Canon balls anyone?
We wanted to get a shot of this baby going off, but apparently that’s a no-no at the USS Constitution. OY.
I was recently told a story by someone very dear to me who was attacked in broad daylight and in public. Because this enraged me (for obvious reasons, not least of which was the lack of action by onlookers or witnesses), I’m going to spell out in very simple terms how to protect yourself and others if and when you are ever attacked or witness a mugging. NOTE: These tips can also be applied to various other acts of aggression (though recent events in Newtown, CT, Boston, MA and various other places come to mind, only some of these tips will help there, because you cannot always prevent sheer madness and evil).
I’m also spelling it out for you because it’s vital that WE become active participants to effect change ladies and gentlemen. Are you up to the task? I certainly hope so.
We can only do this by 1) PAYING F-ING ATTENTION to what is happening around us, and not turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to the situation, and by 2) GROWING A PAIR and DOING something… anything about it. PERIOD.
The person I know – I’ll call him KickAss – was minding his own damn business at a local bus stop in Culver City, California. Before you form an opinion of Culver City, let me paint a picture for you. It’s a town in West Los Angeles, and one of the last remaining vestiges where one can still find affordable housing (although even that has been changing rapidly, because it’s undergone gentrification recently). It is home to a large Entertainment Industry contingent and a film studio of note. As a result, there’s an enormous outcropping of boutiques, shops, chic restaurants, brew pubs and unique places to hang with friends. It’s a cute little town, though I am sure there are areas that are not as cute, and certainly not safe.
KickAss works in Culver City. He was jamming to music on his iPhone (the music was probably turned up to drown out the city noise), when he arrived at the bus stop to catch the 4:45 on a main thoroughfare to meet some friends after work. There were a number of people waiting for the bus, as it was the middle of the day. He noticed a couple of guys sitting on the wall nearby drinking, but didn’t think anything of it. The next thing he knew, one of them shoved him on the arm to get his attention and said something to the affect of “What’s the matter with you home? I asked you for a cigarette.” To which KickAss, a nice guy all around, replied “What? I didn’t know you were talking to me.”
I don’t want to provide inaccurate details here, but what ensued was a very quick escalation to an out-and-out street fight, with these TWO guys trying to take KickAss down. They had him on the ground and were trying to subdue him by any means, kicking, punching, climbing on top of him. One of them had already torn his new sunglasses from his face and put them in his pocket, and they were in the process of trying to take his backpack from him – which contained some very expensive work related equipment.
Let’s stop right here for a moment to peruse the scene to observe what various other onlookers were up to, shall we? There was a gal who in a somewhat aloof manner, simply walked away as fast as she could. There was another guy who ignored what was going on and did nothing. There were a few others there as well. All whom did NOTHING. LAME Good Samaritans.
The above image is NOT from the incident with KickAss. It’s just another sad example I was able to find.
I’m sorry, but what the F*CK where these spineless, unprincipled people DOING that precluded them (even in this digital age where EVERYONE has a cell phone) from at the very least dialing 9-1-1, reporting the incident and then saying out loud “The COPS ARE ON THEIR WAY!”? Was it the fear of the fight turning on them? Perhaps they didn’t care? Were they too busy Instagramming the scene, not wanting to miss the posting opportunity?
Lucky for KickAss, he is a KICKASS kinda guy, and he was able to overpower the dudes, kick one of them in the chest, punch and fight the other down, grab his sunglasses and run before the drunk schmucks knew what hit them.
This situation, my lovelies, makes me extremely embarrassed to say I am a human being (you can tweet this here). Not that all humans are like this all the time, but I must say, stories like this are more often the norm these days, and it is seriously disappointing and disconcerting.
What has become of us in this country – our great United States of America? We use to be the country everyone else in the world envied. The place many from other countries dreamed about…They dreamt of moving here and finding a way to become a citizen and making the American Dream a reality in their own lives. Why was this, do you think?
