the boys

the boys

Sunday, February 27, 2011

This will just hurt for a minute

Those of you that know my little sister, Allison, know that she and I are a lot alike.  We look a lot alike despite the 4 inch height difference.  For the first few years she was in Alabama everyone called her Gwen.  And now if I go back to visit everyone calls me Allison.  Aside from looks, we have the same sense of humor and quick wit. 

So it is with honor, and her permission, that I share her story.  It's a story of pain and suffering.  Of tears.  Of gasping for breath.  A story of resourcefulness.  A story's just damn funny, really. 

Allison is a bit of a world traveler.  And not the kind that sits on beaches and sips on fruity drinks...although I would put money that she has done her fair share of that too.  No, she is the kind that goes to small villages in Russia, or war-torn countries, or God knows where else.  I can't keep up.  Let's just say she can hold her own.  Her quick wit and her love of languages makes her a force to reckon with here and across any ocean.

As she prepared for her most recent venture, she was packing her odds and ends.  Mind you, Allison can travel by train across Russia for two weeks in the winter with one small suitcase so I use the term "packing odds and ends" loosely.

She comes across the pepper spray that she can hook to her key chain.  She thinks "gee, I've had this for years and never had to use it.  I wonder if it even works anymore."  And so my extremely bright and resourceful younger sister positions herself in the far back corner of her small one bedroom apartment in Washington DC.  And she sprays a very small stream right into the corner. 

But wait!  What is this?  It does not just spray into the corner.  The dang thing has a range of about two feet to either side.  Suddenly the whole room fills with pepper spray smell.  Stinging her eyes; burning her nose.  So she runs to the living room and opens up the small window.  She sticks her face out into the cold air and takes a few big gulps.  She is huddled in one small corner trying to breath the fresh air while her entire apartment fills up with pepper spray. 

She blindly feels around for anything to cover her face.  Her hand brushes across her silk pashmina scarf.  So she wraps it around her mouth and nose, uses her glasses as a shield for her eyes, and scurries around the tiny little apartment opening the kitchen window. 

Back to the living room window for a few deep breaths of fresh air.  Then once again makes a mad dash to the bathroom window.  One might have thought to open the window BEFORE spraying, but we live and learn.  Maybe next time. 

It was hours before the apartment was livable again.  Fortunately she was leaving anyway.  She is pretty sure there will still be a slight sting in the air when she returns.

So there it is, my friends.  Allison's story of pain and suffering.  Of tears. Of resourcefulness.  I guess even clever world travelers have their blonde moments!

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