Friday, February 29, 2008

This is going to be an odd post for me, and if it's boring or terrible, then I apologize in advance, but this won't be my usual ball-of-fluff. It's just that I have a story I've never mentioned here (I don't think) and it turns out this is the day to post it, if ever there is one.

Though I'm not one to hang a lot of significance on dates, leap day brought itself into sharp relief for me forevermore on February 29 of 1988. I'm probably one of the least superstitious folk you'll ever meet, but when leap day comes back around, I always remember 1988.

I was 22 and working for the US Post Office at the Bulk Mail Center, armpit of the greater Dallas metro area. I had some office details, but mostly I threw around 70 pound sacks of mail for a living. Yes, I was fit and healthy, but then again, at 5'2" I was still no Linda Hamilton. I was paid well and liked the work itself, if not the way the place was run. I went to Europe occasionally, went to every concert that took my fancy, and I was having the proverbial fun a girl was meant to have, very carefree.

I generally didn't hang out with co-workers, although I found some to be passably nice and even pleasant to talk to. One couple I liked in particular kept asking me to meet them out at a bar in a large entertainment district at the west end of downtown. One day, I finally agreed and I showed up-- leap day. I was wearing ballet flats, olive cotton pants and a white tank shirt with little purple lilacs. Oddly, I carried a small purse that night with a long strap crossed diagonally from my right shoulder to my left hip-- I normally didn't carry a purse, finding them cumbersome and a general pain in the butt. The olive pants had no pockets, though, so the catch-all accessory was a must that night. There were a lot of people around, and I felt fairly comfortable, even though I wasn't that familiar with this complex of bars and restaurants. It was still early enough to be light outside.

I walked around the corner where the couple said they'd meet me and instead of my colleagues I saw two tall black men walking toward me. They were memorable because they were both wearing very tight white jeans and white t-shirts, also tight. Strange to coordinate in such a way. Hmm. Whatever. I've always been the never-met-a-stranger type, and I made eye contact with one of the men and started to say "hello," but I instantly sensed menace(?!) in his gaze and I averted my eyes. I heard the words come out of his mouth as if they were shouted from the other side of a field:
"Give me your purse."

What? No! He didn't say that. Brain can't process this.
Yes, it happened very fast but I could chart and graph every scintilla of the experience.
I kept moving forward and the man nearest me reached and grabbed the part of my purse strap over my sternum as he said
"Give me your fucking purse."

I have less than a fraction of a second to process what's happening, I flip through my memory bank of their attire, and considering the tightness of their clothing, I decide they are not carrying guns, and I plan my course of action and move forward with it. I give him the only response which made sense in my universe:

"No fucking way."

People all around. People everywhere. Every direction I look there are people. How can this be happening?

my hands go instinctively to my purse grasping at the corners, a strap extending from each desperately clutching palm as they push me down.
I am in a foetal position around my purse, on my knees. They each are beating with one hand on the back of my neck and on my spine, each pulling on one side of the purse strap with the other hand. I see people standing around in an ovine stupor, useless. I see Madras plaid shorts with hideous tourista white socks. The fists on my spine surprise me - in a way they don't hurt, I feel the force of the blows but it's not that bad, for some reason. I'm on my knees looking around for any help, any port in a storm, and I see a silver BMW sedan with two white couples, men in front, women in back seat, stopped in the street, staring gape-mouthed. "Muffy, look! How quaint-- a mugging!"

Isn't anyone going to help me? A mere female chick being beaten up by two big goons? What in Hades is wrong with this picture?

When will this stop? I earned the privilege to have this purse and all it contains, you sniveling piece of shit-- I busted my ass, I sweated, this is mine. I'm hanging on for dear life, and I can hang on for an hour, if need be. Someone has got to stop this. this must stop. SOmeone will come along. Someone...

my heart sinks as the leather betrays me and one side of the strap snaps free from the bag. as if this were planned - as if they'd been practicing this very move for weeks, the instant the strap breaks free, the guy on the other side grabs the little bag from the underside and pulls the straps clean out of my hands, free, and they are off and running. For hours I won't feel the rope-burns on my palms. I run into the street after them immediately and they run into a parking lot. I stand in the street, screaming yelling an inarticulate babble of rage and despair - what just happened to me?

