ELSIE'S HANDBAG
by David Squires It looks quite innocent hanging there, just a bag, no more, no less, how can this simple artefact be the cause of such distress? In leather or cloth it looks harmless enough, but appearances are so misleading, It's maw can swallow anything - always in need of feeding. For us weaker sex it's hard to see to contemplate it's role, this Devils' pouch; this dreadful bag; accessorial "black hole", Things vanish disappear from sight, beyond it's open zip, Clear-ed off, gone for good, to this cosmetic skip. My tale begins in Marks & Sparks, one bright and sunny morn, we shopped for this, we shopped for that pretty much the norm. We joined the queue to pay our bill, our trolley full of fare, the goodies stashed, a cheque I cashed- the start of my nightmare. My bankers card I'd left at home, I couldn't pay the bill, "No trouble dear, mine's in my bag" - I immediately felt ill. The queue behind was getting long, and somewhat restless too, there were sighs and moans and someone said, "what on earths she trying to do ?" Her hand came out- plunged in again, halfway to her shoulder, the pile grew higher on the side, and her eyes began to smoulder, Hankies, pins, a bunch of keys, the list was almost endless, jars of jam, three pairs of tights, and a massive naval windlass! As time wore on the pile grew higher, the cashier went to sleep, the crowd behind were quite depressed and some began to weep, 'I need my pills' an old man cried - just before his seizure, I tried to look a man apart, and prayed for deep amnesia. Despite a death and two prem births, my wife was quite unhurried, 'it's here I know' she calmly said, 'no point in gettin' flurried'. Two tins of beans, and old gas bill, the queue showed quite an interest, but some got drunk and began to sing and had a scrabble contest. At last the bag was almost cleared, except for sweets and tickets, the queue by now was sixty strong and playing one day cricket. My wife, she frowned and then she smiled, a thought flashed like a rocket, She patted her side and cheerfully cried, 'it's in my top-coat pocket !' The food's good here; the nurses kind; they've taken off the jacket, the queue's here too, outside the loo, still making quite a racket. The moral of this tale is clear, it's there, and really plain, do not put things inside her bag 'cos they'll not appear again.
The end