When the term "self-defense weapon" comes up in conversation (and don't sit there all cute and coy and pretend that you DON'T have those conversations on a frequent basis!) one usually imagines baseball bats, knives and hand-guns. Maybe a sword, for the more avant-garde among us. Rarely does one think of the more exotic or downright weird inventions that have cropped up over the past few years. If you're the type of person who has a pathological need to be one-up on the average Joe, or you are just a good old-fashioned hard-core nut-job, perhaps you can start carrying a few of these toys with you in your daily travels ... Wild Kat Keychain When the bullies call you a scaredy cat, show 'em what a tough pussy you really are! The Wild Kat Keychain is made of tough plastic, costs only $5.00, is offered in several designer colors and can leave multiple ventilation holes in your attacker's face. I'm not sure what those little space-age plastic holes will do to your low-tech fingers when you DO use this thing but hey, it's only a flesh wound, right? It can also double as a cool Halloween or vigilante mask for your small pet! Spider Web / Skull Belt Buckle with Steel Throwing Cards OK, the skull belt buckle is cool enough - the spider web design just makes you all that much more dangerous-looking. Not many tough guys will mess with someone wearing this bad boy, but if they do you can easily dispatch them with the 3 steel throwing cards hidden inside the buckle. I was just now standing in my living room, grabbing at my belt-buckle and flicking imaginary steel Pasteboards of Death at some equally imaginary bad guys, trying to imagine how this weapon works, when I noticed the next-door neighbor looking at me through the window with an odd expression on his face. The things we do for our art. Umbrella Sword With this covert self-defense weapon you can easily re-create the epic "Singin' in the Rain" sequence from A Clockwork Orange. Fair weather or foul, your opponents will fall to the 15" steel blade. I wonder if a smaller Totes Tanto version is available? Maybe with a built-in bear spray dispenser, one-million-volt stun gun and Xenon adaptive headlights? One can only hope ... Lipstick Stun Gun Not only is it a rechargeable 950,000-volt stun gun - it's got a built-in flashlight! Take down those bothersome muggers in even the darkest areas! It's also got a clever dead-man switch - if the lipstick is taken from you (presumably by a gender-confused assailant) a pin attached to a lanyard will pop out of the tube and disable the gun. Just make sure you take your time in the powder room when it's time for a touch-up. Wait ... so while you're digging in your purse for this weapon, even after you find it amid all that clutter you have to take the additional time to attach the safety lanyard to your hand? What's up with that? Lipstick Pepper Spray Why limit yourself to just a lipstick stun gun? Get this lipstick pepper spray dispenser too and have a double threat! If you can't shock 'em, make 'em cry! Yeah - THAT'S the kind of gal I want to go on a date with! I'll just have to remember not to ask to borrow her breath-freshener ... Cell Phone Stun Gun Four-and-a-half MILLION volts! 12-LED flashlight! Two separate safety switches! High-tech design! You can't go wrong with this space-age defensive weapon, unless you accidentally answer the wrong phone in the middle of a business meeting or you are bent on convincing anyone above the level of "Encephalographic Idiot" that this is actually a real phone. The two buttons labeled "LIGHT" and "STUN" will make you think you're part of a Star Trek away-team - bonus points! It also comes in pink for the ladies, or for REALLY brave men. Electrified "No Contact" Jacket All right, who's the nut-case that invented this thing? This is truly an insane idea - an electrified jacket! The manufacturer claims that the jackets "have a unique layered structure that insulates the wearer from the high-intensity charge and at the same time distributes it on the outer shell of the clothing delivering it to an aggressor. " Uh-huh. See those little blue lines? That's electricity arcing on the surface of the jacket! Although the model might look like she just stepped out of a Robert Palmer video she's really packing some lethal chops! They further state that 74% of violent crime attacks use only bare hands and fists. What I wonder is, what if they just punch you in the face, or kick your legs out from under you? What if you then fall into a puddle? What if you get caught in a thunderstorm without your sword umbrella? And do you have to sleep next to a household electrical outlet so you can be ready for the next day's protection? Are there hybrid versions available, perhaps powered by a small tank of propane or bottle of restaurant grease? Questions, always questions ... The Pink Stinger - Feminine Protection This is just ...wrong. On SO many levels. And the most horrible, nightmare-inducing part of it is that The Pink Stinger isn't only a stun gun - it's also a TASER. That's right - if a close-up zap doesn't stop that charging maniac, hit the other button and two little barbed darts will fly out on 14' of wire to deliver a 50,000-volt jolt. I just KNOW I'm going to have nightmares about this one. The link above spits out far more puns than I could ever come up with and with far less guilt, so I highly advise a visit if you're into that kind of thing. Pepper Pager I actually bought one of these things years ago, when I was an affiliate for a security-products company. The biggest problem was that at the time people were already throwing their pagers in the garbage and jumping on the cell phone wagon. When I got my first shipment I figured I should test it out to see how well it worked. I went outside on a windless day, pulled it from my belt Gunsmoke-style and pressed the button - nothing. Tried again - nothing. Shook it - still nothing. You know what's coming next, right? Yeah - I was looking down at the spray nozzle, DID NOT TOUCH A THING, and a blast of pepper spray bathes my face. I highly advise that you pass up on this pager - hell, even the shock jacket is safer than this thing. Stealth Comb - With Bottle Opener! I can almost get behind the logic of having a 440C tanto blade hidden inside a fro-pik, but c'mon - a BOTTLE OPENER? What - after you stab your victim you celebrate by popping open a bottle of suds? And, as a bald-headed man, how could I EVER justify to the police carrying one of these? Now if they offered exploding Rogaine-containers that would be a different story ... Ghost Hawk Neck Knife Um ... OK ... I'm just going to throw politeness to the wind and ask "Who the heck would wear this thing around their neck?" Sure, it's got a "finger retention loop", but so does my girlfriend's Rabbit - in fact, hers is probably stronger. Anti-slip serrations? Check - the Rabbit has those too. The only difference is that damned "quad-edge blade design". The Rabbit doesn't have that. Yet. But forget all that - who WEARS this thing, and how would you explain what it is when you're bending over the bowl of dip at the party and your Ghost Hawk slips out of your silk blouse, falling away from the snugness of your pendulous cleavage, still fully sheathed in its durable lightweight Kydex sheath, its 1.65 ounces of covert protection shining brightly in the candlelight? What do you say then? "Oh, that? That's just my mini trenching tool". No, I don't think that would fly. "It's a symbol of my faith and a reminder to always believe"? I doubt that would go over any better. "Oh, the damned under-wire slipped out again!" might gain temporary interest among a certain faction but again, long-term, nothing. Knuckle Spikes with Throwing Daggers Now THESE are bad-ass! I'd wear these suckers everywhere - church, kid's parties, strip clubs ... imagine the conversations you could start? The new friends you could make? And imagine the look of pure terror on some drunken fool's face when, after you've finished slashing him up nicely enough to do Jack the Ripper proud and he's slowly crawling toward the pub door, begging for mercy, you rapidly fire 2 "sharp" throwing knives at his sorry ass? Then you could go outside, "key" his car and, if you're hungry, maybe even spear a squirrel or two for your after-attack snack!