A big Irish cop comes on the scene and gently guides me out of the street onto the sidewalk by the parking lot where the goons both ran. He was the beginning of the universe setting itself aright. A security guard for the parking lot who "saw the whole thing" came over to lend a hand, acting like the calm voice of reason to my sputtered, breathy regurgitation of events. Thanks, pal. Really.

The goons pull up in a 70s car and out of the parking lot exit. The officer does nothing to stop them. They drive away. We get make, model and license plate number.

Emergency room, bruising, no serious injuries. In coming weeks I field an array of variations on "why didn't you just give it to him?" and am told by all and sundry that I'm a moron for not just handing my stuff over on demand.

My dad got in touch the detectives who were handling the case. My dad is the same kind of salt-of-the-earth man they were - the men who make things right. I felt they were as committed as my dad to the objective of holding these dirtbags accountable. We were told it was highly unlikely a mugger would ever be caught, and even more unlikely he'd be positively identified in a lineup. I could see their faces, though, and I still can - identification would be a snap.

In late April, I got a call from the detective: the car was pulled over in connection with another robbery, and could they bring some photos by the BMC for me to look at? I identified the man who was driving the car. The detective would later testify that I shuddered when I saw his photograph.

His pubic defender insisted I identify him in a live lineup - I had named the wrong guy. Again, I had no difficulty in fingering the excrescent congregation of flesh which matched the image seared on my brain.

The trial was set, and so began a pattern: I'd take the day off, meet my dad at the courthouse, then the pubic defender would ask that the trial be postponed at the last minute. This happened about 4 times.

Finally, the day of reckoning came about. The assistant district attorney was a pistol-of-a-woman and one of my personal heroines. On a pound-for-pound basis, she whupped him way more on the stand than he had done me on the street on February 29. She had the most fetchingly homey east-Texas drawl you ever heard - her voice was the aural equivalent of a big, old comfy leather chair - HOME! When the sentencing phase came around, I'll never forget the words with which she admonished the jury:

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we have asked for a sentence of 20 years and a $10,000 fine, but you do not have to issue that sentence: you may sentence him for more if you think it is appropriate."

I was elated. Props to the lady in shining armor on the white horse! Finally, someone steadfastly in my corner, someone who agreed and said for the record that- dammit- this was my purse to which I had sole right.

In the end he got 7 years and $5,000 fine. He did a plea bargain on all the other charges against him, including raping another inmate, so he probably ended up cooling his heels in lockup for at least a couple more leap days. Happy endings.

It was an incredibly strange adventure. I wish it never had happened, but I learned a whole lot. I learned that bad crap can happen to you and that you can still survive. I learned that other people are very afraid. I learned that other people will try to shame you into validating their fear-based approach to life. I learned that you can not shrink from threat and just hope it will go away. I learned that if you have no plan to react to a physical attack, you won't really know what to do when faced with that situation. I learned that in the moment of real crisis, no one is going to step in and save me: I'll have to save myself.

If I'm ever in that position again-- unarmed and under attack -- I mean to come away from the experience(even if dead) with at least the trophy of one eyeball from my tormentor with which to festoon my trophy case. Next time would/will be tooth-and-nail. If I have time to access it, my weighty little Leatherman will be slammed forcefully into an accommodating temple-- I will do my best to kill with my bare, immaculately manicured hands: no more Mr. Nice Bitch. There are kneecaps, eyeballs, shins, insteps and wedding tackle among the array of vulnerable areas on an attacker, and I'll set about my business if I must.

I didn't believe in just handing it over, and I don't even moreso now than ever. I'm still no Linda Hamilton, but I think this is a principle that applies not just to possessions or your life, but to our very freedoms and rights as human beings. Don't just give it away without a fight. Passivity gets you nothing but soundly and thoroughly ensconced in the bitch-seat, and you teach the aggressors they were right to disdain you.

Yeah, it's possible someone will divest me of a handbag in the future, but next time, I'm going to take something in exchange, including a heaping helping of their DNA.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ, and all that stuff.