It must have been because of our countless reality stars who make millions in endorsements and appearance deals… Or maybe it’s how easy it is to get things free here without having to work… or maybe it’s the fact that you can make a living working from home.
Think again, lovelies. People loved America for the IDEAL… part of it was the welcoming, carefree, fun attitude that seemed prevalent. They were drawn to the belief (and the proof positive) that if you put your mind to it, anything was possible. They loved America for the high value we placed on INDIVIDUALS. For our freedoms, yes, but also for the camaraderie that came with the freedom. We had an extra sense of responsibility to our fellow man, and we backed it up. They loved how they were treated special at the neighborhood diner… how the waitress would greet them smiling and offer great service… sometimes even go above and beyond in serving them. They assumed it was because she too must be happy and proud to be a part of this great country which is so full of opportunities. Good ole (and I do mean ole, as in FORMER) Customer Service. It’s the reason we still tip our waitresses, bartenders, bell hops, etc.. here in the USA. But that is what our country use to be like.
Now… Not so much.
I literally said this the other day “I wonder if the reason other countries don’t tip, is because customer service has sucked in their countries for so long, they’ve not tipped for decades… because they too finally gave up?” I realize in other countries servers are paid higher wages, but what came first? Lack of service, and decline of tips, forcing restaurant owners to pay higher wages? Or the high wages were always the case? Huh…
But I digress.
I’m here for you, people! Let’s turn this around together shall we?
With this in mind… if you are ever in a public place with other people around and are either attacked, or you witness an attack:
#1 – UNPLUG YOUR EARBUDS WHEN YOU ARE IN PUBLIC SO YOU CAN HEAR WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND YOU.
I know it’s hard to fathom this, but when you are out in public, you are not in your own world (nor should you be). Be prepared to actually engage, look people in the eye and remain distraction-FREE. This is your chance to actually make some strides in one-to-one human contact! Besides… anyone who’s looking to make trouble will see you as an easier target if you are obviously connected and disengaged from what’s going on around you. Also, you may actually hear the fire truck sirens before stepping out in front of one in traffic. That’s always a bonus.
Listen, I am not an idiot. I know it is unlikely… that most people will not disconnect from their iPod, iPhone, Cell Phone, Blackberry or whatnot. I’m not saying to turn them off, I’m just saying you don’t need to be connected to it every second. But we’ve become a selfish, individualized culture. Everything in our scope and focus is geared toward making our lives easier, and customized to everything we want. And somewhere along the line we decided that every single thing must be reported to social media… that music, films, entertainment are the top priority — even over spending time TALKING with and LISTENING to friends — in person, or laughing and dancing, or enjoying the arts, in person – studying a REAL painting… at a MUSEUM… Well, the list goes on… but here’s a start: UNPLUG the earbuds when you’re in public. Re-Join civilization! And while we’re at it, let’s unplug when we are on the slopes skiing or snowboarding, and in other similar situations, unkay? (Couldn’t resist that one)…
#2 – BE ALERT & AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS & THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU. KEEP THIS MINDSET & FOLLOW IT: YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO CAREFUL
Anytime you are in public or anywhere there is a gathering of people, your position in or around those people is crucial. In a crowd, I tend to steer toward the perimeter if there are any characters at all questionable in the midst. Conversely, use the crowd to protect you, or act as a buffer, should you observe shady characters on the outskirts. This applies to things like subway stops, bus stops, events, concerts, etc. But anytime you are out in the general public, being alert and aware of your surroundings also means to know where you are, and to not put yourself into compromising situations. Know where the nearest gas station or convenience store is located. Think of life as one big airline flight. Know where your nearest exit is at all times, and use it if necessary.
This tip applies to everyone on a DAILY basis. If you see someone who looks even the tiniest bit suspicious, call the authorities. How much more safe would our world be if more people were willing to report strange situations?! I’ve done it before and I will do it again, if I ever have that familiar second thought of “gee… something wasn’t right there…” or “those guys look shady…” I’ve also been known to confront people on my own, (one time in my boxer pajamas in the middle of the night outside my home) which is not advisable… although I am a pretty hardcore badass, and will kick someone into the next block if ever threatened… But that is another story.
