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Life, Liberty and Self Defense in the Fast Lane

 

I usually like to keep my promises.  For example, if I say that I am going to buy a jar of pickles, then I go out and buy a jar of pickles.  It may because I have the eldest child syndrome.  It may be because I’m craving pickles.  I don’t know.  I try to lead a simple life and not analyze anything too much.   

I know I promised myself, and maybe one or two of you out there, that I’d never write about pepper spray again.  But I have to.  If Scarlett Johansson can cut an album in the name of artistic pursuit, then I can venture off into uncharted territory, too. 

The last recorded incident is when pepper may have saved the life of my dogs on a walk when a pit bull, whose intentions I wasn’t interested in learning about, approached us.  The mutt crossed against traffic; I reached for peps and let her rip. 

And that got me to thinking about a self-defense system I tried called Krav Maga, but they made me stay in level one too long, and I quit.  So today, I am here to debate which is better, Krav Maga or giving someone a snoot full with pepper spray.  Some of the pros and cons are below.    

Measuring Success.   

It is easier to succeed with pepper.  All you have to do is press a button and voila.  It is so easy to use that even a German shepherd could use it and trot away happy. 

In Krav you have to get the instructor’s approval before moving from one level to the next.  No matter what, they wouldn’t promote me.  Maybe I knew there was trouble when they started laughing during one of my maneuvers. 

Hold on Reality: 

Much as I would have been able to had I been drugged, drunk, out of my mind or all three, I would never have been able to put that pit bull in a headlock or a half nelson.  He just wouldn’t have understood.  With pepper, you don’t run the risk of having to perform like Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan.   

On the other hand, it’s true that Krav is better if someone or something comes up behind you.  You then address the threat and wiggle, elbow and bite your way to freedom.  Pepper only works if you see someone on the front or side of you, depending on how good your peripheral vision is.  Then you give them a snoot full.   

Injuries: 

Injuries are part of the deal in Krav Maga. 

In pepper about the only occupational hazard is when the wind starts blowing in the wrong direction, and the spray gets in your eyes, mouth or nasal passages and causes a whopper of pain. 

Cost: 

Pepper is cheaper.  For what you pay for a year full of Krav Maga, you could buy some cases of pepper plus stock in the company.

So there you have it, life liberty and self defense in the fast lane.

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Another Pepper Spray Miracle

 

I promised myself, and maybe you, that I wouldn’t write another word about that wondrous device, pepper spray.  Well, I am going to have to break that promise because something miraculous has happened. 

Blessings of all blessings and hallelujah, I was ready for another near-emergency situation.  Dogs can be wondrous, loving creatures, but let’s not mince any words here.  They can also be trouble magnets both in and out of the house.  In fact, about the only time they aren’t trouble is when they are sleeping.   

Mine, who I have mentioned before in other pepper spray related articles, and whose names are Bitsy Boo and Mookie Moo, have gotten me in trouble several times since I brought them home from the shelter.  My partial tally includes: 

1.)    Damage to my bedroom carpet when one of them used it as a cesspool.  And the cost to repair the tears after I locked what I thought was the more docile one in to let her stitches heal after surgery.  (I forgot that looks can be deceiving.)  Cost:  $240.00, including tips. 

2.)    Missing socks, undergarments, pencils, erasers and a squashed bluetooth.  Cost:  $175.89, including the vet’s visit about the bluetooth.

3.)    A hole chewed into the rear end of some sweatpants. Cost:  $21.65, including tax.

4.)    Vet bills for all those allergies.  I lost count.

5.)    Hostile and unfriendly neighbors who thought I allowed said canines’ deposits to sit on their lawns.  Cost:  $ 22.50 for pepper spray and aspirin.     

But it was # 5, one of those unseemly neighbors, who caused me to go out and buy some pepper spray.  I could kiss him, if he wasn’t so tightly wound. 

Weeks after he had stopped keeping sentry duty outside his house, I was taking Bitsy and Mookie out for an afternoon stroll down another street when a pit bull approached us.  Now, I may be an animal lover, but I am not a naive or uninformed one.  I go on the Internet.  I read the news.  I’ve seen Animal Planet, and I know that pit bulls are not known for being helpful or docile, which is probably why you never see them as service dogs.  Besides, regardless of what people say about their bad PR being about their training, no one ever hears about a killer cocker spaniel or a killer collie.  Besides, I wasn’t about to test out any bleeding-heart theories with my dogs. 

Upon approach, I told that dog to bugger off, but it wouldn’t listen.  So I reached for pepper and let her rip while it crossed the street and ran off.   

I then called 911, but they weren’t about to send out a squad car over a roving dog no matter what.  I’d asked them before, and they didn’t do it then, and they weren’t going to do it now unless it contained one of their K-9 dogs.  They did, however, call animal control for me.  Meanwhile, and this is the best  part, a few people stopped and asked me if I needed any help, and they stayed until I assured them that everything was all right.  Bless them all.   

Aside from being pepper spray ready and staying away from that  neighbor on sentry duty, this may be the finest lesson of all, that people in this teeming metropolis might not be as out there as I presumed.