Christina LMT said...

You kick such utter ass.

You're my hero!

Yeah, I often play out scenarios in my head, 'cause you never know when the shit's going to hit the fan.

I'm so glad you came out of this experience stronger!

phlegmfatale said...

christina - you flatter me. Right or wrong, I decided to put it all out there, warts and all. Call it therapy. Probably a lot of what I did was textbook "worst possible reaction™." I'm calling myself wiser for the experience, though. All I did there was to be a victim, even though I sought justice. Next time, armed with 42+ years of short-woman rage, it'll really be ON.

Squeaky Wheel said...

Unfortunately, it takes that sort of experience for any of those "you should have just given it to them!" folks to REALLY understand what they're telling you to do.

I won't share my experience here, because it's not appropriate to your story, but I will say that I would have done the same thing had I been in your position, except I would have employed the teeth and nails at the slightest sign of a physical altercation if I was unable to run. Maybe it's youth, or maybe it's the fact that the last time I laid there and took it, I lost a lot more than what the person thought they were getting. I lost my pride, my sense of being human, and my faith in humanity as a whole. It took a while for me to even gain half of that back - I'll be damned if I'm going to give it up again.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ, indeed. Bravo, Phlemmy.

Rabbit said...

Nowadays, all you need to say is "No. (boom)".

When were you getting that CHL, anyway?

A little, brief course on MCMAP might come in handy when it's time to rip a leg off, too.


phlegmfatale said...

squeaky wheel - you said a mouthful! They have no ideer what it's like. Garsh, I dread hearing about what you've been through. I do know you're one tough broad, though, and like me, I expect you'll be better prepared if there's ever a next time.

rabbit - Darn tootin'!
Today I have an appointment at Mike's to eye a prospect for my first carry. That secured, I'll be setting up my training, hopefully with in mere moments. COme to think of it, it'd be sorta poetic if I acquired that tool today.
I hate to sound any more like a dim bulb than I already do, but what's MCMAP?

phlegmfatale said...

never mind - just looked it up - yup , them Marines are just et up with bad-assery, ain't they?

lainy said...

That is an awful thing that happened to you. You have balls girl and I'm proud you're a woman who didn't give in.
Thank God you made it through that OK.

Carteach0 said...

I read this.... and my instincts are to leap into tehfight. Too far away, too many years past, but the instinct doesn't stop.

I am pleased you survived, and I hope it never happens to you again. I agree with your decision to fight, rather than just take it next time.

I too made that decision, but at
6'2" and 300 pounds, no coward wants to steal my purse.

You have my respect.

Breda said...

I want to give you a big hug. You're a fighter and a survivor - brava!

And I understand your short-woman rage...I'm 5'0". But I hope if there ever is a next time, you'll be armed with something shiny and shooty that goes BANG!

phlegmfatale said...

lainy - I dunno - balls would have been to fight - I just hunkered down and held on out of stubbornness. It was purely instinct.

carteach - I think if there'd been a single real man around, I wouldn't have been alone on that street that day. I also never accepted another invitation from that couple again - if they'd been there, I wouldn't have been alone, either.

breda - I'll take that hug, and I mean not to disappoint you if I'm faced with similar challenges in future! Let's just say I decided to celebrate leap day this yearby stopping by Mike's place in Richardson. I'm hoping to henceforth mark the occasion of Feb 29 with the memory of my first carry model.

Roberta X said...

Brava! --Resistance might be futile but it beats the pure-dee H outta the alternative!

Shan't swap stories but I've seen that elephant, too.

You did well, Phlegmmie. Shame on those who stood and watched.

Tam said...

Wow... just, wow.

You're my hero, too.

Joe Allen said...

Way to go girl! I'm glad to hear you're upgrading your defensive capabilities beyond a Leatherman!

Most importantly though, you have the right mindset and that is far more important than any piece of hardware.

And, thanks for the reminder that "ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ" is about more than our swords and shields - it's about personal sovereignity in every way. It's mine, I worked hard for it and I may invest it wisely - I may squander it foolishly - or I may give it away freely. But you will not, by God, take it from me.

