As you all know, August is National Wallet Month. I made that up because I needed a theme. You didn’t come to my house to hear me lecture you about the presidential race, the Olympics or Curiosity landing on Mars.

You came here to get away from all of that and learn important ideas about important stuff. Hence, it’s National Wallet Month. Oh, you have something better to do this morning? Girls’ volleyball is over.

The Wallet. I never saw the point of one. I do have something that looks like a wallet, but it’s just a piece of leather for my driver’s license. I still keep my cash stuck in my pocket where I can get at it.

I always liked the way Tony Soprano would take a wad of bills from his pocket and toss them on the table before walking out of the bar. You never saw a gangster or a movie star open a wallet and count the cash in it, like they were at a convenience store. And they never wait for change. Isn’t that the coolest thing? Never waiting for change?

Gangsters always carried their cash in a big wad and tossed it on the table. “Here, honey, go buy yourself something nice.”

I tried that with she who doesn’t like gangster movies.

“Here honey, go buy yourself something nice,” I said, and tossed two bucks on the butcher block.

“Is that from the five dollars I gave you? Where are the other three?” she asked without looking up.

I took it back. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

My brothers, when they came home from the war, always carried wallets with pictures of hot girls in them. Going through one of the wallets left on the dresser in their room, I saw my first condom. It clearly had been there a long time, because it left an impression on the outside. I think that comes under Early Educare.

My first month in the Air Force, the various junk that I carried started making embarrassing lumps in my pants pockets, so I bought a dollar wallet at a five and ten in San Antonio, Texas. I had no girlfriend at the time, so I cut a picture of Debbie Reynolds out of a fan magazine someone had left in the latrine and stuck it in the wallet. A week later I accidentally dropped it in the toilet. It just came apart, and that was my last wallet. True story.

Jack Kennedy never carried a wallet. When he needed something, he just borrowed money from whomever was standing closest. That’s how great fortunes are made. I do the same thing with she who carries all of our cash. I just ask her for money and she gives it to me … with a five buck limit. It’s not that I’m complaining. Before she took over my life I never even had five bucks.

But it’s 2012 now, and the things that I carry have multiplied: credit cards, license, insurance cards, Starbucks card, multiple pairs of glasses and cellphone, so she who stays on top of these things, quoted the captain from “Jaws” and said, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

So she bought me a leather “man bag” in Camden.

This is a really cool bag, but you have to carry it the right way, not over your arm like a purse, but over one shoulder like a gun case. It holds everything and has a separate pouch for my smart phone. There’s a downside there. My ringtone is from the “Godfather” and she makes me keep it on soft.

Yesterday I was passing a really gorgeous lady in the market. I held my “gun” bag at a jaunty angle and tried to look cool and Soprano-ish. As she passed, she mumbled “Your purse is ringing.”

Happy National Wallet Month.

 

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

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