Monday, November 20, 2006

The survival guide inside my head

One day last week after work, I was walking across the parking lot to check my mail. Without bothering to look, I could tell that a car had slowed down and come to a stop right in front of the parking lot. I figured they were waiting for oncoming traffic to clear so that they could turn left. But no.

Before I reached the mailbox, I heard a car door open and a voice yell, "Hey! Get off my a--!"

This caused me to finally look over, and I saw that a car had come to a complete stop right in the middle of a wet, rather busy two-lane street. The driver had his head out the door glaring at the guy behind him.

I was just waiting for shots to be fired or something. So I pondered what I would do, you know, if it all started going down right there.

I figured my best hope would be to dive onto the concrete. Then using skills I learned playing in driveway culverts when I was eight years old, I would belly crawl until I found cover behind the nearest car in the parking lot. Once there, I would try and call for help on my cell phone.

Fortunately, my emergency plan of action wasn't needed in this case. The irate driver closed his door and started going again. And the car behind him revved up its engine and rode his tail all the way down the street. Mission accomplished, Ace.

But this isn't a post about road rage or making oneself look like a total idiot while endangering the lives of those around you. Although those topics deserve their fair share of attention.

No, this is a post about what was going on inside my head as the situation unfolded. And how I often think thru possible worst-case scenarios like this. There are many other examples.

When I'm running in the park, if it's after dark, there usually aren't many other people on the track. A couple of times I've been the only one. And I often think, what would I do if someone jumped out of the darkness and attacked me?

For some reason, the first thing that always comes to mind is that I would throw my keys into the woods. That way, they couldn't steal my car. Although just thinking about it now, throwing my car keys into the woods somehow doesn't seem quite as brilliant as it does when I'm running.

And I always think that even though I've been running and I'm quite tired, that my assailant is probably out of shape, and I could still outrun them to the road and flag down a passing car for help.

One night last week I was coming out of Wal-Mart. There's been a rash of robberies in the Wal-Mart parking lot lately. So I started thinking, what if someone jumped me right now? What would I do?

I've always thought there's no way I would just hand my wallet over to a thief. That most are cowards who don't want to shoot anyone, so I'd make them fight for it. That's probably stupid. And I've probably seen one too many Jason Morgan escapes for my own good.

But still, I think things like, "I have my cell phone in my hand. If I hit them in the head with it, that'll probably knock them out." Would it? Who knows. But that's what I think about anyway.

And there you have it. A look inside my head. Something tells me I should spend more time pondering things like what I would say if I encountered a cute girl. I guess it all goes back to something I learned at the only boy scout meeting I ever attended. Be prepared.

Does anyone else ever think about such things?

"I was flying, just like a track star. Dying, nah, I ran through the back yard. Trying to get into my building..."


  1. I saw your town on the news this morning. Well not your town but the town close to you.

  2. Ummm, didn't Jason Morgan just get shot? I mean if that's how you want to end up, then that's cool. Just sayin'.

    I used to have the same thoughts when there was a sniper, like what the hell I would do if he (when we thought there was only one) just popped out of nowhere while I was pumping gas. My thoughts mostly involved screaming and dramatics. Which really isn't helpful.

  3. I think anyone who lives in a city does that. Just a tip. Don't throw your keys into the woods. Use them as a weapon! You grip them in your fist with one poking out through your pointer and middle finger. I use to walk to my car like this. I don't know if would actually work but I felt tougher.

  4. No, you're not the only one who does the survival guide inside my head...though you actually come up with a plan. I panic inside my head. It's just whatwouldIdowhatwouldIdo. Though I do have mace on my keychain and my hand is usually on it when I'm alone walking and I hear or see someone else.

  5. Has anybody bought you "The Worst Case Scenario?" Was thinking of buying it for my sister for her birthday

    I, personally, stopped thinking about worst cases five years ago. Though I too think my cell phone is a weapon as I do the makeup bag filled with lipsticks---it weighs at least a pound. Wouldn't work in your case.

    Actually I only think that I stopped thinking about worst cases. I have a plan for everything

  6. I think as a female, self defense tactics have been engrained in our heads since we were teenagers. So of course, we've thought of it. I don't think of it much anymore. I figure if someone attacks me, I'll be startled and they'll probably take what they want anyway. I am usually pretty alert when I'm out and about. I stay out of WalMart parking lots. When you're out running you don't wear earphones do you??? That's a big no-no to me. I hope if you do get attacked, she's fabulous looking with a great body and you'll just succumb.

  7. I think your previous commenters are right, all women think about the What If's of attacks all the time. I didn't know men did, though. :)
    You're very enlightening, and very funny, Bone.

    Just make sure you're really being attacked.
    I maced an undercover cop at a shady motel in Dallas after he followed me from our room down to the ice machine.

    Don't mace a cop.
    It's not a good thing.
    I'm here to tell ya.

  8. as a person who taught self-defense for 8 years, i'll tell you that whatever you think you might do in an attack situation may very well be the last thing that comes to mind in that moment. and that isn't a bad thing! adrenaline can really make us do things we never thought we were capable of- like outrun an attacker when we are fatigued or throw someone bigger than us off of us if they have us pinned down. you just never know but thinking out ideas is never a bad tactic.

    i wouldn't throw your keys though. they could come in handy later as a weapon! ;)

    i think through crazy attack/death scenarios all the time. i thought i was alone in that.

