9 Self-Defense Gadgets Your Mugger Will Find Hilarious

Technology has always been about making the world a better place: one with less of your enemies in it. Jet engines, computers and radar were invented by geniuses in wartime, but we're looking at the inventions of idiots during peacetime, and the result is more ridiculously contrived self-defense systems than Jackie Chan's career. Some were so stupid they weren't even given patents, and the US patent office has given patents to a stick and a vaginal bong. Unfortunately, neither was a euphemism.

Inventions don't grow on... huh.

The Self-Defense Memo Pad

Patent Number: 5,823,572

Even the disembodied mugger's head seems confused by this invention. The inventor appears to believe that the only problem with using a notepad as a weapon is that it's too hard to hold, which should give us some idea of his motor skills. He also thinks wrapping your hand around a thin, hard rectangle before punching someone is a good idea, proving that he understands less about violence than unborn children, who at least know how to kick people in the gut.

Violence and memos really don't go together.

While the confusing series of numbered features wants us to believe that the mugger's eye is somehow part of the invention, the only difference between this and a handful of Post-Its is the carved handholds in the side of the pages. Meaning it's not only useless as a weapon, it's actually counter productive as a notepad, assuming you don't want everyone you leave a note for to know they can just beat you up. The patent also suggests that the memos are useful for jotting down a description of your attacker, which is so likely, we're surprised they don't suggest that you also sketch the criminal's getaway unicorn.

When It Would Work:

If you can convince the mugger to pose like the one in the drawing, including not having a body, you might be OK. But if your enemy gives you unfettered access to their face and you still need extra weapons to win, you're probably screwed. So really, the only way this pad could defend you from attack is if you wrote down your PIN number and handed it over with your wallet.

Revolver Flick-Bayonet

Patent Number: 946,132

In the most tragic firearm-based mistake outside of thinking your gun's unloaded while you clean it with your penis, the cartoonishly-named Henry H. Hull of Ohio designed a revolver with a switchblade. Because after you've pulled a gun on someone, that gun then pulling a knife will be what really scares them. If you've never fired a handgun, attaching extra weight to the end of the barrel is worse for your aim than drinking a bottle of tequila.

Worse, it's not an attachment for existing revolvers. The switchblade is built into a protrusion from the barrel so you have to buy an entire new gun just for this idiotic addition. A gun's entire deal is propelling extremely unfriendly things at your enemies, but it's meant to be bullets by explosions, not a knife by a little spring. It's a worse weapon upgrade than sprinkling sneezing powder on a landmine - there's no conceivable enemy it will be effective against, and there's better than good chance it'll get you killed.

When It Would Work:

Obviously, the idea here is to have a little left over fight in you once you've emptied your ammunition. But if you're at the range where you could use this knife and still missed all six shots, you're honor-bound to just let them kill you.

Drug Detecting Stir Stick

Patent Application Number: 9/923,507

A poison-detecting chromatographic test kit disguised as a drinking straw that looks like a medical device with a wooden stake coming out of the bottom. This product is useful for people who think their friends might be trying to murder them but don't want to be rude about it. It's absolutely guaranteed to protect you from poison because it appears to be completely impossible to drink through. Also, when people see you carrying your own multi-segment straw around with you at all times, making sure all the drinks they serve you are safe is the last problem you'll have to deal with.

There's also the literally minor problem that straws are only used for soda, fruit juice and other drinks that aren't associated with poisoning or any other grown-up activities.

When It Would Work:

The combination of childish drinks, poison, and making absolutely certain you don't drink anything isn't useful outside of Jonestown.

(Barely) Stabbing Ring

Patent Number: 5,588,214

The "Self Defense Ring" deploys the awesome power of a five millimeter pin for the small price of permanently joining two of your fingers together. Ma-Ti from Captain Planet has a more combat capable ring than that -- at least he doesn't lose the use of body parts before the fight even starts. The five millimeter length starts recessed between the two fingers, meaning you've used up half the pin before it even gets further than your fist. Unless you're being attacked by balloon animals this weapon is useless. And if you are being attacked by balloon animals, they're a decoy, the clown is behind you!

Quick, pop the big red weak point!

To trigger the tiny blade you need to twist a release lever on the back with your other hand. You're using your entire upper body to deploy less stabbing power than a loose carpet staple. It's the equivalent of sending an aircraft carrier to deploy a single jeep. A jeep carrying a jousting lance in a world where chemical weapons, electric blasters, and actual guns all exist.

When It Would Work:

You'd have to target weak points. The two millimeter clearance of the spring-loaded blade could maybe scratch someone's eyeball, assuming you deployed it while your fingers were already gouging it out. And you punch through their skull to grab and twist the release lever with your other hand. Then you could totally maybe damage one of the corpse's eyes a bit, at which point you're only really being a dick to potential donor recipients.

The Key-Whip!

Patent Number: 4,460,174

We believe this sketch qualifies as astonishingly realistic because it's astonishing that anyone would think this would work in reality. Also, the knife-wielding assailant moves exactly as much as he would if you really patted his chest with a bunch of keys. The female whipper is visibly bored with life, a necessary condition for using this weapon. The simultaneously generic and incorrectly-named "Self Defense Weapon" is essentially the most efficient way to give a mugger access to your house, car and workplace.

The rope also changes length in every picture

Whipping a keyring is exactly the kind of weapon an eight-year-old would imagine when he first discovers ninjas, Indiana Jones, and doodling. This attack has less basis in physics than a voodoo curse. The only way you could do less damage is if you were swinging a keyring into someone's sternum while you gave them antibiotics.

When It Would Work:

If you drop the stupid whip it is possible to cripple someone with keys, but if you're the sort of person who can pop eyeballs with an inch of Chubb then you're not going to be mugged. Or even talked to by anyone but police negotiators and black ops captains bringing you back for one last mission.

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Luke McKinney

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