Thanks for sharing,

phlegmfatale said...

roberta x - I want to hear your story about seeing the elephant sometime. Yes, forking it over is not an option.

tam - I'm humbled you'd say such a thing -- all I did was let my inner Ozark pine-knot core (my limbic hard-wiring) take over.

joe allen - Yup, long overdue, as it happens, but everything in its moment, I suppose. True, someone brilliant said the brain is the true weapon, and that all the other things are just tools. If there's one thing I know how to do, it's how to accessorize.

Yeah, I hoped other people wouldn't think it was corny for me to say that this applies to every important question about our sovereignty (good word, that, thanks!), but this taught me a lesson nearly half my life ago that I'll never forget. This is something to question early and often, and to re-affirm every day. I never wavered in my belief that resisting was the right thing to do, and the doves who said I should have forked it over were branded instantly in my mind as folks who could not be depended on for anything of importance. Thank you for the kind words. I didn't expect praise, but if this makes someone, like me, think twice about the importance of owning your self, your possessions and your life, then this was all worth it.

Oldsmoblogger said...

I believe you.

pax said...

That is one beautiful piece of writing, right there. I'm sorry you had to go through that, but you showed your backbone by learning the right lessons from it. Great writing.

pax said...

Please forgive me for using your blog comments to ask this question (I could not find an email contact for you), but ... may I mirror this story as an article over on Cornered Cat? Full credit, link back, etc. It's such good stuff that it deserves more audience.


phlegmfatale said...

oldsmoblogger - Damn skippy!

pax - Wow, thank you, I'm humbled, I'm honoured, and by all means-- mirror away. Cornered Cat is a place I meant to spend part of the day today, as I've got some engineering issues to address! Thank you for your kind words.

Kevin said...

Don't eff with Phlemmy! I have to admit I'm somewhat shocked that no-one would come to your aid. It's not like you were in California, after all.

MadRocketScientist said...

In the pitiless Old Norse universe, gods and their human allies face inevitable defeat, but there is no thought of surrender or negotiation with the monsters besieging them. The brave and the cowardly all come to the same end -- what then must we do? "It is the strength of the northern mythological imagination," Tolkien explained in his famous 1936 lecture on "Beowulf," "that it faced this problem, put the monsters in the center, gave them victory but no honor, and found a potent but terrible solution in naked will and courage." In the struggle against evil, there is no shame in defeat -- only in not fighting.

Keep fighting =)

phlegmfatale said...

kevin - That is exactly what I thought, but here was yet another lesson: the party boys and touristy-types are not prepared for dealing with real-life situations. I can say unreservedly that if someone like my dad had been there, the muggers would have been in a world of hurt- there would be cracked skulls and sundry broken bones, major soft organ injuries and mudholes stomped and walked dry.

madrocketscientist - Life hurts sometimes, and those sacrifices don't come cheap - that day I didn't know I was keeping with ancient and noble tradition. Thanks for the encouragin' words.

Turk Turon said...

Wow, great story. Good for you!

MadRocketScientist said...

No prob miss. Keep fighting and Freyja will know her own.

hoosierboy said...

Good for you. I have always said I will not give in to criminals, you inspire me. Too bad so many stood around and watched.

Mark said...

May there never be a next time. If there is a next time, may you be armed and victorious.

Myron said...

What a story - what a gal. But you know, having read your blog for a while now I would have expected nothing less of you.

And I'm like carteach - I don't understand the passive witness bullshit. Somebody needs help and somebody needs hurtin'. I can't just stand there mouth agape.

And hurry up and get that shiny shooty thing as Breda calls it.

DirtCrashr said...

wow... You inspire.

Jay G said...


You rock. The simple act of defiance in the face of overwhelming odds is stunning. Having the intestinal fortitude to follow through to the end is just the icing on the cake.

Impressive, to say the least...

JT said...

Well done, Phlemmy (if I, a stranger, may be permitted use of the familiar)! I'll be joining your celebration soon as well, taking Texas' CHL course tomorrow.

