Urban Myths and Purse Stories

A gal takes her purse everywhere. Almost everywhere, we should say. If these things could talk, they would have us hanging on their every word. Handbags are part of many stories. We hear of purses, about what they did, their heroics, their undoings, their shoplifting deeds. Here, for the first time, a literary genre unto its own: Purse Stories.

liz barrel purse
The story of the Liz Claiborne Barrel Purse

This is a true story. Some friends I know were spending the day at the beach and talking about Mexico, where some had just returned from on the big senior trip. One of my friends knew a girl whose friend had recently been down in Mexico. This is her story.

It was their last night and they were out dancing and drinking and goofing around. They were on their way home and stopped to eat at one of the little carts that pop up outside the discos. As the girls sat sharing some meat on a stick, they heard something in the bushes near them. They looked closely and saw a tiny, sickly chihuahua puppy. It was the sorriest dog the girls had ever seen. Of course, they gave it a little food and it became immediately very friendly. They couldn't bear to leave the little thing on the street, so they took the little puppy back to their hotel room.

Well, the next day, they were packing up to go home and they decided to try to bring the little puppy home to the U.S. to give it a fighting chance. It was such a sickly looking dog, but surely a good veternarian could help it along. One of the girls, who had a big Liz Claiborne barrel purse (this is the late 1980s), stashed the little puppy in her purse. Nobody searched her boarding the plane. During the flight, the little puppy was good as gold, sleeping quite a bit and eating whatever it was given. When the plane landed, the girls' luggage was searched, but officials didn't look in the purse where the little puppy was. They had done it!

They got home and called a vet who agreed to see the puppy the very next day. The next day, they brought the puppy into the vet's office. They told the vet's assistant how they came to have the sickly chihuahua puppy and she agreed that it was the worst looking case she could remember. The vet came into the room. He took one look at the puppy and asked the girls what their pet's health issues were. Again, the girls recounted how they had rescued the puppy from Mexico. The vet looked at them both, incredulous.

"You two have got to the be the stupidest people I have ever met. This is not a chihuahua puppy. This, ladies, is a rat."

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