Friday, September 09, 2005

Bearing My Soul

Today I cleared out the contents of my handbags. Having a bit of a morbid imagination, when I do this sort of thing I often wonder what they’d think if I disappeared under mysterious circumstances and started looking for clues in my belongings. When I say things like this out loud, [...] tends to ask me “What planet are you on?”

Like last week when I received a tape from Amelia. The tape was completely unmarked and when I tipped it out of the jiffy-bag the accompanying card did not fall out. So for a moment I thought, “Shit. Someone’s sent me a completely unmarked tape and I have no way of knowing who it is until I listen to it. Is one of my friends or associates in deep trouble, recorded evidence of some international outrage and arranged for it to be sent to me in case of their death or capture? If I stick it in the machine will it be some familiar voice saying, “By the time you hear this, I’ll be dead…”? Or “Your mission, if you chose to accept it…”? Or am I being stalked and someone’s sent me a tape of heavy breathing?”

This is the way my imagination works. And when I vocalise this [...] says, “What planet are you on?”

Anyway, I thought I would bear my soul, or to be more accurate the contents of my handbags to you, so you can play at being a forensic psychologist attempting to profile me;

1 black polyester wallet with credit cards etc and about thirty pounds cash
1 set of keys, four of which I don’t know what they belong to. All attached to
1 penknife (Celtic knot-work, two blades)
1 pencil sharpener
1 blunt pencil with the name Grace on it
1 fortune cookie fortune “You are talented in many ways”
1 theatre ticket Stranges On A Train 29/10/04
1 3m/10ft tape measure
1 clothes peg
1 Blue Badge
1 hair elastic
1 chewable toothbrush
1 book Waterstones vouchers, expired 30/04/04
1 Crisis Call leaflet
1 watch with abalone face and leather strap
1 psychiatric referral letter
1 Psychological Services Appointment Card
1 Physiotherapy Appointment Card
1 DWP letter regarding changes in my DLA
1 mirror with a detail from Surprised by Henri Rousseau on the back
1 “Anti-shine” pressed powder
1 map of York
1 yoyo (fluorescent green)
1 liquorice blackcurrant
1 comb (black)
1 half-full bottle bubble-blowing liquid complete with hoop
1 condom
2 Shopmobility Membership cards (Ipswich & Bury St. Edmunds)
2 lipsalves (1 strawberry, 1 eucalyptus)
2 notebooks, containing shopping and things-to-do lists, directions, bad poetry, cartoons, notes on Wargaming rules, notes on guitar tabs and notes relating to my novel
2 Brufen Retard tablets 800mg
2 dihydrocodeine tablets
3 sherbet lemons
3 tampons
3 ballpoint pens
4 teabags (3 x Red Bush, 1 x ordinary)
5 earrings (of which there is one pair)
6 hair pins
6 ibuprofen
7 stamps, 1st Class
8 Tramacet tablets
17 stamps, 2nd Class
20 Aspirin
42 co-codamol tablets (three different strengths from 8/500 to 30/500, some in effervescent form)
£2.73 in loose change

Plus half an acre of Rainforest’s worth of tissues and miscellaneous receipts – everything from earplugs through petrol to wheelchair parts.

So what does all this say about me? And did I commit the murder?

That bag at the top's not mine, by the way. Just a bag. You can buy it from Accessorize for £25 if you like it.


Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell does not care to dwell very often on the occasion on which she was detained in a police cell.

However, you have reminded her that, immediately prior to her unjust incarceration, her own handbag was cursorily emptied by a junior police officer of an unfriendly mien and its contents listed exactly as you have done here.

Lady Bracknell would like to be able to report that, consequent to that unfortunate incident, she has kept a tighter rein on the contents of her handbag. That would not, however, be true.

The Goldfish said...

I always think that if I was arrested, they would let me off the moment they started looking through my things. Like they'd find the psychiatric referral lettter and think I was nuts - doubly so as it was almost two years old. However, when they found the bubble-blowing liquid and the twenty-four stamps, they would think I was nuts in a very unthreatening, eccentric way.

Even if I had just killed a man with my bare-hands... or possibly my lipsalve.

I don't imagine for a moment that Lady Bracknell has a fluoerescent green yoyo in her handbag. A clothes peg, almost certainly.

I am very curious to know on what trumped-up charge the constabulary in question sought to detain milady, but realise that it must be a very delicate matter and I shall not be so rude as to actually ask.

Gordon Bennett, now you've got me using this language on my blog!

Lady Bracknell said...

You think you've got problems. I'm using it in work emails!!

Katie said...

That tape sounds very mysterious Goldfish, Hope you find out what it says on it soon!

Your handbag sounds like one of mine! I am always stuffing lots in my handbags. But I am alaways including my mobile, keys and my purse in it.
I am always having lots of mints in there too.

marmiteboy said...


One question. Why the clothes peg?

Two I could understand, you never know when you might need to peg something up in an emergency, but one?

The Goldfish said...

The clothes peg...

I think it is less a matter of what I might have needed it for, as what I might have been using it for. I cannot remember, but it might have been something like... I went to feed the ducks, I took some old bread in a bag and I sealed this bag with a clothes peg. After I had fed the ducks, I threw the bag away, but not wishing to waste a clothes peg, put the peg into my bag. Where it remained.

Something like that... something where I've made use of a single clothes peg rather than thinking I might actually need one.

Luke said...

Why the YoYo?

marmiteboy said...

You never know when you might need a yo-yo.

The Goldfish said...

A yoyo is a handy and compact defensive weapon.

In fact self-defense brings up another excuse for having my single clothes peg - I mean, if some chap exposed himself to me... can see why they sent me to a psychiatrist.

Anonymous said...

I can see the fuzz's eyes lighting up at the sight of the assorted medications though.

A quick check of my own carrybag revealed ventolin, migraleve, naproxen and codis...I hope I never get stopped.

Is nobody else going to query the presence of a condom? Or is that question in supremely bad taste? I wish I had your optimism, goldfish.

The Goldfish said...

You obviously weren't a boy scout. Not that I was. But I do believe in the mantra "Be Prepared!"

R said...

My bag has in:

Pretty tissues (courtesy of the Seahouses National Trust shop)
A wallet containing a ludicrous number of cards, Shopmobility memberships etc and very little cash
My PDA (personal organiser and emergency communication aid)
Bluetooth hands-free thing for mobile
Car keys
Half a packet of Softmints
A bunch of wheelchair bits (spanner, Allen key)
RADAR Key (almost needs its own bag!)
Assorted sweet wrappers
My college entry swipe-card

In addition to this, I can often be seen lugging around 2.5x1ft of viola case.

Anonymous said...

The Condom and the Chewable toothbrush are probably planned to be used in sequence.

Have you seen "Breakfast Club"?