As for the "just give them what they want" doves - for many of those folks, statistics & probabilities & studies won't mean squat, but if you feel it's worth a shot, you can always point them to the results of the National Crime Victimization Survey, which shows (here's the table linked from the above-linked article) that a victim of a crime is overwhelmingly more likely to end up injured (including that gravest of all injuries) if they do not resist at all than if they actively attempt escape or resist with or without a gun.

Now if I could just get my dear wife to come to the same realization you have - she was mugged before we met, but it had the opposite effect.

Zelda said...

Awesome story. I wish I were that brave, but I'm not. I would be more than willing to shoot them in the back while they were running away, though. :-)

Aaron said...

My first time on your blog and this is what I read? Consider me another loyal reader from here on. With your permission, I would like to use this story in my own blog and link back to it.

And I agree with what others have said about the worthless cowards who stood by and those who would 'just give them what they want.' Beneath contempt, the lot of them.

'Domari nolo'- I will not be dominated.

SpeakerTweaker said...

Two words for you:


That, I believe, is how we all hope to react to such an event. That story is inspiring, and I intend to mark it well.

Well done, LaP. Well done.


Christy said...

Bravo! More people in this city should be like you and be strong.

Rabbit said...

Geez, I drove through Mike's parking lot Monday around noon ( had jusy duty and was dismissed, honest) and Mrs. Mike was locking up the door to go to lunch, so I didn't stop. I guess I'll have to plan to go by there tomorrow- haven't been in there in a coon's age, but I like Mike and enjoy listening to him.

If you don't find *the very thing* I have a couple of other suggestions for you to at least browse. SWMBO banged her arm up and got stitches Tuesday night (long story) or else we'd be at the range this weekend together.


Bob S. said...


Thank you for sharing your story. I will be sharing this story with my daughter ;should be required reading for all young ladies.

Your words express eloquently what I've been trying to explain to my daughter.

leazwell said...

I've often heard "Don't fight back", but like you, I don't believe it's in me to resign myself.

Astonishing the mentality of onlookers. Doesn't ANYBODY feel driven to do something and the security chap who watched it all, WTH???? I believe I would him thrown him a fist.

Chris said...

As a father of 4 teen girls, I cringe when I hear a story like yours. People look at me like I'm nuts when I tell them that I teach and preach self defense to my daughters, including firearms. Well... this is exactly the reason why.

Thanks for posting this, I'll get my girls to read it over the weekend.

btw: Make the time to visit Pax's page, it's worth the effort.

Lorimor said...

I am sorry you had to go through that but I greatly admire your determination and spirit.

I am glad to hear that you've made the decision to arm yourself and I sincerely hope that you never have to deploy a weapon.

Best of luck!

Martini said...

Glad you are alive and well. Hell of a story. I would, however, recomend a better force multiplier than a leatherman. I personally carry a Springfield Arms XD Sub-compact. In short, nextime shoot the bastards.

GreatBlueWhale said...

This is the spirit that makes America America. I'm glad you celebrate it.

Lin said...

Phlegmmy, really sorry I almost missed this one - I'm still processing that damned elk frantically but taking a break right now.

I just knew it - you ARE of my own heart. You might have read my reference to a bunch of V-twin J.O.s attacking me for no reason once - same deal, if it ain't right, I'm not accepting it. You have an open door invite out here on the ranch ANY day, girl! A-N-Y day.

Gregg said...

Ma'am (and I mean that in the polite way, not the old woman way),

You did good at that time. Hopefully there will not be a next time. In fact, with all that short woman rage built up, there shouldn't be. It's amazing what can be accomplished by letting your inner beast slip its chains just enough to shine through your eyes.

I have spent a good bit of time as a self defense instructor. After you get that shooty thing and get comfortable with it, find yourself a GOOD self defense instructor. Yes they are few and far between. However, don't focus on the style, focus on the instructor. There is no style that is appropriate for each and every person, or each and every situation. That is based on decades of experience. Good instructors can help tailor a self defense program for you. Yes, it will likely cost a bit more, but it's easier than spending the next 10 years gaining the base knowledge to do it yourself.

Think about carrying a couple of additional tools in case you end up in a similiar situation where going for or using a firearm is contraindicated. There are great edged weapons out there, or even self defense pens and sharpies (cold steel makes the sharkie. Yes the age old kubotan is a similiar tool.

