Just a word now and then about working in a prison and for the Department Of Corrections. Plus a good bit of ranting here and there.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
It Gets On You, Sometimes
Since this blog is somewhat about pepper spray and the uses thereof, I was pretty happy to see this "Get Fuzzy" toon by Darby Conley. The "Darb" gets things that alot of us don't. He's like the Spider Robinson of comic strip artists.
I remember being somewhat curious about the effects of pepper spray when I first joined the department. I guess it's a good thing I didn't decide to become a cop. I can't imagine being curious about the effects of a 9mm bullet.
My first time was many years ago, not long after I had been assigned to the Adseg unit. I looked in from the rec yard and saw that a problem was developing in C-wing about four steps away from where I was standing. I got about three steps in when one of the officers sprayed the offender right in the face. And I, of course, being only two feet away, got the full brunt of the overspray directly into my face.
Man, I'm glad I wear glasses. They have saved my sight in alot of situations where other people were blinded and unable to act.
We managed to get the offender back into his cell and the door shut and everyone ran off to wash. Since I didn't get it directly into my eyes, I just rinsed off my glasses and face and went on with my night.
That was somewhat of a mistake, you see.
When you get excited (especially if you are already warm) your pores open up and the little granules of oleoresin capiscum burrow down inside your skin and set to burning. And washing with cold water at that point just closes the pores back up again, sealing the stuff inside. No one had ever told me to use lukewarm water to wash my skin after being sprayed.
So I sat the rest of the night up in Central doing paperwork and smouldering like a cigarette butt and listening to the lieutenants bitch about the smell. I was ready to spray them myself by the time it was all over.
Then I went home and threw my uniform in the washing machine and threw myself in the shower.
Another life lesson on it's way at a high rate of speed. Can you see it coming? I sure didn't.
There was pepper spray all over my hair and when I got into the shower it washed out of my hair and proceeded to run the length of my body, down across and into all of those freshly opened pores.
Get it? I sure did.
And I had to stuff a washcloth in my mouth because my wife was asleep in the next room.
The wife and kids have learned that if they wake up in the morning and there's "that smell" in the air and Dad has a freshly laundered uniform hanging by the washing machine, that Dad had a bad night and it's best to let him sleep as long as possible.
I learned to rinse that crap out of my hair before I even leave work.
And that pepper spray is a dandy deterrent. All of the offenders who say they've been sprayed and it's not so bad are liars. If you pull the can out and they flinch........ they've been sprayed and don't really want to again. They'll usually comply at that point. If they don't back down, then it's time for a lesson.