Inspired by my poetess pal over at Unfettered BS, who made a To Do List for 2012 and succeeded in crossing off every item, I have decided to forego all resolutions this year and instead make a list of my own. I’m quite goal-oriented and thought it might be nice to try and achieve something that didn’t involve a cocktail shaker, heavy cream or a bail bondsman, just for a change. So I drew up my 2013 syllabus last week and am pleased to report significant progress on Item #2, Become a Badass.
Of course it would probably make sense to check off Item #1, Lose 20 Pounds before moving on to Item #2, but I’m thinking a little extra progress on the physical fitness front might result from the pursuit of a fiercer demeanor, so I’m forging ahead. Killing two birds with one karate CHOP, as it were.
My badassery is actually a two-point program: learn to ride a motorcycle (which will have to wait ’til spring) and learn to defend myself in case of attack. Now obviously, it is rare for assaults of any stripe to take place in my kitchen, on the checkout line of Trader Joe’s, or at Barney’s (other than during the annual warehouse sale, but I gave up trying to navigate that madness years ago); however, living in the city, as I do, there are risks, and I have come to the conclusion that my previous strategies for dealing with incidents of theft/aggression have been, at best, middling in their effectiveness.
My first encounter with lawlessness occurred around 1990 or so, during the Dinkins administration if memory serves. I was standing outside my door trying to extract my house key from a balky lock when one of the neighborhood hooligans, a junkie named Kenny I was later to learn, slipped through the front gate and swiped Mr. Slattern’s leather jacket, with his wallet in the pocket, from the top of the gym bag I was taking to him — long story.
Anywho, once I realized it was gone, I gave chase, whereupon the miscreant fled inside his house (yes, he was my neighbor) and peeked at me from the relative safety an upper floor window. Having determined that I could not yank, pull or kick his front door open, and unable to find a suitable battering ram, I settled instead for standing in the middle of the street, screaming and pointing while threatening him with acts so vicious in terms so violent I should probably have been arrested just for thinking about them. Honestly, I used language that would have made even Dave Grohl blush.
So long story short, we ended up getting the item back with the help of the local precinct. Mr. Slattern’s wallet was a bit lighter, but otherwise all was returned as stolen. Since then I have harbored fantasies of making citizen’s arrests, interceding on behalf of cowering crime victims and otherwise becoming a one woman tornado of vigilante righteousness, all with the secret objective of being allowed to hang out again in the precinct, my absolute favorite place on Earth. Really, I just love it there.
Recently, I had another local reprobate try, unsuccessfully, to steal my bag. This time I got to ride around in the back seat of a cruiser looking for him! We went the wrong way down one-way streets at excessive speeds, with the sirens blaring and the party lights flashing for almost 30 minutes before I was invited back to the station house to file a report. It was more fabulous than you can possibly imagine.
So all of this is by way of saying I am a big fan of law and order. And since I’m not getting any younger, it occurs to me that I may be becoming more of a target, which is why I decided to take a self defense class last weekend. Let me tell you, it was the most fun I have ever had in a situation that didn’t involve a bartender, and I highly recommend you all give it a whirl. For a full hour, we practiced strikes and stomps and screaming and kicking. Once that adrenaline starts pumping you feel like you’ve had about a gallon of coffee, half a dozen Boston Kreme donuts and a big old dose of steroids — a powerhouse of lethal force in tasteful pumps.
It was so much fun that I am going to start taking monthly “refresher” classes and am even contemplating martial arts training of some sort. Of course, anything that requires those ugly white jackets is completely out of the question, and I’m not even going to consider wearing elastic-waist canvas pants. Then there’s the shoe issue. Barefoot just doesn’t work for me. I mean you’d never have caught Angie Dickinson kicking a perp’s ass while shoeless. In ballet flats, maybe, but never barefoot.