Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On the Road: Defending Oneself

(Photo: memyselfandtheinterstate.com)
Fortunately, I have never been attacked while traveling, but many have been. In the past I have not carried a weapon of any kind and maybe that was foolish. The following are examples of what steps other travelers I have met on the road have taken to protect themselves.

One man kept a heavy pipe under his seat. He figured if anyone bothered him, he would use the pipe. If he were ever questioned by the police, he would just say he was just on the way to a hardware store to find pipe that was the same size as the one he had. He had never used the pipe, but it gave him peace of mind.

Many women carried pepper spray. Having the spray on their keychains made them feel they had a small chance against an attacker. They also felt that pepper spray was easily available to the public and thought they were well within the boundaries of the law to carry it.

Then I met the those individuals who felt it was necessary to carry a knife or a gun. I was getting my oil changed to return to Ohio last year and a casting agent was at the service station. We were talking about the recent incident of a woman being attacked at a nearby hotel in Los Angeles. The agent mentioned that she carried a gun in her purse. She thought I was foolish because I did not carry one especially since I drove cross country by myself. The woman had never used the gun, but having the gun in her car made her feel more secure.

Another guy from a small town in the South was scared to death to come to Los Angeles and had brought an arsenal of weapons with him. He was at the hotel pool bragging about how well prepared he was. I made it a point to steer clear of that guy!

This year I was once again having my car checked to drive back to Ohio. Another customer, who was a transpo driver in the entertainment industry, overheard the mechanic discussing my trip with me. He asked what I carried with me to defend myself. When I said I did not have anything, he insisted I get some pepper spray at the very least. He was genuinely concerned that I was unprepared to protect myself. His concern spurred me to action and I went to the store and bought pepper spray and a Swiss Army knife. Maybe I was foolish in the past, but now at least I have a little bit of protection. (By the way, the photo is not the best picture of the knife. I took this photo to show the knife and the beautiful flowers on my California guesthouse deck, but mainly to remind myself how great my nails looked on this last trip!)

(Photo taken in 2014)

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