25 July 2008

Great Ideas

I was in Fry's (the giant electronics place) with Girl Child on Tuesday. Fry's has everything, including non-electronic stuff. In fact, they had a large bin of personal-size pepper spray near the checkout.

Abby, said Girl Child, can we get pepper spray? That would be cool!

I thought about it for a moment, and my poor judgement kicked in. Sure, I replied. But if your Dad disapproves, it's a no-go, and I personally think that before you guys can walk around with pepper spray, you'd have to try it on yourselves.

She cheerfully assented, I bought a couple of little cans, and didn't give it another thought. I figured the idea of trying it out had probably turned them off.

I was wrong.

Last night, they remembered. The Mister agreed that one should experience pepper spray before being allowed to carry it to the convenience store and back. He further expressed that as part of our adult obligation to lead from the front, pepper spray should be a family activity.

You can see how this all went down, can't you?

Number Two son volunteered to get hit first, followed by Girl Child. Then I sprayed the Mister, and, against the sound advice of the three of them, allowed Number One Son to give me a thorough spritzing.

You know, that stuff sucks. I've had my share (and possibly your share) of CS over the years, but this pepper spray is a little different. Less snot and gagging (really, almost none), but it provides a really effective burning sensation.

The only bit of wisdom any of us exhibited in this whole exercise was to hold it next to the pool.

It was probably about 20 minutes before we were opening our eyes. Number One Son, the only one of us smart enough pass on the experience, spent that time giggling and pointing out that we were maybe not the smartest family he could be a part of.

All in all, it was quite the family learning experience. By morning, it was already taking shape as a future Family Legend. Of course, the two kids who'd participated in the spraying were declaring themselves Morally Superior to their brother and all their peers.

Little masochists. We may have future Marines on our hands, if they persist in relishing Things That Suck.

As an aside, I'd heard good things about pepper spray. But at this point, I would be inclined to recommend it, particularly for walking in dog-infested areas.