On FB the other day, I saw people arguing about whether or not keys were an effective weapon against assault. You know the idea, I hope... Hold your keys with the points sticking out between your fingers and if you're assaulted, go for their face. One dude was totally against it, saying you'd be better off going barehanded than with your keys because the keys could mangle your hands. P'shaw. I'd rather chance hurting my hands to inflict maximum damage on my attacker than not.
But the thread got me thinking... In fiction, and in real life, anything can be a weapon if you're sufficiently motivated. In the movie Die Hard II, John McClain kills an attacker with an icicle. In The Presidio, Sean McConnery's character beats a guy up using only his thumb. In Grosse Pointe Blank, the MC killed a dude with a pen.
There's a reason jails make people get rid of their keys, pens, belts, etc. before entering. Hell, prison shanks are made from damn near everything. Sharpen a toothbrush and there ya go.
My aunt once stabbed her husband with a fork. Not to kill him, mind you, but to keep him from eating the last piece of pie.
When I'm out alone at the lake, I make note of the various things within reach I could use to defend myself if need be. I have a nasty fillet knife in my tackle box. I have another nasty knife in my go-bag that I sometimes transfer to my pocket. And I trained myself to be able to pull it out and flip it open one-handed. I also carry pepper-spray. I might not always be able to reach those, though. So I look elsewhere. Any rock or stick will do. Hell, at the end of the book Red Dragon, the MCs wife hits the killer with a fishing pole - complete with lures at the end. If you've never accidentally stuck a fish hook in your hand, you don't know what exquisite pain that can be. In that case, the pain was sufficient to distract the killer and allow time for someone else to kill him. Yay.
If it's pointy, a person can be stabbed with it. If it's heavy, a person can be pummeled with it. If it's sharp, they can be cut. In Red 2, the Asian assassin kills a guy with origami, for petesakes. Who says paper can't be a weapon? LOL
The idea isn't necessarily to kill the other person. Especially in a self-defense situation. The idea might be as simple as giving yourself or your characters a chance to get away. Stab the villain in the face with your nail file and run like hell. Scratch them with your car keys. Poke them with your stiletto heel. Hit them with your purse full of whatever. (In 101 Dalmations (the live action one with Glen Close), the heroine's purse was filled with stones she was collecting to pave her garden walk.)
Expand your idea of what can be a weapon and use it to enrich your fiction. Or save your own life. Whatever works for you.
What are some other unusual weapons you seen or read about?