Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pepper Spray: A Subtle Message to Potential Creeps

Last night I had to work a couple hours late, and then I was starving for dinner, so I didn’t get around to running until after it got dark. Have you noticed, by the way, that it’s getting dark earlier? Waaaah!

Anyway, I decided to take my pepper spray along. I feel completely safe in my neighborhood, but that’s what I have it for right?

My spray canister came with a Velcro strap that wears comfortably around my hand so that the can sits right in my palm. Easy access for a quick defensive shot, but I can still use my fingers to start my stopwatch, grab my water bottle, etc.

So I was running along with pretty much no one around for most of the run. Then, a man approached from behind me on his bike and politely said excuse me. I assumed he was just going to pass me, so I moved over waiting for him to go by. But he got closer and asked me a question. I couldn’t understand him since my ears were facing ahead and his voice was coming from behind, so I stopped and let him catch up.

Apparently, he was just looking for directions, so I helped him out.

After he took off, I realized that I had unconsciously scratched my forehead while thinking about his directions request with the hand that had the pepper spray strapped to it. Kind of like I was subtly saying, “Hey buddy. I’ll help you out, but keep in mind that I will cause you excruciating pain if you mess with me!” He looked anxious talking to me and eager to get on his way. Maybe he was late to meet someone. Or maybe he didn’t want hot pepper juice in his eyes. Hard to say.


  1. I just had a conversation about mace with my Husband. The other night, at about dusk, I went out for my run. I generally feel safe in my neighborhood; in fact I've never carried anything with me. Anyway, I crossed the road and had to run about 25 ft before I made my turn. I was running against the traffic, as I should be. Evidently, this van wasn't happy with me. He, in fact, swerved in to make it look like he wanted to hit me. I jumped on to the grass and turned my corner and continued on the sidewalk. All of a sudden, he comes donw my street, past me, and sits in a driveway. As I get closer he backs out and comes S-L-O-W-L-Y past me again. Then revs his engine. The stops. I was just a few tenths of a mile from home, but it scared the snot out of me. I thought he was going to turn around and follow me home! I don't think I've ever run so fast, ever! Be safe out there!!

  2. @Donna - That's scary! I'm glad you made it home OK. I often take mental note of where the people are - shopping centers, houses with lights on, etc. - in case I need "backup" so to speak. If I can escape someone scary to one of those places where I'm not alone, they probably won't bother me.

  3. yipes, donna! that's super creepy! i would've gotten his license plate number and reported it to the police. or taken out my phone and snapped a picture of his plate so he knew i knew he was being creepy. and then run like hell home. stay safe out there, ladies!

  4. I hope you all carry a very loud whistle. The more noise you can make, the better.

  5. Gosh Donna what a freak, that would have gotten anyone nervouse. Some people have no limits.