#3 – PLAY DEFENSE
I like to win. More games (as well as the games of life) are won when there is a great defense in place, believe it or not. It’s true you must actually make your move to get ahead, which is where OFFENSE comes into play (scoring baskets, goals, touch downs, better jobs, new cars, etc). But in the context of subduing or avoiding a mugger (or other offensive) we must talk DEFENSE people.
I’d LOVE to say your life is going to be up to your eyeballs in of all kinds of success, that you’re going to “score” every time you shoot, but that’s not the way of the world people. So in order to really win, you’ve got to add a winning defensive strategy to your lifetime plans. That’s why they say in sports “defense wins championships.” You can’t account for everything someone else is going to do, but you should learn to anticipate moves and learn to control how you handle things to effect the outcome.
How do you do this when trying to subdue or avoid a mugger? If you’re trying to subdue a mugger, well, you have to DEFEND yourself anyway you can. FIGHT PEOPLE! Kick, swing, punch, scream. I don’t care how you do it, but FIGHT DAMMIT. We’ve all seen the news footage of the guy who tried to abduct a little girl, but because she fought her little heart out, he gave up (see that footage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV16a6GsfZw). As is the case with KickAss, FIGHTING is sometimes all you can do to subdue your attackers.
If you want to AVOID a mugger, well, take all the steps above, mix them together with this step, and you’ve got the makings for a good defensive strategy. There are other things you can do, such as: a) don’t go into dangerous looking areas alone; b) don’t go to those places at NIGHT, especially; c) walk confidently, hold your head high, and when suspicious strangers are on approach, do what you can to avoid them (go into a nearby restaurant, bar, etc.); and d) don’t be afraid to ASK for help. I don’t believe KickAss had a chance to ask for help. But if you are walking alone, look for potential helpful businesses or individuals, and ASK.
Finally, the best defense is a FREAKING SMART defense. Don’t make stupid moves or decisions you’ll regret. Ladies, don’t go out in public half naked and alone, where you don’t know the crowd, and wonder why you feel vulnerable… But let’s say you find yourself out, you’re in your skimpy workout clothes and it gets late and dark, and you must walk to your car alone. If someone at your gym or wherever you are can’t walk you to your car, call a friend and let them know where you are. Grab your big-ass set of keys (most ladies have them), put them in your hand. Put each key between your fingers, and make a fist. Then be prepared to use those keys as a weapon if you need to. Just sayin’. And don’t be afraid to hit your assailant where it hurts — HARD.
#4 – BE A HUMAN
This is for you folks who sit on the sidelines and don’t get bothered when you see injustice. Maybe you do get bothered, but not enough to actually do anything. If this is you, I don’t care what your excuse, you do not deserve to be among us.
It is not okay to do nothing. Period. I don’t CARE if you do not know the person being mugged. If you are witness to an attack or attempted attack, make a phone call, send someone for help, get others around you to help… do SOMETHING… ANYTHING (even if that means tripping the mugger, and running away… I don’t care). Otherwise, please leave us now, would you? Because being a human has its privileges, and you’re making us look bad.
#5 – HAVE CHOCOLATE ON YOU AT ALL TIMES (IF NOT VODKA).
If all else fails, and in true Ms. Cheevious fashion… offer chocolate… or better yet, vodka. I’m kidding. Sort of. Go with me here. The truth is, there is a very popular concept that’s actually a verse in the holy Bible, and it goes like this: “A soft answer turns away wrath.” Proverbs 15:1. I’m not a Bible wielding kind of person, but I always remember this because in truth, if you are ever under attack, the absolute best thing you can do, specifically if you are alone in a dark alley, or some place without witnesses, is to NOT defend yourself (that’s what the experts all say). Defending yourself can often make your assailant more aggressive. While I’m OBVI not saying to GIVE your attacker chocolate or vodka… I’m telling you there is a case for not defending yourself. Whether that means going limp and extremely “submissive,” as many times these people simply want to dominate someone… well, that is up to you.
