If there's one thing I have absolutely no firsthand experience or specialist knowledge of... it's armed combat. Unless you count when my sister and I used to have light saber battles with rolled up tubes of shiny wrapping paper, and I'm guessing you probably shouldn't.
The closest I have ever come to brandishing a weapon was when some of the boys in metalwork class clandestinely fashioned "ninja" throwing stars from offcuts of tin and I had a go at throwing one at a bit of wood. That bit of ply certainly had it coming but it wasn't going to have justice meted out by someone with as little precision (or malice) as me.
Still, half a lifetime of John Woo movies has at least given me the ability to recognise a weapon when I see one... or has it? Because if this report of a burglary in the Christchurch suburb of Wainoni is anything to go by I have been woefully underestimating the offensive capacity of household objects.
Allegedly a man used a bicycle rack and a blender as weapons during the burglary wounding another man in the process. Presumably he went home afterwards and whipped up a batch of scones using nun-chucks and a rotary hoe.
Now, I'm sure it's no fun being attacked with a bicycle rack or a blender but wonder if it's just a bit less scary than being attacked with a chainsaw or a really big knife. To be honest, I'm not keen to find out for myself though and am now imagining myself terrorising the Silver Fox by chasing him around the house with our stick blender screaming "DON'T MAKE ME PULSE YOU, MAN!"
Ah, good times.
Obviously robbing and assaulting people no matter how you do it is not on but I do find myself admiring the MacGyveresque "make do with what you have" approach employed here. This appeals to my "what would I do in case of zombie attack" emergency planning proclivities.
As someone who enjoys a bit of catastrophising and negative visualisation the thought "where is my nearest weapon?" is never too far from the front of my mind. I'm just not sure that the baby's nail scissors, which happen to be my nearest option at this moment, are going to *ahem* cut it.
Looking around me, my next best options are, in order of effectiveness:
- The expensive ballpoint pen that the SF bought me as a gift. With its metal casing it's reasonably stabby.
- The SF's laptop... but I wouldn't survive long because he'd kill me.
- An old rotary dial phone. Because smaller, lighter technology just can't knock Tim Robbins' teeth out of his head.
- Electric guitar. Reasonably weighty, it would be good for at least one blow. The ukulele is closer but a good deal less intimidating.
- Firewood makes a good projectile, right?
- Many, many bottles of booze and a box of matches. Not ideal because I'd rather my house not burn down.
- It's unlikely I'd have the wherewithal to strangle someone with the straps of a Baby Bjorn infant carrier but you never know...
Sadly we do not have a cat that I can throw at someone but certainly I'm not short of creative weaponry, even without a feline projectile to hand.
But how would you fare? Look around you right now. Where are your nearest sharp stabby things or heavy blunt objects? Is your office cubicle just a threat away from being fully weaponised or are your self defense options scant? If push came to shove could that stapler be your salvation?