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Day …I’m actually not sure, 14 I think – Florida 2016

It’s obviously a woman thing. And I know that the 21st century modern man is prone to a man bag, or a satchel of some kind, but the want, purchase, and pride associated with a handbag is a trait that seems to be confined to girls. I experienced this yesterday when my Wife, let’s call her Nikki, had a new handbag. Not just any old bag, but a handmade Italian leather bag with a suede lining. Don’t go all surprised on me now people, thinking I’ve lost my mind letting her spend money so frivilently. It was on special, and we had a discount voucher, and we didn’t pay the tax as tourists. However, to Nikki, the bag is special and has given her special powers. She’s given it a name, and each pocket within has been assigned a purpose. Mints are to be removed in case they detract from the smell of leather. The warranty card, which allows for lifetime repairs has been framed and placed in a safe, and when she holds it, she starts saying things like, “This lady’s not for turning”, and “I think I’ll stop free milk in primary schools”. I think the bag hates me…..and why Italian leather? Why is that so special? Do they do something to it that others don’t? Do they feed the cows dubbin? Or is their diet greater than cows in any other part of the world? I for one will be championing the case for leather goods made with Chinese leather, as they seem to be being overlooked somewhat. (I will say though that whilst my wife was spending our holiday budget on a posh carrier bag, that I got the bargain of the century. I found myself in need of a wallet. I thought I’d treat myself, and so I found a lovely tri-fold brown leather one for $148. I’d have no money left to put in it, but it was a nice wallet. However!!!!! It is Memorial Day weekend, so everything is 50% off, and there’s an extra 25% off if you spend over $50 and a further 15% off that if you spend over $100. As it was from Macy’s I also got the tax knocked off. Final price, a mouth-watering $12 ).

Anyway, enough about bags, well, that bag. There’s a little tale driving to the Mall. I’d looked on the map to see the quickest way to get to the Millennium Mall to change a shirt I’d bought in Vegas. You may have seen it. It’s a blue linen shirt I wore at our much publicised second wedding. To cut a long story short, when I was at the “After Party” so to speak, I pulled it slightly, and it had a bobble and a hole. So, quick wash and iron later, back in the bag, and I’m off to the nearest branch in the Mall to exchange it. Upon arrival, I speak with Serge, who’s happy to exchange it, as that hole shouldn’t be In the shirt. Then Nikki arrives at the counter. “I’m glad your changing it, because it’s such a lovely shirt. He wore it for our wedding last week, and got so drunk he can’t remember anything! We found him the next morning in a pile at the Black Jack table covered in his own vomit, but the shirt seemed OK at the time. He must have caught it on barbed wire when he was running away from drug dealers”. OK, it maybe wasn’t that bad, but you get the general idea…

Back to the drive to the Mall. In short, and Nikki insisted I put this in, I took a wrong turn off Sand Lake Road, and ended up at, what I thought was, a toll booth. Turns out it was a security gate for Lockheed, the aeronautical people who are on high alert at the moment. The good thing is they only kept us a short while whilst they searched our car, inside and out, and escorted us from their premises under armed guard. The bad news is we’ve been placed on the no fly list until the FBI clear the handbag and its contents. The handbag is called Mario by the way, what else ?? .

Eventually at the Mall, shirt swapped, handbag and wallet bought, and into L’Occitaine, a fragrance and lotion shop that I’m sure you’re all aware of. Now, you know my feelings about the French, but I love their stuff in this gaff. As I’m speaking to De’Mayo, my non French assistant, about the latest offers, there was the most almighty crash behind me, as Nikki decided that the display wasn’t to her liking. Glass everywhere, fellow customers reaching for life vests as the tide of perfume swept across the shop, Nikki stood there, in flip flops, holding the top of a vacant bottle. Cries of “Save yourself” echoed across the Mall, as security, once again today, attended to us. “I’m so sorry” Nikki whispered, with a look that was a mixture of “Oh shit” and “Will it make things better if I now buy something, because I kind of feel obliged to now”. It proved one thing, she can run in flip flops.

Onto another shop, Burlington, that sells bargains. We split up, as the shop is situated in two time zones, and looked for things to be had. I could find nothing after only two hours of searching, but when I met up, Nikki had a trolley full of dresses, and a handbag! “It’s not for me, and it’s really nice” came the cry, and she struggled out of the frustrated headlock I’d now put her in. Releasing my grip, she tried on the dresses, one by one, and asked my opinion. “What do you think?” ….”All you need is a classroom and a bunch of 6 year olds and you’ve turned into Miss Talbot” (looked like a teacher) “It’s squashing your boobs” (looked like an escape plan) “Take it off, take it off now” ( made her look like a trans=sexual) “that one is ok” (if you’re planning on charging £500 an hour and plying your trade in Soho)….and so on. Luckily we walked out of the shop with nowt…

There’s a pre Euro 2016 game on today, England v Australia, and this clash of the Titans is a must see game. Looks like we’re going to go to Hooters to watch, before the first of our visitors arrive later. There’s beer in the fridge, ribs in a marinade, bbq is clean and the sun is shining…what more do you want from life. Apart from a handbag. And talking of handbags, she put a photo of Mario on Facebook last night, and so far it’s had 43 “likes”. Disturbingly, two of those are from men. Two manly men, men’s men, strapping men. What the flock is wrong with you people? No….don’t get it. It’s a bag

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