In conclusion, I am sorry that such a thing happened to you. I know that such things did not happen within earshot of me when I was in the bar-hopping phase of my life. Then again, I've got a wee bit too much Irish in me.

schnoobie said...

WhaoooaaH. That's some kinda crap you experienced. I agree; git cha some shiny shooty thang thats worthy of your bad-assness and I hope it "makes your arm complete" .Thanks for sharing.....I can't agree enough that women need to know how to defend themselves on many levels.I've never understood passivity in the face of such a stupid choice forced on the victim. We recently watched " The
Brave One" It was an awesome story.

Granted said...

Wow! That was fantastic. I wish I could have been there for you. I just hate hearing stories like this. Makes me nuts.

Granted said...

Wow! Great job. Never, ever, give up.

I just hate hearing stories where there are supposedly men around and no one does anything. What the heck is wrong with people.

Buck said...

I'm most impressed as well, Phlegmmy. Well done then, extremely well-told, now.


phlegmfatale said...

turk turon - thank you kindly!

madrocketscientists - here's to Freyja!

hoosierboy - They have been misled and have no good instincts. It's sad that what seems like common sense to the rest of us seems alien to them.

mark - I hope not, but just in case, thank you for the well wishes!

myron - I guess you've noticed my slight stubborn streak. Yeah, the passive thing disturbs me almost more than the attack itself - it says all the wrong things about people and what should be tolerated

dirtcrashr - high praise from a badass like you!

jay g - I am humbled that you'd say such a thing.

jt - thank you SO much! Darling baby in that photo, btw. I'll be doing my CHL soon, too. YAYS! Thanks for the statistics - I always imagined as much - that fighting improved one's odds of surviving and doing so intact. Thanks for the links - I'll be quoting and passing those along! I hope your wife comes around - the rest of your life is really worth showing up for!

zelda - I'm okay with shooting them in the back, too - whatever gets another dirtbag off the streets is protection for the truly weak in our society, in my opinion.

aaron - I'm honoured. You are more than welcome to pass along my story with the reference link. I'm humbled that my experience might help or inspire someone else. I honestly didn't expect this tale would be so resonant with folks. Thank you for your kind words!

speakertweaker - Yeah, damn skippy! Thanks! :)

christy - in every city. We should take every street back from critters, honestly.

rabbit - thanks for mentioning Mike's place. I just bought a sweet little firing iron from him a few hours ago. Can't wait to put it through its paces. Mike's a great guy - I like him immensely!I think he's going to be out of town tomorrow, though. He'll be back next week. I intend to acquire a second one again relatively soon, so feel free to email me your suggestions! ranchorita[at]hotmail[daht]com

bob s - You are so welcome. I'm honored. I know what a rock-in-the-gut this whole affair was for my dad. If he'd been there, he would have torn those fiends limb from bloodly limb. Your daughter needs to recognize what resources are available to her. If we don't have size and strength in our corner, then we must rely on cunning resourcefulness.

leazwell - Giving in to that kind of crap is like a foreign language - utterly unintelligible. I think, considering this is Texas, that was an anomalous situation, to be populated only by candy-assed men.

chris - I know my own father still hates the memory of it- he was ready to gut the bastiges - and I know you live in constant trepidation for your girls. You must impress upon them the need to know their surroundings and to have a lexicon of movement and actions from which to choose their steps in perilous situations. Pax's page is fantastic! I'd be honored if your girls found a bit of inspiration here.

lorimor - I hope I never have to deploy a weapon, too, but I intend to do my best to survive and not succumb to an evil miscreant. Thanks!

martini - Thank you so much. I'm thankful, indeed, to be alive, and thanks for the advice: I intend to, should the need arise.

greatbluewhale - I agree - this is (or should be) in our genetic code

lin - Love ya back, babe. Yes, I'm frilly and fluffy, but I CAN load a truck and I don't intend to be pushed around. Yes, and I intend to take you up on the offer of your hospitality one day!

