Facing a possible home invasion—or worse—you’ll need all your strength, skills, and some of these everyday household items.
-By Ben Thompson • Illustrations by Chris Philpot
It’s fun to read about the face-crushing exploits of hard-core badasses, but every once in a while (i.e., when the teeming hordes of murderous ex-KGB ninja pirate assassins finally track you down) it might be necessary to bust out a couple of ass-kicking tricks of your own. With that in mind, here are some ways to turn your plain old stuff into weapons.
THE LIVING ROOM
This is a main point of entry for anyone with a keen eye for smashing your front door into splinters with a steel-toed boot, and is literally packed with dangerous items you can use to get the upper hand in any life-or-death situation. As is generally the case with most self-defense scenarios, your first objective should be to close in on the hit man before he can use his gun to bring the battle to a swift and unfortunate conclusion. The best way to accomplish this none-too-easy task would be to fling some kind of dangerous and/or skull smashingly heavy object at him. Laptops, remote controls, heavy lamps, and Xbox controllers can all be used to stun or disorient your assailant, while whiskey glasses or beer bottles can double as either flying shrapnel grenades or pointy shanks worthy of any maximum-security penitentiary yard. Once you’ve got your enemy’s attention, you can work him over with a fireplace poker to the groin, or harness your inner rock star by swinging a guitar around like it’s an out-of tune Louisville slugger.
Bonus Points: Body slamming the dude through your coffee table—especially a glass one.
Nobody wants to die with his pants around his ankles, so you’d better be ready to fight back in the can, which is obviously a prime spot for being ambushed. One advantage to engaging in hand-to-hand combat in the bathroom is that many ultradangerous items are easily within reach.
The nonbusiness end of a toothbrush or a can of shaving cream can be forcibly inserted into your
enemy’s eyes, and razor blades are a time-honored method of neck-slashing. It’s also relatively simple to use the latrine’s surroundings to your advantage by driving your attacker’s head into the mirror, the toilet, or the built-in soap dish in the shower, smashing his face into porcelain destruction with enough force to crack a coconut. If you have a few seconds to prepare, MacGyvering together a makeshift blowtorch using an aerosol can and an open flame is a pretty hard-core way to melt an evildoer’s face—provided, of course, that you aren’t using a flower-scented candle for the open flame. That would be totally lame.
Bonus Points: Clubbing your foe into submission by swinging a plunger like a medieval mace. It may not be especially painful, but it’s definitely humiliating.
THE KITCHEN/DINING ROOM
Regardless of the square footage, the kitchen is a tremendous chunk of real estate when you’re talking about home defense. This is, of course, largely because you’re completely surrounded by cutlery ranging in size from shivlike steak knives to meat cleavers that are more akin to Viking battle-axes than anything remotely resembling a utilitarian food preparation implement. But while the easily accessible knife block is the obvious solution when Illuminati agents start rushing into your kitchen to drag you off to their underground lair, there is, as they say, more than one way to skin a Templar. For starters, don’t forget about the other utensils—jamming a fork or a corkscrew in the eye and twisting can be just as painful as any slashing wound, while tenderizing faces with a giant wooden mallet offers a certain satisfaction all to itself. You can also use hot coffee or boiling water to fend off attacks.
Bonus Points: Killing or incapacitating someone with bacon. I have no idea how this would work, but I love the idea of it.
Not everyone keeps a large-caliber firearm, a fragmentation grenade, or a well-polished samurai sword on or near the nightstand. If some crazy commie-Nazi lumberjack commando rappels in through the window of your apartment unexpectedly, you’ll need to get your shit together quickly and find an alternate method of fucking this dude apart with the realness. If you have a large,
heavy flashlight by the bed (which, by the way, is always a good idea just from a general
home-preparedness standpoint), you can crack a skull or two with it, and a solid throat strike
with an alarm clock or a hardcover book can easily crush a windpipe. You can also try rolling up a back issue of Penthouse and using it Jason Bourne–style to fend off a knife-wielding maniac, but it would be kind of a shame to ruin a perfectly good magazine that way.
Bonus Points: Choking a dude with a bra. Double bonus points if you don’t remember whose bra it is.
This should be rife with badass weaponry at your disposal. Depending on how hard-core you are about making trips to Home Depot, the garage could be literally covered with diabolical instruments so pointy and menacing that it makes some of those pussy-ass Spanish Inquisition torture chambers look like inflatable bounce houses at a six-yearold’s birthday party. The classic gas-powered chain saw is the obvious choice, but there’s also something inherently badass about impaling someone with a pneumatic nail gun at close range. If you prefer a more manual approach, you can always grab shovels, hammers, screwdrivers, or hedge clippers. Dousing enemies with lighter fluid or gasoline and throwing a match at them is also an effective deterrent.
Bonus Points: Decapitating someone by throwing a circular-saw or table-saw blade as if it’s a ninja star.
THE HOME OFFICE
Paper cuts, while inordinately painful, aren’t going to be eviscerating any villainous goons any time soon, so when you’re under fire in your home office you’ll need to bust out the heavy artillery. The first thing you’ll want to do is flip the desk and use it for cover. File cabinets may provide some protection against gunfire, and as an added bonus they can be pushed on top of your foes. Once these foes are within striking distance, letter openers, scissors, ballpoint pens, and No. 2 pencils are the right size, length, and pointiness to be jammed up the nostrils and into the brain (as long as you’re not squeamish about stabbing people in the brain). Fax machines, printers, and heavy paperweights are perfect for inflicting some good old-fashioned blunt-force trauma, and USB cables and power cords can be adapted as improvised strangulation devices.
Bonus Points: Plucking out someone’s eyeball with a staple remover, which is the perfect size for the task.