Male Bags
Off the Wall - May 31, 2009

Back on Feb 5 of this year, I wrote a column titled Two Ideas. It was definitely meant to be an Off the Wall story, but I never expected to get so many emails telling me how much people cherished reading about why loved ones should buy the man in their lives a purse for Valentine’s Day. Some of the comments included, “That was hilarious.” “It was too cute,” and “It was a hoot.”

My Aunt Ilse always has something to say about my columns. She, too, remarked, “Paul, I really liked this one. I’m a small purse person. I can get everything I can possibly need in a 5 by 7 purse. Don (her husband) says I carry my whole life in this little bag. By the way, I do believe men can carry purses.” She concluded, “I’d love to do a survey about what the purses tell about the person carrying them.” That may be one for the future, who knows.

So anyway, when the story was published and circulated to the world, I started getting back emails telling me men don’t carry purses, per se, but instead transport man bags instead. I wrote back to the fellow who sent me that update, and thanked him for the correction, but added, “If purses for men are called man bags, why aren’t the ones for women called woman bags,” to which he replied, “Point well taken.”

But guess what? Just when I thought I had the case by its straps, I received another email telling me men’s purses are actually called murses. I googled it, and sure enough, there they were, a whole variety of different types, sizes and colors for the choosing.

Upon hearing the name murse, a tune went through my mind and the words shortly after. Anytime little catching numbers stick with me over a duration of time, I have to think there is a reason for it. Knowing God has a sense of humor, this just may be the place to share what He gave me.

Now, some of us up in years surely remember the TV show “Mr. Ed.” His theme song went something like this – “A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse, of course, that is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed. I felt compelled with the help of the Man upstairs to change the words a bit.

Verse 1 – A purse is s purse, of course, of course, and not every man does carry a purse, that is, of course, unless the purse is really called a murse.

Verse 2 – Now, if I’m to sing about a murse, I must then include a second verse, to point out for women, it’s always a purse, for men, that have a murse.

Verse 3 – Well, one may think that is very perverse for me to strap on their very own murse, but it really isn’t at all a curse, I’m just being a bit diverse.

Verse 4 – So… a purse is a murse, a murse a purse, it doesn’t get better, it doesn’t get worse, but ask the girl who is a nurse, for men, a purse is called a murse!

Got it? If you don’t know the song and would like to hear it, send me your phone number enclosed with a two-dollar bill to cover phone plus labor charges, and I will sing it to you. I’ll try extra hard to be perfectly in tune. My address is: 1544 Ligonier St., Latrobe, PA 15650-2911. I will not make out-of-the-country calls.

Get this. A murse is also a male nurse. As one person put it, “Wow! I never thought I’d see a murse with a murse in his hands!” Maybe we should trying walking up to a male nurse sometime and asking him, “Hey murse, where’s your murse?”

By the way, according to, “A murse is very fashion-forward right now, seen on many hipster guys. It is used to carry laptop computers.” Some of you may have had one all along and didn’t know it. Bet you learned something, huh?

So, if you are a fellow who is feeling averse, now is the time to invest in a murse.

Article by:
Paul J. Volkmann
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