gregg - I cast a steely and skeptical gaze on strangers who seem to be approaching in a menacing way, these days. I don't blink in the face of what looks suspicious to me now. I plan to be very comfy with my shooty thing very soon. Yes, self-defense is also something that's been on my mind recently. I quite agree about finding what works for your physicality and thought patterns. I'll check out that sharkie, definitely - i'm all about gadgetry, believe it or not. here's to being well equipped! I wish I'd been bar-hopping with you that night instead of trying to with those other yahoos- and this may not have happened at all. You say "too much Irish" like that's a bad thing! Thanks for your kind words.

schnoobie - Yeah- it was wild! Yup, just got one today! Yeah, it DID complete me! woohoo! We are on the same page - I don't understand that passivity, either. The Brave One looked like a good film - will check it out sometime.

granted - thanks so much for coming here. Heck, I wish you'd been there for me, too, but I'm glad at least that today I'm alive to tell the tale.

phlegmfatale said...

buck - I'm deeply complimented. Thank you.

Lynx217 said...

sadly, this happens way too often. I too carry a leatherman with me, though I live in a much safer area. The pliers themselves will inflict enough damage I'm sure! Oh and the pain of being RIPPED apart... muwahahaha!!!

Carl H said...

Hat tip, ma'am. You done good.

Viejo said...

Phlegmmy, from reading your posts here and on Meg's site, I like Myron was not surprised at how you reacted. I was glad you had the courage to not only act the way you did, but to tell us about it. I have a 13 year old daughter that has been taught to defend herself, unfortunately although she is good with weapons, she can't legally carry because of her age, but she has other ways. I will share this with her to help her be determined to have the same courage and determination not to give into evil. I just wish they would teach your attitude in school instead of the propaganda they put out. Thanks,

phlegmfatale said...

lynx - I'm all for the evisceration of marauding asshats!

carl h - why thank you kindly, Mister!

viejo - well, your daughter will be of age one day. The only weapon of importance is a functioning brain - all the rest is just adaptation. Good luck with your girl - with the proper support and encouragement, I know she'll find her way.

Xavier said...

Yes Ma'am. You did good. Real good.

Becky said...

I've often wondered how I would react when faced with such a thing -- would I remember all the things I was "taught," or would some other instinct take over? I don't blame you for not handing over your purse, and I can't get over how anyone could ever question your reaction when they've never been in the position either. I'm appalled that so many people, including a security guard, actually watched it happen and did nothing. Despicable. I admire your ability in how you've been able to move on and learn from it -- many others would just shrink inside.

phlegmfatale said...

xavier - Thank you for such high praise.

becky - well, if you DON'T take a moment to consider it, then instinct is ALL you'll have to fall back upon, and that leaves you with very limited options. I hope you're never in that situation.

ASM826 said...

Get a gun. Learn to shoot it well. Get a permit. Carry it at all times that you legally can. If you are going to fight back, fight back effectively.
Take up a martial art. I study Aikido, but find one that works for you, study, practice, it is not a sport, it is life and death. If you are going to fight back, fight back effectively.
Learn situational awareness. Never relax to "condition white". Be prepared to take any measures to defend your life. Next time your attacker may be more violent, it may not be just a purse you have to give up.

Larry said...

"There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous people." RAH
Molon Labe, indeed. Well done.
And a pox to all who stood by like sheep and just watched. I found myself jumping up and yelling "HEY! STOP THAT!" when I got to that part of the story.

phlegmfatale said...

asm826 - I did. I shall. I will. I intend to.
Yeah, I've been thinking of the martial art options - seems a good idea to me.

larry - true. Thank you. I wish you'd been there, but I suppose the lessons I learned were worth the discomfiture of the experience.

Mugs said...

Well I hope my daughters convictions develop half as much as yours, they'll be definitely on the right track!

Good for you for sticking up for what's right!

phlegmfatale said...

mugs - You pay me a great compliment, and I'm truly humbled. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Long story short, I came to you through Cornered Cat, which was linked by the Zombie Squad.

Kudos to you for telling the public what happened. That alone takes a certain kind of courage.

As a male, I promise you that if I see a woman being attacke for her purse, my first inclination will be to find a weapon, and the second to plant that weapon between the attacker's eyes.

Audente fortuna juvat.