Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Plan of Personal Defense at High Crime Areas

Obviously I lied about writing tomorrow. Tomorrow was yesterday and I didn’t write. I’m writing today, which, though neither yesterday nor tomorrow at the moment, it would have been day-after-tomorrow at the time that I made that promise – which isn’t that far off target.

A few months ago, after years of research, Lindi and I got cell phones. We don’t use them much because we only got them for safety reasons and we keep forgetting we have them. Nor do we want to talk to each other every six minutes that we’re apart. If we did that, we’d have nothing to say the next time we saw each other.

If you want to remain attractive to someone, don't tell them about every tedious increment of your life as you move through the day. Most of it isn’t very interesting, such as: Hi, I just stopped by the corner store and got a snack; Hi, here I am at the post office buying stamps; Hi, now I’m waiting at the bus stop; Hey there, now I’m here in the coffee shop with Sam and we’re talking about the president.

Who's going to ask how your day was after all that? Snore! You've spent the day telling them how uninteresting your life is. Whereas, if you would just not call, by the end of the day you yourself will have forgotten about the small, mundane things and will only remember the good parts that are worth telling. If you spare them the minute-by-minute narration, they’re more likely to maintain the illusion that your life -- and by association, you -- is interesting. Now you might actually have something to talk about over dinner.

Getting back to my plan of defense at the gnarly Max stations: You guessed it – at the first hint of trouble I’m going to call the cops on my cell phone. But it’s not that simple, I’ve refined the plan further than that. I’m going to program my phone to call 911 at the press of a single button. I know cell phones can do that, and even regular phones can do it. I believe that’s called speed dialing, and I’ve never used it because I’m afraid it would remove any reason for my brain to hold on to anyone’s number in my head for me. But I’m going to do it with the 911 number, and then I’m going to practice snapping open my phone and calling it. I’m going to keep the phone in an outside coat pocket, with my hand already on it. I’ll have it positioned in a certain way so that I don’t have to figure out which way it goes like I normally do every time I use it.

Besides that plan, I’ve got something else in my favor that the other guy didn’t have, which is that I already know not to call out suggestions when I see people engaged in erroneous behavior. Having tried it out on my own family members for decades, I already recognize that to be a completely ineffective method of behavioral modification. But according to the baseball-bat victim’s sister, it seems that the man might have had words for these kids about mis-use of a crosswalk or something. It would never occur to me to offer that. Given that the caliber of people that he was addressing tend to respond especially poorly to such criticism, I think I’m starting out in a safer place than he was.

So. I’ll stand there confidently with my cell phone in hand, ready to call for help at the press of a single button. That’s my plan.


Post a Comment

<< Home