What lies within the portable cave that we ladies carry around with us on a daily basis? What horrors are encased within those faux-leather walls? Many fear to venture through the zipped mouth of the abyss that is our handbag. Many more are fed up of losing possessions at the very bottom of their fashionable chasm, which only emerge after a few months once you finally decide to invest in a new handbag and clear out your old one.
Isn’t it wondrous how your phone manages to dig all the way down through your crumpled envelopes and tangled earphones, and bury itself right under your biscuit-crumb encrusted gloves? And isn’t it even more fascinating that it decides to take refuge down there just when a call comes in? By the time you fight your way through the thick foliage of make-up bags, bus tickets, chocolate wrappers and purses, the poor sod on the other end has already given in and hung up. It is then and only then that your hand meets the vibrating rascal that clearly went to great lengths to conceal itself from you. After such incidents, you keep reminding yourself that once you get home, you will give your handbag a good clear-out and do your shoulder a favour by making it a tonne lighter.
You never do, really. It’s only after you need that bank statement which you absent-mindedly left to become part of the moulding landscape do you realise it is actually time to sort out the new layer of carpeting at the bottom of the cave. You eventually find said statement, but you’ll have to slowly prise it from a takeaway menu, as a sticky melted Skittle has acted as an adhesive between the two. Your suspicions are proven right when you find the remains of its brothers and sisters glued to the fabric inside.
The wilderness of our handbags terrifies most males. Very few knights dare to enter that mysterious lair; they’ve seen things go in there and never come back out again. However, there is an elite guild of courageous men (and women) who dare to peruse strangers’ handbags – London bouncers. These brave knights who stand guard at most clubs and pubs all around the city are required to search coats and handbags before allowing people to enter the premises. Only the gods know what they might come into contact with whilst searching the bottomless pit.
My first experience of having my handbag checked outside a club happened a few years back. Since I was used to a party scene where you could enter a club with an AK-47 and no one would bat an eyelid, I was quite impressed. Perhaps it was because I found the whole thing to be quite an alien experience, but I had turned to my friend and blurted out, ‘He’s going to find my dildo in there.’ I genuinely thought the bouncer would get the joke, but the minute it came out of my mouth, his eyes widened and he darted his hand out of the bag, zipped it shut and handed it back to me. If you’re reading this Mr Bouncer, there really wasn’t anything of the sort in there. Just some melted Skittles and a Nokia N97, somewhere.