I know, it's a long standing joke about women and what they keep/carry in their purses. But, years ago I had an opportunity to add to the mythos.
It was 1979 (or thereabouts) and I was working at the UCLA Medical Center in the Clinical Pathology Department. They were remodeling (on a huge scale) much of the "A" level (one floor below ground). The work had been going on for months, and many of us were getting to know the construction workers by name.
I was walking down the hallway into work on day, when I was stopped by one of the workers. He had a large pipe wrench in his hand and asked me if I would mind very much dropping it off to one of the guys working on the plumbing at the other end of the hospital (a long walk, so I can't say I blamed him).
I stuck the wrench into my admittedly large tote bag, and made my way down the hall. As I got to the main lab, I heard a man say "I could really use a f*cking pipe wrench about now!! So, I walked over to him, whipped this big old wrench out of my tote, flashed him a nice smile and went on in to work.
You just know, somewhere over a few beers, that guy told the story of what women really keep in those monster purses. Lipstick? No. Blush? No. Pipe wrench. YES!!!