  9. Lindsy: Yeah, there was a school bus accident. Apparently, it made national news.

    Heather B: Didn't Jason Morgan just get shot? As if you weren't watching. Yes, he got shot. But he survived. So far.

    I dunno. Screaming would scare me off. I hate yelling.

    Lux Lisbon: I'll make a mental note of that. The car key is a weapon. Use it accordingly :)

    Chickadee: Well, I'm not sure any of my plans would work. But I'm pretty sure they would :)

    Pia: Yes, I never carry lipstick. 95% of the time, the most dangerous weapon on my person is my cell phone.

    Carnelian: LOL Obviously, there is a whole other set of rules if my attacker is an attractive female.

    Meghan: You maced a cop in Dallas? There's one for the autobiography. What is it with you girls and mace?

    Ms. Sizzle: OK, I won't throw my keys. But if my CD's get stolen...

    No, you're not alone. I think it all the time. Like what if a ruffian comes in at work and I suddenly hear shots or the secretary starts screaming. I've already thought out the best places to hide.

  10. It's like you have ESPN or something. :)

    I do exactly the same thing, and have my entire life. There was a period in my life when I did some stuff I'm not too proud of where it served me well to constantly be thinking four steps ahead. Now every time I walk into a restaurant or bar, I try to sit with my back to a wall so that I can scope the entire room. But I'm weird that way. Never know when a celebrity will park their butt behind me. :)

  11. Pee on them. That'd be my tactic.

    I think about this stuff too. I look for outs. Nick thinks I just walk around la-de-da all the time though. I notice more than he thinks though.

  12. last year, i went walking with my roomate a few times..and at one point i was joking that i felt like i could have been part of a "without a trace" episode if i had been know where you get a little of the background information on the person and then they just fade out into thin air? anyway...she told me if i ever feel scared or get attacked i was supposed to rip out my hair. you know and use it like hansel and gretel because dogs would smell it and follow it. now whether or not that's true, i'm unsure..but it makes me think about ripping out my hair everytime i'm in a dark scary walmart parking lot alone. was that as weird as it sounded in my head?!

  13. Um, maybe you shouldn't come to New York. ; )

  14. Big Man: Were you in the mob? Of course, if you were, you couldn't tell me, obviously. Big Man would be a decent mob name, I think.

    Lass: Glad to know I'm not alone. I wonder what percentage of the population thinks about such things. And what causes us to do so?

    Alison: Hmm. Do I smell... Pantene?

    It sounds like a viable plan. Let me also suggest that you try and claw and get some skin under your fingernails for DNA testing.

    Naj: Au contraire mon cher. I think my preparedness and obvious high level of street cred is all the more reason I should come :)

  15. Well first off, if running after dark on the track conjures such thoughts, maybe you should not do that. Just an idea :-)
    Secondly, I know you're a man and all, but carrying some pepper spray wouldn't be such a horrible idea, because if your cell is like mine, it's thin as hell, and not likely to hurt anything larger than an ant, which I had crawling in my car today...neither here nor there.
    Your thoughts are interesting though...watched any scary movies lately? ;-)

  16. Oh yeah... you are not the only one that thinks like this... hehehe!

    I think about, if the time is EVER right,... how I'll tell my boss to shove it! I dream about that day actually! :)

  17. "Do I smell... Pantene?"

    Yeah, it came in one of those junk mail things...

    I think we all think about outs. It helps to make us feel safer. I'm not so sure that it's all that helpful though. But I do keep my keys handy...just in case.

  18. At one time or another we think about the strangest of escapes... Too many Great Escape movies.. or maybe not enough..
    take care

  19. perhaps if your cell phone is most often your best weapon you should think about calling up zach morris and borrowing his..then atleast you have more of a club-type weapon..these days cell phones are so light and thin..

    ps. fulct

  20. All the time I do this. I know it comes from my inability to trust my fellow man, but considering what shape he's in lately, I think it's a wise decision.

    I like to sit with my back to the wall, no matter where I am. I'll survey the room I'm in, look for potential problems. Like, who in the restaurant is most likely to snap and do something crazy? Most times, it's me. Which I'm okay with.

    As for getting robbed in the parking lot; I'm going with keys to the soft part under the chin.

  21. Arlene: No, I haven't watched anything scary since, um, Jeepers Creepers a couple of weeks ago. And no pepper spray. I'm packin' Nokia, babee!

    Shayna: Good to know. There's normalcy in numbers :)

    Renee: Sigh. It warms my heart and makes me smile that you get almost all of my Seinfeld references :)

    East of Oregon: I was thinking it's probably partly due to watching too much TV or too many movies :) Thanks for stopping by.

    Alison: LOL Excellent idea. That thing would definitely do some harm. It was like an iron.

    Nick: That's an interesting thought. Perhaps it has more to do with the state of the world.

    I have a work key ring with like eleven keys on it. Maybe I should start carrying those all the time.

  22. Ha, that's good stuff. :)

    I think you've got it down pat what to do if you encounter a cute girl. Speaking of which... what happened to the counting kisses girl?