I Was Never a Boyscout (Image courtesy of the FBI)

I Was Never a Boyscout

The other day I found myself placing a standard-sized claw hammer atop the diaper bag in the stroller, before the nanny left to take the kids to the park.

Minutes before I flipped the tool over and over in my hands, checking the weight, draw speed, and making general calculations as to its potential threat level.

I opened drawers, kitchen cabinets, cupboards, searched underneath bed frames, dug through the toy chest. Something loud, something heavy, something blunt, something menacing. Military-grade flashlight? Too awkward. Zippy Martian gun? Unrealistic.

I did a quick search on the Internet for “homemade self defense.” You might imagine what came up.

But I didn’t need to construct a flame thrower from a can of hairspray and a lighter. And I wasn’t thinking of the room in the house containing the highest concentration of improvised weapons.

I just needed a tool.

I was never a Boyscout. But “being prepared” seems like a good idea these days. Perhaps it’s just psychological protection from the Boogie Man. Or an irrational idea that by constantly imagining the worst-case-scenarios, I am somehow immunizing myself from the possibility of their coming to fruition.

I told her to brandish it menacingly. Howl like a crazy person. Throw it, end over end at the would-be-assailant. Above all, snatch up our oldest and stay close to the stroller.

But what the fuck am I talking about? I have no direct experience with violence other than constant nightmares and one failed attempt at aikido.

I am simply a man afraid. A parent in constant fear. Every walk down the stairs is a potential broken neck. Every open window is an Eric Clapton tragedy waiting to occur.

And every stranger is a sadist kidnapper.

Before you bring out the straightjacket and tinfoil hat — this doesn’t all come out of nowhere. The neighbor’s nanny was recently accosted by a (likely) crazy man who tried to grab one of the kids. But maybe he wasn’t just crazy. Maybe he had a plan…

So I climb in bed. I clutch my antique splinter-filled Louisville Slugger.

And I wait.


2 thoughts on “I Was Never a Boyscout

  1. I have a 5 D cell flashlight at the side of the bed for the same reasons. Fire extinguishers, tools, knives. Which do you run for first? Are you sneaky, or do you try to puff up and act like your inner badass? If you are loud and angry enough, perhaps you can scare off any baddies.Oh yeah. Wrap the handle of the bat with duct tape. Gotta have as much grip as possible.

  2. These are all good questions, dagburks. My first inclination is to yell loudly like a crazy person and swing wildly. Then again, I may not have a choice — that might just happen naturally.Thanks for the tip about the duct tape. I mean, the last thing I want to happen is for me to snatch up the bat and give myself a goddamn splinter before I have a chance to respond…

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