I’m no expert on any of this… and let’s not let the main premise of this article escape us – which is for all of us to STAND UP for what’s right and DO SOMETHING if we see injustice. Capisce?
Let’s put the nail in the coffin on lackluster responses over violence or a threat that frightens us. Let’s put a red hot poker into the nerve of this desensitized approach. Remember we are all in this together, but at the same time, it’s all up to each and every one of you.
Now go out there and kick some ass… unkay?
Love you people!!!!! Mmmmppphhhuuuuhhhh!!!
aka Lisa Jey Davis
Editor in [Mis]Chief
Register to receive these weekly blog posts via email on the upper right corner of any page on Ms. Cheevious.
Be sure to confirm when you receive your verification email!
FOLLOW MS. CHEEVIOUS IN ALL OF THESE GREAT PLACES:
I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY HELP YOU CAN GIVE ON THESE! MWAH!!!
Get your copy of my yoga routine “Ahhhhhh…Haaaaaa Moments with Ms. Cheevious” for a buck-ninety-nine!
Click the image:
Check out the Ms. Cheevious boutique on Zazzle:
ASK MS. CHEEVIOUS
Have a question that is burning a hole in your brain about Ms. Cheevious…anything she does, her work, the book…life in general… or you want advice about a very important matter – go to our contact page & ASK AWAY.
Your question may be featured in an Ask Ms. Cheevious video segment!
WE WOULD LOVE TO REVIEW YOUR TECHY PRODUCTS IN MS. CHEEVIOUS’ TECHNO-BABE MOMENTS! GOT ONE?
All Blog content copyright 2013, LISA JEY DAVIS aka Ms. Cheevious
Before you dive in, let me first say, this article is not about our wonderful troops – incredible as they are, and so worthy of remembering and honoring. This post will aim to go much deeper, and hopefully turn your eyes, your mind and your heart toward home — toward the people you’ve lost or simply lost touch with, whether they’ve served our country or not. It will make an effort to turn your thoughts toward connections, which, though sometimes cut off or broken, should never be forgotten.
That said, let’s not forget on this Memorial Day in the United States, why it was was established in the first place: as a special day to remember those who’ve died in our nation’s service.
One can sense the lack of enthusiasm for this as you travel west from the cradle of our nation’s birth (near Boston), and continue as far as the land of the Wild Wild West and the Cradle of our Nation’s Gold Rush. It seems that if a person has grown up in a state that lacks the monuments for the Revolutionary War or the Civil War history, they’re less likely to feel a deep sense of tradition or responsibility to acknowledge those who were tortured, shredded by shrapnel or torn by explosions while serving our country. Even though many did this out of passion for a belief, and to accomplish what they truly felt was DAMN RIGHT on behalf of our country and our people, it’s not something people truly remember or feel something for these days.
I’m not sure WHAT it takes to rally the passions (and actions to back it up) among us these days. And if you point me to Occupy Wallstreet I will hurl.
Also, if you ask people to participate in your reality or comedy series, or a flash mob you’ve got game. Talk to them about devoting their life to ANYTHING and you lose them before you can squeak out “devo…”
I’m sure this doesn’t apply to everyone, but it’s prevalent. Why do you think Occupy Wallstreet was met with such mixed response? Scratch that. Don’t answer that. We’re not going there today. Let’s get back to the crux of this piece…
This article is about you and me. It’s about the connections we’ve made with very important people in our lives, or along the way in our journeys. It’s about not allowing those memories of people who impacted us to simply sit or fade away.
I love Memorial Day for the depth it can carry. While many people in the U.S. are grilling, socializing and reveling in the fun of the long holiday weekend, I think it is also important to realize the reason we are on holiday.
This Memorial Day I wish to remember people I call heroes in my world.
