Saturday, July 4, 2009

Not Attitude But...

Pepper spray. I've just got to state unequivocally that the man being sprayed in the picture above must be a certified idiot. Either that or a masochist. Possibly both. Anyone who would stand there willingly with his eyes open and let someone spray this crap in their face has got to be a first class moron. One of those hoo-rah types that will punch himself in the nuts and proclaim "I like pain! Pain is my friend!"

Pepper spray is designed to burn and to irritate. Bewilder and incapacitate. Blind and befuddle. Distract and dismay. It takes someone either very determined or very mentally unbalanced to get a snootful of this stuff and keep moving forward.

I've been sprayed seven or eight times. Never full in the face. Usually blowback or overspray from somebody else getting sprayed. The stuff comes out of the can in a pretty good stream and it tends to go everywhere. And when it hits, it sticks. And unfortunately, when you are in one of those situations where you are exherting yourself to your fullest and trying to keep life and limb in one piece, one of the things that tends to happen without your control is all of your pores opening wide. You also tend to breathe harder, usually through your nose.

And those are the two openings that oleoresin capiscum loves best. It's not the eyes. That only burns for a few seconds then your tears wash them clear. For the most part, anyway. But the particles of o/c are small enough to slip down inside the pores of your skin and light you up like a six month old christmas tree in a bonfire. And it will cling to those little hairs in your nose and dispense itself like a tiny Contact time capsule into your sinuses. And if you don't think the inside of your skull is sensitive to irritation, think again! I sneeze my frickin' head off every time. It aint pretty.

There's a couple of other places that you really don't want to get this stuff on. I don't want to go into a lot of detail here. I think most of you can figure them out for yourselves. Get a pair of pliers and hold them in one hand. Then stare down at your body and ask yourself: "Where would I most NOT want these pliers applied?" You'll get the picture pretty rapidly, I believe.

Every time I use pepper spray I get it all over myself. Sometimes from the blowback and sometimes because, even after they get sprayed, we still have to take physical control of them. And grabbing someone covered with pepper spray means that you are going to get some too. Put a drop of it in the crook of your arm where they always draw blood and leave it there for a minute or two. In the spot where the skin is really thin and sensitive. I guarantee you will be wearing short sleeves for awhile afterwards. Yowie.

Get it between your fingers. Or in one of those little "laugh lines" around your eyes. Get it under the collar of your shirt down by your collarbone. Get some between your hipbone and the waist of your pants. Get it in that torn cuticle you had this morning. Or that shaving knick on your chin. And then realize you have seven more hours to go before you can leave and take a shower.

You spray an inmate and put him in a cell and his part is over once the cuffs come off. He's done. Your part is just beginning. He's in the cell washing the stuff off. You are in the captains office explaining why you did what you did. Then putting it down on paper in a way that would pass through a courtroom and not be questioned.

Just think about that.


  1. I carry pepper spray when I go to work. Hope I never have to use it. At least it's in the kind of dispenser that sprays 12 ft away and I'm hoping that this will keep me from getting covered witht he stuff.

  2. Miz T- I hope so too, but don't count on it. It helps if you squint a little when you spray it.

  3. and here I was getting ready to plan a pepper spray party. Maybe not, though, huh? ;-P

  4. Amy- If your party guests are all masochists who enjoy pain and humiliation.... I don't want to know about it. But feel free.... (grin)

  5. Yow!! This sounds nasty! My 19yr old
    son in the USMC described a similar
    experience recently. This was followed by pushups, jumpingjacks & sparing with
    trainers. He said it was days of misery afterwards.

  6. Kevin- That was probably CS gas, which is different from OC. CS is "tear gas". It makes your eyes and nose run like crazy, but it doesn't really burn. I went through the same thing in basic training. Unfortunately, OC doesn't hang out in a fog like CS does. It tends to settle to the floor pretty quickly. I don't think those DI's would stand in there and take it like they do.