Re: RARA-AVIS: weapons of choice

Date: 13 Sep 2000

>Any other near misses out
>> there?
All right, I can't resist. When, you ask, could I ever?

Two or three years ago, main street of Livingstone in Zambia. Noticed a 20 year old lounger talking to a friend, saw him notice me (sweet old lady tourist carrying a big bag), saw him start a run in my direction, planted my back foot, bent my knees, lowered my leading shoulder, got the timing right, sent him flying through the air. He landed looking gobsmacked (a very satisfactory moment). I shook my finger at him and kept on going.

Walking several large dogs in local woods. Came upon wild-eyed man hassling two women with three very small children, telling them how somebody had just jumped out of the bushes and injected him with a drug, etc etc etc. Oh shit. They closed most of the mental hospitals over here a few years ago; it's called "care in the community". Quickly grabbed two of my sweet-natured animals (you know deerhounds? They wouldn't DREAM of biting a human being, though they might put forepaws on your shoulders as they lick your face.) by their collars, went up, and said, Come with me, I'll walk you down to the road. You'll be all right with me. I'm holding the dogs, they won't hurt you, just don't get too close to them, you'll be safe with me (and repeats of the theme all the way out to the entrance. Told him to wait there, went and called an ambulance.

Much longer ago, in my reckless days, hiking with husband through mountains in Papa Doc's Haiti. Local ton ton macoute lads turned up, all dark sunglasses and guns. This situation was NOT safe. Started chatting. (Quebecish French.) Didn't stop talking for an hour. Had armed escort all the way through the hills and back to the bus stop. Oh boy.

REAL weapon of choice: voice. I must be a woman.


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