• After filling the purse with excrement and closing it she put it in her closet intent on somehow getting it back to her bully unawares. However, it was the “somehow” that my sister never quite thought through. After all, the purse smelled from the get-go and smuggling it on the bus, into school, and then back to a place where the bully would find it was risky. This would require shrewd planning. Alas. my sister has never been shrewd planner. But she was a terrible procrastinator. She actually ended up forgetting the purse was even in her closet, where it was eventually buried by assorted clutter.

    When my mother found the purse it had been there for months! We came to know this because it had been reported as stolen at the school at least 3 months earlier. I don’t recall how my mother found this out but she resolved that her daughter could not be allowed to get away with theft nor was she willing to allow her to be a greater object of ridicule. So she washed that purse. And washed it and washed it and washed it - I don’t know how many times. She tried everything to clean it and remove the smell. And it worked - sort of. By the time she was done it actually smelled clean and there was only a little brown discoloration of the inside fabric. I was pretty amazed because I thought it was hopeless.