Rehearsing for a Mugging

What would I do if a stranger demanded my money and my cell phone?  Order my guide dog to “Quit wagging that tail and look fierce?”  Beg and pray?  Flail away with errant crotch kicks?  I ponder these questions because, being a blind person, am I an easy mark? Or shall I put my faith in the kindness of criminals?  I pose these questions not to add to our pervasive culture of fear.  Rather, I endorse the motto, “Be Prepared.”

Deterrence is preparedness.  Cruising the urban landscape with a big black dog may appear a street crime deterrent, but Randy’s primary threat is drooling on peoples’ shoes. Self-defense can be a tactic.  One blind fellow in Philadelphia learned martial arts and flipped a mugger so effectively that he broke his neck.  But manslaughter — mine or the assailant’s — is too extreme. And don’t mention any “Blind Conceal and Carry” silliness.

Perhaps self-knowledge is the better deterrent. I recognize I am capable of outrage.  On bad days, when disrespected as a blind pedestrian, I scowl and hurl verbal zingers.  And while I have found a voice as a blind person, I need to know when to keep my mouth shut.  If confronted by a street criminal, my outrage might boil over into an impulsive physical response. That I would lash out is tempting, even cathartic, and it satisfies my sense of outrage at being victimized.  But self-preservation trumps. I can feel outrage at being mistreated, but it’s best expressed in this medium rather than on the street.

I am fortunate that street crime etiquette has remained hypothetical.  I feel safe out there.  I feel confident and at ease and that’s what I wish to project.  But I also want to be prepared without expecting the worst or skewing the Law of Attraction toward negative outcomes.  So, when a stranger says, “That’s a big guard dog you got there,” I’ll just nod and say, “Yup, Brutus is one mean mutt.”

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