Friday, October 8, 2021

Anything Can be a Weapon

 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?


  1. Situtational awareness. It's a thing! And you haz it. Yay!

    A couple of true stories. I've taught seld-defense classes or woemn with various police departments. I CAN kill and/or main someone with a pen, pencil or nail file. Stillittos? Theere's a reason both the knife and the shoes have the same name*. Most people, especially women, have no clue how to throw a punch but they know how to scratch with their nailes. Keys between fingers become effective Wolverine/Freddy Krueger claws. Hit their upper lip/nostril base with the heel of your hand in a hard uppercut. If you're lucky, you'll drive a nasel bone into their brain.

    *True story: I was called to an ER because one of my participants had been attacked in the parking lot of a popular nightclub. She was wearing a very expensive pair of high heels and took them off to run. She had a clutch purse, which she'd dropped. The guy caught her around the waist and she instinctiving used one shoe to pound at him over her shoulder. She managed to connect with his eye. I was called in because she was all freaked out because the ER docs couldn't save his eye. I convinced her that it was his fault and after several counseling sessions with the department's victim's psychologist, the gal was fine. I got a dozen rosed from her a couple of weeks later.

    I always carry a purse with a shoulder strap. It makes a very effective weapon--either swinging it to keep the attacker back or by pummeling him/her with it. True story: I once knocked out my police partner during a demonstration. I had a hardback book in my purse and he didn't duck back in time. I clobbered him upside the head. He was out about 5 minutes. Effective demonstration, and I gave him first aid while waiting on the ambulance and continuing the lecture. "The moral of this story? Be a reader and once your attacker is down, run like the wind." The little old ladies loved it. The cop? Not so much. He caught a lot of ribbing from the guys. Luckily, we remained friends and I always removed any "heavy" books in my bag before the demo.

    The whole point it to give yourself time for help to arrive and/or drive off the attacker. Most are crimes of opportunity and if it's too hard to take you down, they'll take off. Also, scream. And if they ever get you down, stick a finger down your throat and gag. Vomiting is even better. Dudes usually freak at that, even the most determined attacker.

    As I said at the top: situtation awareness. I LOVE Jackie Chan movies because he is the master of if. As for that jerk on FB, like so many blowhards over there, he has no real-life clue.

    Also, happy Friday! I'm drinking coffee and waiting for the sun to come up. I don't know why I'm waiting for the sun to come up, but I am. 🤣

  2. Awesome advice and stories! I never heard the vomit thing, but it makes a lot of sense. Yay for the gal who stabbed her attacker in the eye. Sorry she had to feel bad about it, though. Dude deserved it.

    My dad taught me the 'heel of your hand to the nose' thing when I was young. He taught me another thing that I can't explain well, but it has to do with using their own shirt to take out their windpipe. (With a caution to never use it unless I had to.) Dad never taught us girls how to use guns, but he tried to teach us to protect ourselves other ways.

  3. An interesting topic!

    I've been thinking on your question for a couple of hours, and the only "new" weapon I can come up with is throwing sand in your attacker's eyes. I started out with dirt, but most dirt won't travel far enough.