Scavenging Through my Purse

I adored countless things about my grandmother, one of them being her purse.  Whichever stylish handbag Gram was carting around, it was usually the size of a small microwave… and a trove of the most unusual treasure.  No matter whatever anyone needed, chances were good that Grammy had it in her purse. Case in point: once while dining with her for breakfast, I wished out loud for apricot jam and there it magically appeared from her purse.

I don’t carry a purse that often these days, choosing instead to slip my money, license and credit card into my jeans pocket.  But when I do carry a bag while traveling or on business ventures, it’s usually a large one.  With a large amount of crap in it.  Definition of crap:  items in a woman’s purse.  Or is it a bag, after it graduates to a specific size?  I dunno.  But not long ago, I found myself with friends, rummaging through my purse and pondering the mystery of why I needed so much crap. It was when my friends started inventorying the contents of their own purses that we came up with the game: our Purse Scavenger Hunt.  Today, I post it here for my friends to enjoy.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: The more the merrier.

REQUIREMENTS: Each player must have one bag, be it a purse, handbag, briefcase or whatever you choose to call it.

OBJECTIVE: Win by scoring the most points from the contents of your bag. Winning could simply be for fun, for a crown, or for free drinks… you determine the prize. A collective purse clean-out can also be performed after the final round (in this case, a large trash receptacle – and more drinks – may be needed).

RULES: Purses open and on lap.  Remember, only one bag each. No emptying allowed: at any point during play, all items but for the one being called out must remain inside your purse. The first person to extract the item, shout out and hold it up wins the point.  In the case of a tie, refer to the rules per item: where tie rules are not specified, everyone in the running receives the points.  Don’t forget to add the bonus points where mentioned!

FOR THOSE WITHOUT BAGS: depending on the number of bagless in the crowd, designate tasks: one person to call out, another to keep score, another (if needed) to break ties.

IMPORTANT: the key is not to share ahead of time that the game will be played OR the items that will be called out (otherwise, everyone will pack their purses with the appropriate crap). In cases where this list has already been used, I invite you to add or remove items or devise your own list: just don’t forget to share them here!

Many of these items can found in a standard purse.
POINTS: 1 for each item.

  • Most recent shopping receipt (tie: the highest total)
  • Business card (tie: the one from farthest away)
  • Jelly or other condiment (tie: oddest flavor)
  • Used gum (tie: the largest item stuck to it)
  • Expired coupon (tie: the oldest date)
  • Sports schedule (5 bonus points for current, 20 bonus points if it’s a Red Sox schedule)
  • Pen of an ink other than blue
  • Candy-wrapper (tie: the most candy wrappers)
  • Cocktail napkin (tie: anything written on it)
  • Condom (tie: the closest expiration date)
  • Bandage (5 bonus points if used, 10 if another item is stuck to it)
  • Book of matches (tie: from a wedding)
  • Overdue bill (tie: the largest dollar amount)
  • Battery (tie: the largest)

If you’ve recently traveled or have small kiddies, you’ll fare well in this round!
POINTS: 5 for each item.

  • Sippy cup (tie: one that contains the most liquid)
  • Bottle opener
  • Any spare clothing (10 bonus points for underwear, 50 for used underwear)
  • Used hotel room key (tie: from the hotel farthest away)
  • Bag of breakfast cereal (tie: the largest amount)
  • Airline boarding pass (tie: the farthest distance traveled)
  • Travel or diaper wipes
  • Passport (tie: the most stamps)
  • Antibacterial gel

Pretty standard stuff these days, but who will win?
POINTS: 10 for each item

  • USB stick (tie: largest storage capacity)
  • Digital camera (tie: the most photos)
  • Photo of dog on digital camera (tie: the most number)
  • MP3 device (tie: the most songs)
  • Barry Manilow song on MP3 device (tie: the most number, 15 bonus points for admitting it)

Meant to eliminate all but the die-hard purse carrier
POINTS: 20 for each item.

  • The heaviest purse (warning: scale required!)
  • The most lipsticks
  • The key chain with the most keys
  • Umbrella (tie: the smallest, 20 bonus points for opening it five times while dancing about and breaking into your rendition of Singing in the Rain)
  • One vibrator (40 bonus points for admitting it)

Now tally up those scores, good luck, and let me know how it all turns out!