Last time I checked, two dozen women in my part of town had fallen victim to the Westside Purse Snatcher. Most of the time, the snatcher snatched the purses not off the women themselves, but off counters, shelves and cabinets inside the women's houses. Apparently, this guy has figured out that women come home, drop their purses near the door, then leave them unattended. So it's been easy pickings for the purse snatcher. He just opens or breaks the door, then grabs the purse and runs, loaded down with cash money, credit cards and chewing gum.
News of these purse snatchings has been all over the TV and newspapers. You'd think that somewhere around Victim 3 or 4and surely before Victim 24the women of the west side would've caught on and stopped leaving their purses by the door. Old habits die hard, I guess. Heck, I still look for the bottle opener in the drawer where we kept it 10 years ago.
Like a lot of men, I've wondered why women burden themselves with purses. Carrying a bag around all day would drive me crazy. Having to worry about somebody snatching my purse, or trying to remember where I put my purse, would drive me even crazier.
I put my little bit of cash and credit cards into my wallet and stick it in my back pocket, which I keep buttoned. Then I put my phone in one side pocket and my keys in the other. Once that's done, I could go on a trip around the world and not have to rely on anything outside my pants.
It's different for women, though. This morning, when my wife and daughter left for work and school, they were lugging four tote bags and a rolling cart. I swear, the total load had to be over a hundred pounds. If either of them buys one more tube of Chapstick, I'm afraid we Jowerses will have to buy a trailer just to haul all their stuff.
As much as I don't understand how women can spend every day hauling more stuff than a Vietnamese ox, I am thankful that women do it. I couldn't have gotten through high school without the contents of Bobbie Ann Redd's purse. If I got a runny nose at school, Bobbie Ann had tissues. If I broke a shoelace, she had lacesround ones, flat ones, short ones, long ones. If I needed a little ball bearing to throw at a teacher, she had a handful of those. Best of all, she had all the answers to the test questions in fifth-period chemistry. As she walked out of chemistry class, she'd slip the answers out of her purse and into my hand. I'd run to the bathroom and memorize them, then flush them down the commode. Bobbie Ann Redd's thoughtful ministrations kept my high-school grades at a solid B-minus.
Today I asked wife Brenda what's in her purse, aside from the usual wallet, phone and keys. "Well, let me see," she said. "I'm packing various over-the-counter pain relievers, safety pins, pepper spray, bandages, scissors, a little flashlight and a splinter-removal kit."
"Sounds like you're equipped to put down a kindergarten riot," I said.
"That's not all," she continued. "I've got makeup, some pens and stationery, and three foil-wrapped chocolate-covered cherries. I'm a walking Walgreens."
Now that I think about it, I'm able to travel light only because I know I can count on a kindly woman to have just what I need in her purse. One of these days, one of my five bypasses might blow, and I bet it'll be a woman with a stash of nitroglycerin who saves me.
So, given that the Westside Purse Snatcher could destroy the sweet and giving nature of the west-side women, and given that the sumbitch might make off with the very nitroglycerin that could extend my days on earth, I feel a duty to come up with some defenses against purse snatchings.
Purse-toting women, here's what you do: when you come home from work or shopping or makeover-ing, or whatever it is you do, go straight to the fridge. Put your purse in there, right next to the beer. That way, the purse snatcher can't see your purse from the door, and any and all men who live at your house will know exactly where your purse is. If we need something out of the purse, we can just help ourselves, and we'll hold up our end of the deal by guarding your purse.
I've heard some women talk about getting a bad-ass dog to guard their house and purse. Don't do that. When was the last time you heard about a bad-ass dog stopping a purse snatcher? Now, when was the last time you heard about a bad-ass dog biting chunks out of the grandbaby? Best I can tell, the dogs aren't catching any purse snatchers, but they are sending a fair number of grandbabies to the hospital for stitches.
If you have a security problem at your house, get some motion-sensor lights and a security camera or two. Better yet, get a cheap plastic box with a little red blinkylight, which is made to look like a security camera. Those are usually good enough to scare off your below-average criminals.