At 55 years old, my oldest sister, S, is still ‘traffic-stopping hot’. She’s a size 4, has Loni Anderson hair, looks fantastic in leather pants and rides her own Harley. She is also hard-working, tenacious and very smart – having worked her way up from the secretarial pool to become the head of the IT department for a prestigious midwestern law firm – with no formal education beyond high school. Let’s overlook for the moment her taste in men…
Even with so much going for her, she has a near-crippling fear that she’ll be murdered, raped, skinned alive or otherwise assaulted. I didn’t realize how bad this was until we took a short trip together last year.
Since i own nothing but shitmobiles, we agreed to take her car. As we were leaving her house, she said “i just don’t feel safe. do you mind if i bring my gun?”
What? This mild-mannered woman, who lives in a safe, suburban neighborhood, has a ‘concealed carry’ permit? First i’d heard of it…
i said “it really isn’t necessary, we’ll only be on the road a couple hours”
“yeah, but it’s dark, and we’re two women traveling alone…”
“i travel alone in strange cities all the time – never give it a second thought! besides, it won’t be past 9 pm when we get there, and it’s interstate highway the whole way…”
i relented. she returned from her bedroom carying a gun bigger than her head – a .457 magnum. A Clint Eastwood-sized thug-eradication personal howitzer!
She wanted me to drive, since she was so nervous. i was probably more nervous since she was wearing the damn thing in a shoulder holster under her jacket.
But it wasn’t just the gun. At one point, i had to slam on the brakes. Out from under the drivers seat rolled a small baseball bat. i assumed this was also for safety, since midget baseball wasn’t among her hobbies.
Somehow, we survived the weekend and headed for home – encountering nothing more life-threatening than fast food hamburgers. As we approached her house, she needed to make a phone call, and asked to borrow my phone.
I realized for the first time that she didn’t own a mobile phone.
“Wait a minute! You’ve got a baseball bat under the seat, and are carrying enough firepower to overthrow a small country, but you don’t have a cell phone? In a probable crisis – let’s say car trouble, an accident or even witnessing a bank robbery – which item do you think is most likely to keep you from harm?”
have i mentioned this tendency toward ‘one bad damn decision after another?’