Mar 052012

“Any new models, my friend?”

Another day, another trip to the wallet store. My collection was almost perfect.  So why did I keep coming back?  That’s when I saw it—a curious wallet unlike all the others.

“Sir, you…you don’t want that one,” stammered the shopkeeper.  “That wallet is made from the skin of a man. That wallet is cursed!”

But I wasn’t listening anymore. I was shoving money into the shopkeeper’s hands, and also his mouth. The message was clear: “I’ll let my money do the listening.  One human leather wallet, please.”

“That guy must have been crazy,” I thought as I drove home. “Curses aren’t real.  And if they were, wouldn’t I be the one giving them, now that I own this?” So I started believing in curses a little bit.  Mostly when I looked at the side with the lips.


When I woke the next morning, I laughed. Still in one piece. So it was straight to the club.

“Friends,” I began, reaching into my pocket, “I’d like to propose a toast to the wallet I’m about to show you.” And that’s when it happened: I realized my pocket was empty. I tried to squish down, so it looked like the guy next to me had been talking, but it was too late.

“Remarkable,” said another diner. “And I thought the closest thing to an invisible wallet was one made of diamonds—oh, like this.”  The sound of applause filled the room.  So the curse was real.  There was no time—I rushed out to the car. I had to find the man who had sold me that loathsome object. And when I did…

And there it was, just sitting on the seat. It had slipped out of my pocket.  So the curse was fake.  But as I stared at it, I started to feel strange.  And suddenly, I realized that the shopkeeper was right to call this wallet cursed.  Here’s why: human leather is just too slippery. Losing wallets is a big enough problem already, why add to that? And because it’s rare, it’s also expensive, almost the cost of a real human being.

“There has to be another way,” I thought to myself as I sped away.  “There simply must be.”


And that is the story of how leather came to be made from animals.

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