Looking Through a Lady’s Purse

There’s a scene in the plush performance classic The Muppets Take Manhattan where Miss Piggy chases a purse snatcher through Central Park, eventually apprehending him and kicking his petty thieving butt. I would watch this scene over and over, not to marvel at the endurance and speed of the lady pig in the satin lavender heels, but to hear this random sound byte probably created by an unheralded genius in the sound effects lab.

The snatcher is rummaging through Piggy’s bag, looking for cash but finding only tubes of Clinique lipstick, a pressed powder compact and a miniature blow-dryer, and the sound of all of her accouterments clicking together like a little percussion band of girly-ness was music to my ears. If handbags had a mating call, this one would have attracted every masculine luggage accessory in the park, it was so delightfully feminine.

I heard the same sound in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last week when Clementine picks through her tote bag on the train. Her purse emits the same clackety-clackety clatter of clutter. Clem may not be as girly as Miss Piggy, but she is her own kind of feminine, from the way she hides her vulnerabilities under her floral sunshine quilt down to her black thong and the bruise on her butt.