1.81 Kilograms Of Sugar - 10.12.98

I'm not sure that most people realize the defense value that a four-pound bag of sugar holds. I certainly didn't until just the other night when I was walking back from the local grocery store with one in tow.

Granted, I don't live in the worst neighborhood in town, but there are some character types I'd rather steer clear of after about 9 o clock in the evening when the sun has set and I'm walking down a block that isn't exactly well-lit.

Usually, it only takes me a few steps to assume a "don't fuck with me" attitude when I'm making a trip, but for some reason or another, sometimes I just don't think of it. I'll saunter along until I stub my toe on an un-even sidewalk look back with a glare (as one always does at inantimate objects when they make us look stupid). I'm not a very intimidating-looking person (except to little kids) and I don't carry mace or a knife or any other weapon. Sometimes, when I happen to remember, I'll put my hands into my pocket and grab ahold of my keys really hard, letting the prong of the longest one (the one to my car ignition) point out between my index and middle finger on my right hand. I'll imagine someone grabbing me from behind, not expecting to get their eyes gouged out with the keys from an old Volvo.

Anyway, I need to get back onto the subject of the sugar. The first reason it's such a good weapon is that it's one of the most unlikely things that anyone could use in defense. I mean, the person who's going to come up and take your money or whatever is probably saying to themselves, "Look at this person, they're probably going to go home and make some meringue."

Right there, you're already one up on them, because they're assuming you're using it for something in the kitchen. It will be an even greater surprise when the four pound bag slams against the side of their head and either knocks them out or sends them staggering backwards disoriented, while you either boot them between the legs or clock them upside the head again with that can of creamed corn to finish the job.

In case it's been awhile since you held a bag of sugar, let me fill you in just a little bit more. The standard size bag of granulated sugar that you can find in any old grocery store, it will most likely weigh about 4 pounds (1.81 kilograms). Not only that, if you turn it onto one of it's sides, it will fit almost perfectly into the palm of a medium to large-sized hand and it's maluble enough to squeeze fingers into and get an even better hold of. It feels like an semi-undulating, nicely weighted brick, and believe me, it wouldn't feel too good to get hit with one. If your hand's too small to grip the sugar, the best thing to do is double bag it in plastic, and hold this combination in your good arm, swinging it like a wicked pendulum if need be.

The even better thing about a bag of sugar is that it can not only be used against somebody accosting you on foot, but it can also be used if you're on foot, and someone is chasing you in a car. The best thing to do in this situation is try to hide behind something solid (like a large tree), and throw the bag of sugar directly into the windshield in front of the person driving the car. The bag will not only probably shatter the windshield, but chances are, the bag of sugar will explode and cause even further dampering of vision. Again, the assailant will be disoriented and possibly even slam the car into something else.

So I didn't actually have to use any of these defenses the other evening when I was out walking, but I did think of it all when I was walking home with a bag of sugar in my hand, turning it over and over while trying to keep an eye on the person walking about 20 steps behind me.