1) My dad, otherwise known as Orville Joe Sherwood, or Papa Joe to his grandkids is my hero. He is first here on the list because though he didn’t die in our nation’s service, he served for a full lifetime as an enlisted man, and left the Navy as Chief Petty Officer when he retired. He is a hero because he was the net that surrounded and supported my mom and kept all eleven of us kids in line when we needed it most. I miss him when I see things happen now in our family that should never happen. I have to ask if he’d been around longer than his short 65 years, would things be different? Though I’m not sure, I seem to think so. He is a HERO to me and all of my family, as well as many of his best friends who remembered him well throughout his life. He was the happy-go-lucky man who was a wonderful compliment to his wife – my mom. My dad smoked cigarettes, and suffered for years through Emphysema and heart disease before he was killed by a cancer none of us knew even existed. He passed away in March of 1988.
2) My mother Nereide Francis Padalino Sherwood is my hero, God bless the woman. She (like dad) was raised during the Great Depression in a single parent home. This made for one TOUGH woman. But she held to the love of her life – the Catholic Church – with all its rules and regulations, and despite the trends of the day, kept getting pregnant and HAVING all those kids. THANK GOD, because I am number TEN of ELEVEN kids she had. I’m sure she THANKED GOD as well, because I was her favorite. Yep. I said that. But the thing that makes my mom a hero is her attitude. My mom was the one who made all of us feel as though we could and WOULD accomplish anything we put our minds to. If we wanted something all we needed to do was work toward it to make it happen. There was never a question in her mind, and subsequently in my mind. She is also the one who laughed at herself and at life. She taught us to laugh at the same things. So of course, we all laughed at her, and then, yes, we laughed at ourselves. A classic line my mom is remembered for, which busted up (for some, to the point of tears), all who were present: “Ohhhh! What a BONER!” She MEANT to say ‘what a bummer’, and we knew it but we CRACKED up and never let her live it down. She laughed at herself then too. She was Lucille Ball incarnate, and I like to think that I follow in her footsteps in that regard. It’s my badge of honor.
3) My beautiful, vibrant and larger than life sister Mimi – or Mary Louise Sherwood Larimore (also known as Maven in Ms. Cheevious-land). She was the sister who was closest in age to me, so of course she is my hero. Had she never come home from shopping with her girlfriends in eighth grade, having spent her allowance to buy me a Donny Osmond album, it wouldn’t have mattered. I idolized her anyway. But she did that, and I was forever in awe. On top of her good heart and incredibly hilarious wit, she was the one in the family who could cut through all the bullshit and called a spade a spade. PERIOD. No harm, no foul. If you heard the wrath of Mimi it was because you probably deserved it. On the flip side, if she unleashed on you in error she was the first to inform everyone she’d made the error and ask for forgiveness. She was REAL, FUNNY, BOLD and COURAGEOUS. She took each of those intense qualities with her to the grave when she lost her 7 year battle with Ovarian Cancer. She is my all-time hero. I loved her and the wound is still open and raw, but I remember her and I never want to forget.
Who is it for you? Who are the people in your world who you’d like to remember? Perhaps it’s someone who is still alive, but you’ve lost touch. Whatever the case, I encourage you to spend a few minutes on this Memorial Day to put some thought and purpose into the holiday – after you’ve had your fun, if necessary. It is so important to remember those people that have elicited change or at minimum, thoughtfulness in our lives. It is the ultimate show of respect to think of them today, and if they are alive, perhaps even let them know you thought of them in such a way.
Enjoy your day everyone! Tune in next time for something truly amazing.
Love you people!!!!! Mmmmppphhhuuuhhhh!!!!
Register to receive my blog posts via email on the Ms. Cheevious Home page. Be sure to confirm when you receive your verification email!
BECOME ONE OF MY MANY FOLLOWERS (MWAH HA HA HA) IN ALL OF THESE GREAT PLACES:
All Blog content copyright 2012, LISA JEY DAVIS aka Ms. Cheevious