Tuesday, September 4, 2012


 (Pre-Script: The first part of my Pepper Spray adventure, simply titled "MACE"  was posted three posts ago, so if you feel like it, I recommend scrolling down and reading that post, then returning to read this post.  I will patiently wait here while you do that...)
Now that I have a pepper spray canister with which to run, I am learning the proper code of ethics while running with an obvious can of Pepper Spray in your hand.  (obvious because of the word MACE written down the strap on the outside of my hand in red, for instance.) By "I am learning," I really mean that I am making them up as I go along, based on my own ideas and the facial expressions of other people on the trail at the same time as me and my Pepper Spray. Before I had the pepper spray, I was on a semi-lazy mission to say "Hi" or "Good Morning" and smile from beneath my sun protective baseball cap to anyone I encountered on the trail.  By greeting people in such a way, I was (so I told myself) brightening their morning, possibly saying the one nice thing they heard all day, while simultaneously demonstrating that I was a person who was Aware Of Her Surroundings, probably more so than you would have guessed, what with my headphones and sunglasses on,  and was therefore not a very good candidate for victim hood on that particular morning. 
     Now that I run with "an armed weapon," as my husband says, I think that the best technique is to say "Good Morning" but leave out the smile.  Because to smile while obviously holding a small canister with a strap that very clearly in bold red letters had the word "MACE" written down it would look insane.  The message I am now conveying when I say "Good Morning" without a smile is that yes, I know I am carrying a canister of Pepper Spray, and yes, I am aware of my surroundings even with these technological trappings surrounding my head, but I have no intention to harm you, I still wish you well. Only this matter of running out in the wilderness is serious business, 'cause we've all heard the stories of the girl, and the mountain lion, and the stalker hiding out in the bushes, and the fill in the blank you name it, we have all heard that story, including me, so therefore I am packing heat, but in an obvious manner like I have nothing to hide, because I have nothing to hide, truly, I am not angry at the world, generally, but I am not unaware of it's schemes, sadly, and will only use my weapon of choice if I am so provoked as to need to use it, reluctantly. 
     I think this is a good strategy.
   Today on the trail, there was a young woman walking with her dog.  He was cute, but he definitely looked like he had at least part pit bull in him, and I am sure that the woman is used to her dog's appearance inciting fear in those around her.  I noticed that she said "Good Morning" to me in an almost reverent, guarded tone as I ran past her; it only occurred to me after I had passed her and her dog to remember that I was sporting the "MACE" strap.  And I thought, "I bet people are afraid of her dog; I bet she thinks that if she doesn't appear friendly that I might spray the dog."   but I had no intention of spraying the dog.  Or anyone else, for that matter.  Her dog seemed happy and peaceful and all like, "just going on a walk with my lady, nothing to see here, arf arf," and I respect those qualities in a dog. 

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