Humor Columnist



















Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Purple Suitcase....

The Purple Suitcase

I’ve been getting ready to go for months – years, actually. I’ve been buying odds and ends as I think of them, little 3 oz. bottles, new underwear (as you don’t want customs officials to see your old underwear), a sunhat, travel clock, and all the other weird gear listed in the travel agency’s “must have” list.

I’m going to Egypt to see the pyramids, the trip of a lifetime. I thought I was all set. I put all my junk into plastic zip-lock bags and dragged my suitcase out of the attic so I did not have to look for it when it was time to pack. I was prepared – prepared I tell you, ready to go.

So, last weekend was the last weekend before the big trip.  I was adding a few last minutes items to my collection when I realized that my suitcase looked rather large.  I went to the Delta website to check allowable sizes - 22X14X9 for a carry-on, it said.

I had already been through the “carry-on vs. check luggage” debate. I favored checking. Honey favored carry-on.  I finally relented. It did seem faster and more practical since we had to travel light anyhow. 

I measured my red suitcase, 25 inches!  How could that be?  I took it on the plane to California .  Did it grow?  Then I remember that we had checked luggage on that trip and ended up scurrying all over the  Los Angeles airport trying to find baggage claim. 

I had a smaller size, 17 inches. No way could all my plastic bags fit in that. I thought of the old standby suitcase. The outside pocket is torn and it looks like the baggage handlers played volley ball with it.  I began to think “new suitcase.”  Honey has a shiny black Samsonite spinner. I hated to think of carrying my old torn clunker.

The gift certificate for Macy’s that I got for Christmas would come close to buying a new one if I could find one that didn’t require robbing a bank to pay for it. The last thing I wanted was to spend my mad money on a suitcase instead of miniature pyramid statues and camel rides.

I might as well tell you that I don’t like shopping malls.   Malls used to be a fine thing when I was younger and could walk from one place to another.  But now, malls are aggravating.  They are too big.  Bigger is better when it comes to some things, but not malls. Macy’s, of course, is in the mall.

I made the ultimate sacrifice and went to the mall. It was my lucky day; luggage was on sale dirt cheap.  But even dirt can cost an arm and leg.  I looked at everything and found a cheap black one, but it was naturally available in only king and queen size.  We even bribed the salesperson to check the stockroom for something smaller.

This is what happens when you wait until the last minute to buy a suitcase. If I had been a wise owl, I would have looked for luggage months ago, not at the last minute. I had to settle for what was available. Finally, I narrowed it down to two choices that were the right size, the right price, and, most importantly, in stock.  I didn’t have time to go chasing around all over the city looking for a suitcase.

The trouble was that the choices available were purple and magenta. I eventually decided to buy the purple one since the magenta one was even more ugly. What does it matter what color it is? At least I could tell my suitcase from all the other suitcases at the airport.  Purple should practically glow in the dark.

And that’s the story of how I came to have a purple suitcase. 

I’m actually beginning to like it. Purple grows on you after a while. I never thought I’d see the day when I would not only travel with a purple suitcase, but travel with a purple suitcase and like it. 

Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss

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