A Purse Like Al Capone's Vault

Do you remember the search for Al Capone’s vault that Geraldo Rivera hosted on TV in 1986? I only ask because when I’m looking for something in my purse I feel like Rivera must have when his archeological crew were digging through the rubble looking for something epic. 

"Look, here is an empty Advil bottle.”

I usually and inexplicably come across that darn thing first.

While digging through all the rubble in Capone’s vault, America was on high alert as Rivera whispers something akin to

“Oh my goodness, what is that long pipe with a octagon shaped, flat metal piece on the end of it?”

Then with a scream, Rivera shudders as an old stop sign is recovered. And it’s not just any stop sign. In fact, this very stop sign was reported missing from the City of Chicago during the time of prohibition. That must have embarrassed Rivera just a little bit. It’s not really worth writing home about, if you know what I mean.

This is exactly how I feel about finding things in my purse. 

So now I scream as I find my keys. They have eluded me for almost five minutes. It’s not cool to dump out the contents of one’s purse all over the table at a restaurant and not too convenient to dump it out on the back bumper of my car. I believe that Rivera probably felt this anxiety when the search within Capone’s vault was at its height and when that stop sign and empty liquor bottles, probably from the prohibition era, were found. He may have even screamed a little inside, but not out of elation, but embarrassment. He may have even said an expletive under his breath. Gosh knows, I would have. 

As I reach into my purse it’s always a mystery as to what I might find. There’s always a scrap piece of paper or a Kleenex that has strayed from the small plastic wrapper. My hand roots around looking for my lipgloss and I find a tube of polysporin…don’t laugh…you never know when that’ll be useful.

As I reach deeper and deeper into my purse, and it’s not a large Mary Poppins style bag either, I am amazed at the things I find: a receipt from my favourite coffee shop; a ring that I forgot where I put it; a dime that escaped my wallet; a small figurine that my daughter gave to me for safe keeping; and an empty plastic receptacle that once housed 12 pieces of gum. From the outside my purse if pretty unassuming, just like Capone’s old suite at the Lexington Hotel, until I reach so deep that I find a rip in the lining of the interior of my purse. This is when an expletive escapes my lips. 

When the redevelopers of the Lexington Hotel in Chicago renovated Capone’s old suite they opened up the medicine cabinet and behind it was a secret passage, thus precipitating the need to reveal The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault.  I bet they were just as shocked as I was when I found my favourite lipgloss Korres Golden Pink #22 that took up residence in the inner lining of my purse.

See not every archeological dig ends in defeat like Rivera’s quest to unlock The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault.

~Jennifer Ward

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