wasn’t worth it. I know many of the law enforcement and judicial personnel in Milam County but I looked out the window and knew we were in Williamson County since they’d built a Home Depot down below over the past two days.
That’s when she decided the packet of Crystal Light was actually in her overnight case. firstname.lastname@example.org