Up in arms over security

In today’s warped society, how does one effectively protect himself or herself or themselves or selves in general from those bent on infringing upon our safety? Besides bodily harm we need to protect our family, our property and even our identities.

I speak from experience here. In school a kid once said he was going to kick my butt, but the joke was on him. He battered and bruised every part of my body except my butt. Same when someone once told me at a party to put up my dukes. Being inebriated at the time, I thought he said pukes, which soon sent the bully dashing home for a clothing change.

But the biggest problem that’s vexed me since my teenage years comes from attacks by cheerleaders. Even to this day the pom-pomettes constantly attempt to jump into my car at intersections or break through a door of my home to get at me. Countermeasures such as dyeing my hair gray, penciling in wrinkles and riding an electric grocery cart at the supermarket doesn’t deter them in the least.

On top of that, there’s quite obviously a peeping Tom – or in my case, a peeping Sally – in our neighborhood. What else could account for all the e-mails I receive every day from sources other than my wife recommending a variety of unmentionable treatments?

In the face of being assaulted, an effective defense is to play the fool because a hoodlum will likely stay clear of the addled. Stare him in the eyes, hold his hand and loudly sing, “You’re 16, you’re beautiful, and you’re mine.” If that doesn’t send him scurrying away, pull out a nose hair and scream, “It’s about time you showed up – I’m a financial planner so let’s get started by looking over your insurance policies.” If all else fails, remove all doubt about your insanity by exclaiming, “The Bucs are going to win the Super Bowl this year.”

Electric zappers aren’t the answer either. You know what I’m talking about – those handheld devices that shoot electricity from one probe to the other. The idea is to press the “on” button prior to touching the attacker with the probes. That’s good in theory, but I tried it once and in a panic set off the device while still in my pants pocket. I respectfully decline to describe the location of the two singed holes on my person.

You can’t even trust guests in your home. Unable to locate a medicine bottle containing Codeine, I asked my visiting friend if he’d seen it. “No,” he answered, “but last night I was attacked by a pterodactyl in my bedroom.”

Let’s not ignore Internet security either, especially when it comes to dating. When I was single I once connected with a woman on Match.com. Even though she lived in Jacksonville, I was intrigued with the chain of messages we exchanged. Our ensuing phone discussion became very intimate and I agreed to spend the upcoming weekend with her. But then she confessed that she actually weighed three times that of her profile picture.

I was furious at the deception, and although I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, how could anyone expect me to be so hard up as to drive 250 miles to romance a 300-pound woman?

By the way, should you ever be traveling to Jacksonville, the fastest route is to take I-4 east to Daytona Beach and then swing north on I-95.

Doug Kelly, a resident of Clearwater, is a book author and successful freelance writer who’s worked on the editorial staffs of state and national magazines. He’s a member of several media organizations as well as the Society of American Travel Writers.

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