Where Can a Girl Find Some Pepper Spray?
Friday, October 06, 2006
In a lot of ways, I'm a really stupid person. I take chances that I shouldn't, and I'm not nearly as cautious as I need to be -- what with living in the city and all. In the past, I've always dismissed the idea of a certain neighborhood being more dangerous than another, reminding myself that rapes, murders, and carjackings (oh my!) happen in affluent/trendy areas of Chicago just as often as they do in the less popular/tony areas. Hell - in the month of August alone, there were 2 stabbings and a mugging just around the corner from my old apartment - not to mention the whole bloody puddle/foot/handprint situation in my building's courtyard. There are 4 registered sex offenders in the building next door! I'm no fool -- I know that even though rents are higher and sidewalks are greener, doesn't mean that there are't any nutjobs living up the street.

When I moved to my new place (a grittier downtown area - quieter at night), I told myself I would pick up a keychain pepper spray. I knew that 95% of the time, I'd be walking the dog at night by myself. I know I should always be on guard, but I have to admit that it's difficult. It's sort of like defensive driving - you know you should do it all the time, but that goes against human nature. We can't be "on" all the time, it's just too stressful. I can only spend so much time on a walk keeping track of exactly who is in front of me, exactly who is behind me, where is the nearest streetlight?, how quickly each person is walking, are they alone?, what direction are they going in?, etc. It's madness, but it's a necessary evil.

Until I can find some pepper spray somewhere, I figure I only have one option. Clearly, I need to practice my mean and intimidating looks so that all potential crazies will stay away from me and my attack dog. Here is a photo from last night's rehearsal in the creepy alley behind my building.

Maybe I'll just walk around like this to repel people, seeing as how I apparently don't have a neck in the photo. Awesome. I am so royally screwed.