As fiction writers, we spend an inordinate amount of time plopping our characters into and getting them out of terrible situations. Today, we need to take a little time to mentally place ourselves in harms way and ask, “What are you going to do?”
Remember the good-ole’ day, when the only place you had to look for the Boogeyman was your backseat. Well, the son-of-a-gun is everywhere now. Turn on the news and you’ll know it’s true. Even the most innocent places can’t escape his wrath. Some days the outside world seems so cruel you may second guess the necessity of a grocery store run. Isn’t it sad?
But, we don’t want to spend our day in a huddled ball of sloppy tears. Here are a few tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Be Aware – Make eye contact and know who is around you at ALL times. Elevators, parking lots, restrooms, right outside you car or home are some of your most vulnerable places. Make that phone call after you’re locked inside your car with the engine revving and your seatbelt on.
- (Bonus – non-Boogeyman related!) Wear Seat-Belt – It has personally saved my LIFE twice. It takes less than ten seconds to accomplish. Place children in age/size appropriate safety seats with the straps PROPERLY secured. They don’t help much, if they’re not installed and worn correctly.
- No Possession is Worth Your Life – Throw it away from you and RUN the opposite direction.
- Walk Like a Bad A** – Criminals look for opportunities. Distracted, insecure, and lone people make the best victims. Puff that chest out and channel Wolverine, the next time you’re “alone” in a parking lot.
- Fight Like a Five Year Old with Rabies – Wriggle, scream, “NO!”, claw, pinch, bite, kick, and DON’T STOP! You may not be a prize fighter, but if you TRY, odds are you can get away. Forget the family jewels, unless they’re easily accessible. Think; throat, eyes, nose, foot (takes less than five pounds of pressure to break). Make it a point to take a self-defense class annually.
- Lock Your Doors! This isn’t Mayberry.
- The Boogeyman is in Your Computer – Here’s a link with helpful tech tips to ward him off.
- Wash Your Hands – Ward off the boogies, man. More people die from communicable diseases than all muggings, car-jackings, and outright murders put together.
- Vary Your Routine – Never habitually run/walk the same route.
- Light-Up the Outside of Your House Like Christmas – Don’t give them a dark place to hide. Take your garbage out in the daylight.
Don’t be afraid of your neighbor. Mostly, they are kind people, much like you. ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR NEIGHBOR.
Megan Mitcham, Author