If I were living in a horror movie, I would be the first person to be killed. All of my friends would have to keep outrunning the murderer, powerless to save my now-mangled body, but also not surprised at the outcome. I hurt myself when I run and I often drop my keys upon arriving at the door. Plus, I constantly warn people to obey the rules at parties and wander off alone when I’m drunk. It makes sense I would be the first to go.
I don’t think about these gruesome outcomes to be macabre, I just try to be realistic about my chances in case of an attack. Know what your strengths are physically so you can utilize them if you’re ever in a dangerous situation. Some people run fast or have excellent balance. Other people can hide and that should be applauded just the same.
I have street smarts. I might be clumsy but I know when to sense something is wrong while I’m out at night. Creepy masked murderers sneaking in the bushes scare me far more than walking to a bar alone. Why? At home, your guard is off. On the streets, or the streetz as I call them, you should always be aware. Not necessarily alert, but at least aware.
Being aware doesn’t just mean locking your car doors when you’re in a bad neighborhood. It means paying attention to your surroundings and trusting your senses. Then again, I automatically lock my doors when any man, woman or child walks within six feet of my car regardless of the neighborhood. I wouldn’t want any stranger in my car, even if they weren’t dangerous and especially if they were a child.
If an attractive person of the opposite sex waltzed into my car I wouldn’t assume my life was turning into a Rom-Com, finally. In the real world, that’s either a prostitute or you are about to unwittingly be the getaway driver to some illegal activity. Get your Ryan Gosling sunglasses on cause you are about to Drive.
As a female comic, I lead what I call a “high-risk lifestyle.” It’s also how news sources refer to prostitutes and gay people, but I think it fits my profession and sexual orientation as well. It’s my job to go to bars by myself, wait around for hours hoping for cash and usually end up getting paid in drinks. Gay people just have sex a little differently.
I’ve considered buying a weapon to have with me when I’m alone and out at late-night shows or on the road. I had to consider the options: the revolver, the rope or the lead pipe.
For a while, I thought a small knife would be a good idea to carry on me. I think in a life or death situation my instincts would kick in and I could muster up enough adrenaline to stab someone. Not like a crazy Jodi Arias stab, but stab enough to be able to accurately brag that I had indeed “cut a bitch” before.
I’ve owned mace, the most common self-defense weapon of choice for women. Every time I took it out of my purse, I was just constantly terrified I was going to mace myself accidentally. Apparently, that is extremely painful, whether you do it with pepper spray or by over-listening to the ‘90s rapper. In a high-pressure, life-threatening situation I don’t think I would all of a sudden react immediately and be able to control my motor skills for the first time. Anger and strength I could see myself acquiring, but not precision and quick thinking with a spraying device.
I would never carry a gun. I know it’s “in” and even empowering for some women to own their own handgun; pink and pink camo seem to be popular choices. I’m not saying it’s wrong for every woman to own a handgun, just me because I’ve met me before. I can just imagine the ironic crime scene if I ever shot myself with my own pink gun. Which, with my physical reflexes, would be more than likely. If it were in a Rom-Com, maybe I’d even bleed pink blood and die in a quirky pose.
I consider myself an Urban Sherpa. I’ve lived in Harlem, worked in the French Quarter and have traveled to a handful of large cities around the world. I think it takes a certain skill to lead people to awesome dive bars without getting anyone lost, hurt or bored. Sometimes, you have to brave through a seedy neighborhood and that’s when you have to learn to trust your instincts.
Don’t be afraid if you ever get into a dangerous situation. People, like animals, can smell fear. Even if you’re scared, try to breathe through it and remain calm. Don’t be cocky or over confidant, but do stand your ground. I’ve gotten myself out of some tense situations by being unapologetic, forceful and sometimes relying on my awkward charm. I mean who else would curtsy to a mugger?