Please excuse me for waiting to post about pepper, but an incident has been festering in my bosom lately, awaiting a release.
I came home later than usual after a meditation class where we danced around and said some om’s here and there and after a stop at the grocery to find my dogs, Mookie Moo and Bitsy Boo, awaiting their afternoon constitution. Seeing that it was already dark, I decided upon a short jaunt in back.
But the sky had peach-colored strands streaking across it like satin ribbons, so I decided to take them outside the gate to enjoy the last bits of daylight. No sooner had we stepped out when along came the pit bull, who probably wasn’t paying attention to any sky. Now I have nothing against pit bulls so long as they’re on a leash, pictured on an ASPCA website or standing beside Buckwheat in a movie. Otherwise, it is no thank you to the pit bulls for me.
Besides, this one’s jaws weren’t wired shut and it didn’t look too ready to play, so I did what any A-type dog owner would do. I pulled out pepper and let it do its trick. As predicted, the dog ran away, but as not predicted, it returned. So I sprayed again and it ran off and came back again, though not as close. A Santa Ana blew on the third try, so I got an eyeful while my dogs remained perfectly content and unaware. But this time around, the owner pulled up, it got in his truck and off they went; I wasn’t going to miss them.
Yes if anything, this emphasizes the need for pepper spray, a stun gun, a walking stick and maybe a Sherman Tank when venturing out in certain neighborhoods. So now that the buying season is here, I’ve assembled a shopping list.
Holiday Shopping List
1. Plasma flat screen TV
2. 2.5 oz canister of pepper spray
3. Revolving charge card at Sears
4. Revolving charge card at Bloomingdale’s
5. 4 oz canister of pepper spray
6. Twenty-dollar gift cards
8. Pepper spray holder
9. Sherman Tank
Pepper is versatile and because the manufactures got wise and made the canister in pink, it could also be used in Easter egg hunts or as part of the basket and featured on the Home Shopping Channel because of the decorator’s colors.
And to think this all came out of a neighbor accusing my dogs of using his front yard a cesspool.
Even though I taught for many years, that doesn’t mean I have the courage to venture out on Black Friday, or on most other days during the holiday shopping season, either for that matter. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s from reading too many Huffington Post crime articles online, but there’s just too much that could go wrong. I could battle for a parking space like my car and I are pieces on a “Battleship” game. I could forget where I parked it and wander to and fro searching for the nondescript Toyota for hours, or I could end up in a nosedive with another shopper as we both go for the last item on display.
And with this year’s crop of subversives like the Walmart shopper with the pepper spray, the near Waffle Iron Riot and the mall shooting. I’d rather watch endless loops of “Roseanne” with electrodes glued to my head. But for those who must venture out, I have created the “Holiday Shoppers’ Survival Guide.”
Pre-Shopping Prep: Planning for the event starts in May or June when most merchants start eyeballing their holiday decorations. After drinking some protein shakes, start with jogging around the mall and around the aisles. It should be well under way in August when the first store hangs its first ornament and tree. You may want to take ballet to learn about leaps, twirl jetes, port de bras and other moves in order to snare that first toy or even a waffle iron before twirling and leaping back before security descends upon you. It may also help to take Krav Maga, Jiu Jitsu or any other self-defense program to deal with anyone who wants to put you in a half Nelson or to get yourself out of one.
Attire: Dress is important all year round but no more so than during Black Friday and other days in the holiday shopping season. For extra heavy shopping days, invest in army gear with a gas mask, to have protection against any copycat pepper spray incidents. Women may don stilettos, though I recommend army boots or sturdy jogging shoes for quick exits from seamy characters or events.
Transportation: Before venturing out, I recommend renting an army tank, if you don’t already have one. Making turns and parallel parking may be a little hard at first, but it will almost guarantee you a parking space or two, and will keep other drivers at bay because they know that you can always roll over them.
Defensive Measures: Being hauled away in a black and white shouldn’t a problem so long as you obey all turn signals, say please and thank you and are doing your best to bolster our sagging economy.