We live in dangerous times. Well, not really. Actually, life in the 21st century is safer than ever before. This, however, doesn't stop people from selling and buying overpriced and often useless self-defense products.
While most of the stuff on the market will simply gather dust on your shelf/purse/man-bag that's not actually a purse, some of these real products seem a hell of a lot more dangerous to the owner than the mugger.
Say you're yapping away on your cell at the mall, when that burly guy with a surfboard asks you to please kindly shut the fuck up. Little does he know, your "phone" is actually a 950,000 volt pacifier, your ex-wife is his current girlfriend, and "you" are actually a schizophrenic and a danger to society.
Granted, only a lunatic would own this thing. But you can see immediately the problem even a well-meaning person is going to have with "The Pretender" cell phone stun gun. She's driving at night, her real cell phone rings, she digs around in her purse and pulls out her "phone."
Of course, multiple fail-safes are in place to ensure you do not accidentally shock yourself in the head. 1) The device has to be on and 2) You have to push the button. Yes, that's it. Good luck not zapping yourself retarded.
Vending Machine Disguise
Yes, it's from Japan.
Most of us dismissed this as a silly Photoshop hoax when we saw it, but, no, it's a real product according to The New York Times.
There apparently is a certain class of inventor who sees something work in a cartoon, then scratches his chin and says, "Why not?" Well, how about the fact that in order for this thing to actually fool someone, they'd have to be so far away from it that you'd be safe from attack anyway? Or that it makes it impossible to run away? Or that you'd have to not only carry this bulky thing around, but also a case of Cokes in case somebody drops in some change while you're hiding?
Hey, this is a good idea. A briefcase with bulletproof plates embedded in it. If a firefight breaks out on your way to the office from Starbucks, you'll be safe. Or, more specifically, a three-foot-long rectangular area will be safe. Notice that in the demonstration, we are forced to choose whether we want to protect the head or the crotch:
Yep, this thing only gives you enough coverage to either protect your life, or your will to live. Not both. The best part is, your attackers get to watch you make this truly fateful choice in real time.