Friday, August 15, 2014

The Hammer and The Bark

It is easy to needlessly scare yourself with thoughts of possible intruders and thieves if you spend too much time worrying about it. As someone who tends to fret about hypothetical situations and unrealistic or perhaps delusional expectations, I am no stranger to these kinds of bogeyman worries or simply “the bogeyman”.

I do make efforts to thwart the bogeyman’s progress before he gets so deeply embedded in my brain that sleep becomes impossible, but sometimes he cannot be stopped. In that case, I find if I voice my paranoia to someone, it helps me get out of my head and away from the fear, which is exactly what I did yesterday while talking to Belinda at the window.

Not at all worried herself, confident in her own sense of security, she merely laughed in response to my, what she apparently thought were frivolous worries, and said, “Don’t sweat it, I have a hammer you can borrow if need be”.

Not helpful. None of it. Not the hammer and definitely NOT the flippancy. 

“A hammer is going to do me no good. I’d rather be the one attacked than have to use a hammer on another human being! I can’t bear violence of any kind! What’s wrong with this world that I should even HAVE to worry about such things?! Stay out of the house that doesn’t belong to you!!”

I was unraveling and working up a sweat in the process – probably because I was told not to sweat. 

I do not like being told what to do.

I also do not like being told what to think. Don't tell me I don't have anything to worry about.

Again, Belinda laughed – scoffed really – not disturbed in ANY WAY by my soapbox outburst and told me I worry too much.

“It could happen,” I insisted. 

Then last night it did happen.

It was just after midnight when Thor started barking – an annoying Chihuahua trait that I normally take about as seriously as Belinda does my intruder concerns. But as I was about to admonish Thor to simmer down, I heard a vague creaking sound coming from the carport.

I opened the front door and there to my great alarm were two strangers riffling through my truck.

I yelled, “Hey! Get out of there!” And as they fumbled to back out of the truck and make a run for it, I frantically glanced down at my feet where lo and behold, there on the step was a hammer of all things.


In the heat of the moment, however, I did not stop to ponder where this hammer had magically materialized from, or the coincidence of its appearance, considering my earlier conversation with Belinda. Or even what I thought I was going to do with the hammer, considering my frequent claim that I abhor violence of any kind.

No, I didn’t consider ANY of those things and instead, without any thought whatsoever, working purely by instinct, I picked up the hammer and hurled it like I was channeling a powerful Algonquian warrior princess throwing a tomahawk.

The hammer hit one of the thieves on his right cheek and he immediately collapsed to the ground, howling in pain. The second thief also collapsed to the ground in near unison with the first thief, and I didn't even throw anything at him. They were like two bowling pins knocked down by the same ball despite the 2 or 3 meters between them. It was as if the second guy had been tackled to the ground by an invisible tandem force...although later I discovered he had actually tripped over an extension cord that had been left out by the carpenter who had been working on my house earlier in the day – the very same messy carpenter who had left his hammer and other tools lying around in addition to miscellaneous debris he couldn’t be bothered to pick up. 

Blessed slob.

Thankfully, as I began to come to my senses, my neighbor to the right came racing to my aid and managed to detain the criminals while another neighbor across the street called the police. The police were there soon enough and escorted the two hapless, would-be burglars to jail.

It came to light the next day that for the past week these pillars of the community had been committing acts of robbery all over town and the police were happy to finally have them in their custody. As for the one I hit with the hammer, he would survive with some minor bruising and I was exonerated for having thrown a tool at, well, another tool.

When I later relayed my harrowing tale to both Belinda and Guinevere, they were beside themselves with tears…not tears of relief that I had survived one of my greatest fears unscathed, but tears of hysterical jubilation at the mere thought of me throwing that hammer. Extremely insulting.

Guinevere said picturing me hitting someone with a hammer was the funniest thing she had EVER envisioned and between fits of laughter struggled to come up with a super-heroine name for me. Meanwhile, Belinda, also choking on laughter, struggled to understand how hurling a weapon was not in fact violent, in light of my frequent claims of pacifism.

What can I say? Sometimes you have to take a hammer to your beliefs, dissect your opinions with a scalpel, discard what no longer makes sense and throw a TV through the window of your illusions. Besides, I'm a liar. I've never been a true pacifist. There is a violence hidden behind the fortress of my steel-constructed defenses, but she is a well-guarded violence, roused only when some serpentine enemy has managed to slither through a crack in the wall. No one, not even Christ, can survive this wicked world on love and kindness alone. That's how you get yourself nailed to a cross.

But this is a view better left unsaid in the company of friends, so instead I join in their little party of mockery and dryly suggest, nowhere near as amused as them, “Yes, you can call me Wonder Woman".

It's unbelievable how they're not taking any of this seriously. I could have been assaulted or fatally injured during my ordeal OR I could have inadvertently killed one of the imbeciles trying to rob me. But Belinda and Guinevere didn’t even care. No one did. They all thought it was a BIG joke.

“No, no!” Guinevere squealed, “you’re not Wonder Woman. I’m going to call you…The Hammer!” Bwahahahaha!!!


She could barely spit out the words with all the bwa-ha-ha-ing she was doing.

“Fine," I said now with a calm I didn't feel and couldn't maintain, "if you want to make fun of me, spread the word then: No one else better fuck with me…OR for that matter, Thor! I have a hammer and I'm not afraid to use it! And Thor has a bark and he DEFINITELY ISN'T AFRAID TO USE IT!!”

Damn dog.

Then because Guinevere hates it when I use profanity and also because I felt uncharacteristically giddy with corny revelry over my newly realized fearlessness, it was my turn to laugh…which I did. 


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