From " Dear Thumper" in CapeCodToday.com
My daughter Krissy is going off to school this September, and it's her first time leaving home. She's very intelligent and mature, but it's natural for a parent to worry. She's taken an off-campus apartment in Boston, and the neighborhood she's in looks pretty rough.
I know that this is one of those stages in the parent/child relationship where I have to let her leave the nest, and I've resigned myself into letting her sink or swim on her own. The house will always be open to her, and she knows that she can call us for any thing, any time. We'll be less than an hour away.
Still, I don't want her waking up in the middle of the night as some big Mafia hood kicks down her door and carries her off to a child slavery ring operator, who will have her locked in a cage in Thailand somewhere, only letting her out to entertain groups of sailors for $4.54 American a day and a lunch of lukewarm rice that she'll be too sore to eat. A mother worries about stuff like that.
With that in mind, I'd still like to start her off on her own with as great an advantage as I can give her. What sort of things are simply Must-Have for a teenager out on her own for the first time? I'd like to cover the whole gauntlet, from simple things like "properly filling spice racks" to more complicated things like "repelling the intruder/rapist."
I'm sort of spoiled, so most of the punch bowl/silverware/curtain recommendations I make would be frivolous spending for an 18 year old. There's no need to buy her a set of highball glasses that she and her friends are only going to fill with beer and bounce quarters at.
Martha Stewart most likely has a site where you can find out what sort of salt-n-pepper shakers you should get her, and my kitchen isn't stylish enough for me to differ with Marty's opinions on interior design in a public forum.
Martha's show very rarely deals with matters of home security, which is sort of surprising for an ex-con. It's a big void, and one that must be filled to keep her show interesting to a modern audience. I can see it now... "Today we're knitting some nice security-camera covers that look like little ducks!"
While not wanting your daughter to be forcibly sodomized by some big Dominican burglar is universal, there is a very unexploited niche market in the realm of home security for teenage daughters out on their own.
- First off, you need to secure the door. Most city apartment doors are designed to be kicked in easily, so that a landlord and two detectives can get in quickly if need be. Your daughter will want a decorative door with a nice etched-glass window, but you know the world better than she does. She may as well open a McRapeme franchise with only a glass door between her and that guy from Saw II.
Which brings me to the good people at the Lasco International Group. The motto on their "armoured doors and window page" is "You need a door that can stop attacks ranging from sledgehammer blows to AK-47 blasts." These are the people I want protecting my daughter. http://www.lascointl.com/
A nice etched glass door- your daughter's side coated with Lasco's patented transparent glass/polycarbonate laminate that someone can stand 5 feet from and blaze away at with a .44 and not get through- puts a stylish-yet-functional accent on her first apartment. Your daughter's safety should be worth a lot more than $108/sq. foot, especially when that money will ward off close-range fire from an M-1 carbine.
Lasco also makes windows, and Dad will love their Handyman special for an armoured car that would make 50 Cent nod his head appreciatively. Lasco Intl Group - Do-it-Yourself Armoring Kits
You don't want to go too crazy at this store, because it's eventually cheaper to just pay the guy at the bank to let her sleep in the vault every night.
- She's gonna have to walk down the street at some point, and Lasco, to my knowledge, doesn't make a big, mobile safe. Still, there's no need to make it easy for some cult to snatch her off the street, brainwash her, and have her robbing banks to finance the Iraqi Resistance. That stuff makes the whole family look bad, and the people around town will be forever whispering critiques about your parenting skills behind your back.
There's no need for that, because Krissy can nip it all in the bud herself- while you watch Law And Order in blissful ignorance- if Daddy should only love her enough to spend a little paper at http://www.selfdefenseproducts.com/index.html.
Girls are smaller than men, and therefore more susceptible to a physical assault. We make up for it by being smarter, but there are many situations where brains matter very little. I can take all the karate I want... I'm 5 feet tall, and I'll be knocked onto my back in all but the most carefully choreographed circumstances in which I collide with a fully-grown man.
Self Defense Products help us equalize all that, and- if properly utilized- get your daughter home having tea with only a slight delay. You'd be surprised at how easily you can obtain military-level weaponryif you have the foresight to get yourself a post office box in New Hampshire.
Most people recommend pepper spray as a non-lethal sidearm weapon, and they aren't wrong to do so. Pepper spray is made from a concentrated mixture of the cayenne pepper hot sauce that Americans are so fond of wrecking their dinners with. It's a bad thing to get in the face, and will cool all but the most PCP-induced lustful advances.
I myself prefer their GuardAlaska bear repellent, which is an "invincible" mixture that has been tested for 6 years in America's own Great White North. Also composed of a cayenne pepper concentrate, this stuff shames the Mace products that only have 10% chemical by volume. Bear repellent packs a satisfying 20% whallop that will probably melt the face of the guy who attacks your daughter to the point where he'll have to go find an opera to haunt.
Now, there are some moral gymnastics that must be performed when using a pretty dangerous chemical- one only meant to repel a 9 foot grizzly bear- on a human being. Your daughter will inflict a cruel attack on her assailant that will most definitely scar him for what little life he has left. The way I look at it... once she's unraped, any leftovers are someone else's problem. Eff him.
A very reasonable $27.95, and it comes in a fancy carrying case that could fit easily on a belt or purse. It's about the size of an I-Pod.
If your daughter is more into wet work, there are many knives out there that a young lady can carry without looking like a Crip. A street-legal pen knife will take out an eye, and can be hers for only $12.95. Even cooler is J & L, Knives, Lipstick Knives. Stylish AND deadly.
No means No, although it can also mean Noooooooooo if your daughter manages to discharge a taser shot into her attacker's testicles with J&L's Z Force stun-gun. The $19.95 model is designed to fit into even the smallest of hands, and the 100,000 volt payoff will make a rhino stop in mid-stride and start twitching like Joe Cocker.
If you really love your daughter, you'll go with the $30 model that deals out 300,000 volts of righteous empowerment. They only require a 1.5 volt battery, and you'll need the New Hampster mailing address.
- If you have a lot of money to spend on accessories, why not hire a bodyguard for her? Trained to be unobtrusive, they are much sought after among today's teens as a status symbol. While a Secret Service-type might be a bit costly, you can hire from a bevy of paramilitary types for fees that are more than reasonable when viewed in light of someone maybe eviscerating your daughter.
You can go many different ways with a bodyguard. Ex-military guys are polite, know how to kill with their hands, and can get your daughter out of all but the most colossal foul-ups that teen girls get into. They also cost more than hanging around the neighborhood she lives in, finding out who runs the local organized crime racket, and paying him to make sure she's taken care of.
Unless her neighborhood is under the stewardship of a mere thug, the local boss will strike an honorable bargain that will have someone from the "family" in her doorway with a cocked pistol about 15 seconds after she raises her voice about anything.
- She's never really out of your sight if you can somehow hold her down long enough to surgically install a radio frequency tracking device into her shoulder. While she'll put up quite a struggle, she'll eventually come to appreciate that it is much less cumbersome than the ankle bracelet/dog collar radio tracking device.
- telephone voice changers are a lot of fun. Many pervs use the phone book as a sort of shopping list, calling any female name in the book until he hears a bubbly teenage voice on the answering machine saying the Wrong Things, a la "Hi, I'm not home alone right now, although I'll be helpless later this evening in my ground-level flat with the broken slider."
With this toy, she hits a switch, and can leave a message in Mr. T's voice. "Hey... I can't come to the phone right now... the pitbulls and I are out practicing with the assault rifle."
This strategy goes well when paired with the bodyguard, and will put off all but the most obsessed callers.
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