Archive for January, 2009

In Which I Am a Cliche

A note to all the would-be suburban dads out there:  when you go to explore a strange noise in your garage or basement or the like, where there’s a remote but actual possibility that you may be about to face down an intruder, don’t do what you’ve seen every TV or movie character do in similar circumstances  (when they don’t have a firearm or a baseball bat) and arm yourself with a large chef’s knife “just in case”.

The reasons are twofold:  one, you will feel ridiculously hackneyed, and two, even if there is an intruder, the knife will do you no good.  If the intruder has a gun, then you’ve literally brought a knife to a gunfight, which works about as well as the figure of speech suggests.  If the intruder is unarmed, the knife will be a hinderance you’ll have to discard, since you probably won’t want to stab an unarmed man (even if he is an intruder) in part because (depending on where you live) you probably don’t have the legal right to.  The knife only does you any good if you’re facing down an intruder armed with a knife (or some other non-firearm weapon – perhaps a mace, or a tree branch) but even then, the odds are good the intruder has better knife-fighting skills than you.  It’s just an incentives issue.

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