Friday, April 19, 2013

R whistle

Last night, as I mentioned in my previous post, my friend Sarah and I went to REI for a bike maintenance class. After eating dinner at Potbelly, we walked over to REI with about ten minutes to spare before the class started. I remembered that I needed to get a whistle and figured this would be a good place to look.

You might be wondering why I need a whistle? Well, here's the thing. My grandma hates when I go on walks or jogs after dark. Luckily, she doesn't realize how often I do it. But when I visit her and she asks, I can't lie to her. I try to tell her that I do not live in a dangerous area, but it doesn't matter to her. So I figured if I bought a whistle, per her request, she'd leave me alone about it. (She doesn't have to know if I actually take it with me.)

So Sarah and I looked around a bit, but being that it was REI, they didn't have any basic whistles. The simplest one they had had a compass and flashlight on it. For one thing, I've never used a compass in my life and don't completely understand how to use them. So why do I need it there, mocking me!?

So we walked up to the clerk, a nice looking guy in his early 20's, and I asked him if they had any basic whistles anywhere in the store. He said, "you're looking for a rape whistle?" Now, something about me - I find the word "rape" jarring. It's such a horrible act that I almost think of "rape" as a four-letter word (which it technically is, but you know what I mean). So my immediate reaction was, "no, just a basic whistle."

But of course, I guess he was right. I was looking for a rape whistle.

I feel really weird saying it though. It's like I could hear Buster Bluth in my head saying, "Like anyone would want to 'R' her."

Ridiculous, I know. And I'm not trying to make light of the subject, by any means.

So I kept trying to avoid using the term "rape whistle" while explaining what I was looking for. He kept asking me questions about what it was for and finally I said, "Fine! It's a rape whistle! But could you please stop saying 'rape'!?"

Then he starts telling me that the whistles with the compasses are great rape whistles, and that every date he goes on, he brings one with him. Then as he's running away from his date, he can use the compass to find his way home.

I laughed, but it felt weird to laugh.

He asked me where I live, and when I told him he laughed and said I'm paranoid, and that nothing would happen to me there. I tried to explain about my grandma's peace of mind but that didn't stop him from the teasing. But is any town really completely safe, in my (and my grandma's) defense? Then told me he had just the product for me. He disappeared into the back for a minute and came out with some bear repellent spray.

I said, "very funny." Then he tells me that what I really need is pepper spray, and proceeds to teach me how to use it and where to buy it.

He's probably right. Would anyone come running if they heard a whistle? I'm asking for real. 

Anyway, long story short: REI doesn't sell "R" whistles.


Wee Sisters Three said...

I have an "R" whistle, and it's from REI. They are lying to you. My father-in-law bought each of his kids and in law kids one a few years back. Let me tell you, I always look when someone uses a whistle. How many people use whistles these days. I heard one when we were out walking last summer and it freaked me out. I started searching for where it was coming from. I found some kids playing with one, but I think people would come running if they heard one.
Pepper spray is good too.

karajean said...

Ha! It is weird to laugh, but I can't NOT laugh when you invoke arrested development.

also, my friend's mom gave me pepper spray when I moved away from home to go to school. I felt pretty safe with it. Safer than with an "R" whistle, probably.

Katherine said...

Yeah, I feel like pepper spray might be the better choice. Someone tries to hurt me, I'll maim them first!! Is that dark? Anyway, I LOVE the two AD references! So good. AND your whole interaction with the clerk! HA! Cheeky kid. ;)

Brooke Romney said...

You are a great writer! love reading about your life!

rebecca @ older and wisor said...

1. So sad that Potbelly wasn't mine

2. My hubby has a whistle latch-y thing on his "survival bracelet" (the super lame paracord ones that he thinks makes him look outdoorsy) and calls it his rape whistle ALL THE TIME. I agree, it shouldn't be made light of, but the idea of anyone trying to force themselves on him makes the kids snort.