This post comes from guest writer Jestress. Jestress has been following the walk at JWWM and writing fan fiction for SMK for a couple of years. She enjoys the quirky humor of SMK and referring to herself in the third person. Now, she would like to discuss the unconventional weapons used in SMK and offer tips for those looking to fend off attacking enemy agents using items readily available in your own homes or public places. Enjoy! Special thanks to KC for helping me with pictures and suggestions!
Weapons skills are essential to secret agents. In defense of your country, yourselves, and your fellow agents, you may be called upon to use all manner of weaponry from the most basic to the extremely complex. A gun is basic spy equipment, and every field agent needs to know how to use one. The well-trained spy should be an accurate marksman with different types. Lee Stetson (aka Scarecrow), for example, carries a handgun at all times, often concealed in a shoulder holster under his jacket. He is also an excellent marksman with rifles and machine guns.
Even Amanda King, in spite
of her initial reluctance, eventually learns basic marksmanship. However, even before then, she found other ways of defending herself and defeating enemy agents. Mastery of conventional weaponry should never blind an agent to the other possibilities . . .
“An agent has to think on his feet.”
— Billy Melrose in Ship of Spies
For a creative person with good instincts, there is no end to the possible weapons that you can improvise, ordinary objects that can be used for attack or self-defense. The world is just chock full of things that you can use to harm, disarm, or terrify others!
Even though he has professional weapons training, Scarecrow has been known to improvise a weapon or two when necessary. Besides being a good shot, he is a skilled swordsman with fencing swords, and he has proven that he is equally skilled with pool cues, pitchforks, and lawn flamingos (Remembrance of Things Past, Three Faces of Emily, Affair at Bromfield Hall, and There Goes the Neighborhood).
But Amanda King is definitely the Queen of Improvised Weapons, using more of them than anyone else in the Agency. Perhaps because she finds the violence of conventional weapons distasteful, Amanda has developed a knack for using whatever is close at hand in creative ways to defend herself and others.
Her improvised weapons are non-lethal, although in the right (or wrong?) hands, some of them could do considerable harm. Some of them are used mainly as forms of temporary distraction until help arrives or to disarm an enemy wielding a more conventional weapon. Others mainly function to temporarily blind or trip up the enemy, allowing Amanda or others to outmaneuver him or her. Amanda is also a master with various forms of blunt instruments, which can be used to fend off an enemy or render him or her unconscious. Whatever you need in terms of personal defense, rest assured that there is likely a solution close at hand, and Amanda King is just the person to show you!
So, without further ado, here is Amanda King’s guide to the ordinary objects that can be used against enemy agents:
Need something to startle the enemy or blind them temporarily? No problem!
Hair Spray: Not only does it provide a firm hold, kills insects, and is a key component in many household hints, it can be used as an effective alternative of mace (There Goes the Neighborhood).
Drink to the Face: Certainly much less harmful than mace, there is no need to beware of “friendly fire.” In fact, it can be useful for letting off steam at a partner who can be a little high-handed at times. Available in alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties, excellent for use in bars, restaurants, parties, and other social situations. (The ACM Kid)
Camera: Having one with a bright flash is vital. Camera strap is optional. Remember to carry extra batteries. Minoring in photojournalism helps. (Sudden Death)
Garden Hose: Effective when used on car windshields and much cheaper than going to a car wash. Do not stand immediately in front of the moving vehicle. Wipe windows well afterward to prevent streaking. (Fearless Dotty)
Whipped Cream: Attacked while bringing home the groceries? Use that can of whipped cream to cause a distraction! Assume crash position if you’re in a moving vehicle. (You Only Die Twice)
Bed Sheet: Ordinary bed sheets are plentiful, whether in the suburban home, stores that sell household goods, or laundries, and are a good choice when trying to obscure someone’s vision. Also makes an easy but classical costume on Halloween. (Vigilante Mothers)
(He would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for those meddling housewives! )
Hair Dryer with Sand: Hair dryers are not inherently dangerous (unless they’re being used to smuggle guns), but in combination with fine sand, they can create a blinding cloud. Can also be used with other forms of powder. Simply add powder to opening of dryer and turn it on. A battery-operated hair dryer allows for more freedom of movement than one that plugs into a wall outlet. Be sure that it is “loaded” with batteries prior to use. Aim directly for the face of your enemy and fire when you see the whites of his eyes! (DOA: Delirious on Arrival)
Household Hints: Hair dryers are also useful for taking the itch out bug bites and for drying crystal when you really need it dry in a hurry!
The ever-popular generic weapon from old murder mysteries, it comes in a wide range of forms, many of which can be found in a typical suburban home. It need not be used lethally and can be effective for self-defense in many situations. Here is a handy list of places where they can be found around the house:
In the Kitchen:
Meat Tenderizer: You may have a better hammer, but in this end of the house, the meat tenderizer is definitely the bashing weapon of choice. It is the perfect weapon when you find someone hiding in your hall closet. (Fearless Dotty)
Frying Pan: A classic weapon, also found in many cartoon shows. Cast iron is excellent, but requires a bit of strength to wield. Copper is also effective. Used correctly, it can render a grown man unconscious. (Charity Begins at Home)
Plastic Bin or Tub: Perhaps something like a large dishpan or storage container. Because the plastic is fairly light-weight, it’s unlikely that you could use it to render someone unconscious, but it could startle or distract them. (Life of the Party)
Mop: Not restricted to the kitchen, it is definitely useful for keeping things tidy and clearing out unwanted visitors! Demonstrated by Emily. Cleaning lady outfit optional. (Three Faces of Emily)
Kitchen Chair: Restaurant/bar chairs and other chairs are also acceptable options as long as they are light enough to pick up and swing. Lee demonstrates this tactic with a chair in a pool hall. Do not expect the chair to be useable afterward. (Three Faces of Emily)
In the Living Room:
Table Lamp: Available in a wide variety of styles and colors that can match any décor. Guaranteed to make burglars and would-be abductors think twice before messing with you again. (Brunettes Are In)
Vase: The bigger, the better. Also, the cheaper, the better, because if it’s glass, china, or pottery, it’s going to break. Leaves a messy cleanup, but good for rendering someone unconscious. Could be lethal if heavy enough. (DOA: Delirious on Arrival)
Billiard Ball: Found in pool halls and the occasional rumpus room. An excellent choice if your aim is good. (Three Faces of Emily)
Briefcase: For the discerning business man or woman who needs to hit somebody with something. Offers the possibility of planting additional weapons or defense mechanisms inside. (Welcome to America, Mr. Brand)
Purse: Appears innocent and is easily portable. Use whatever style matches your outfit that day. Purses with long straps are good for swinging. For added impact, place a tiny doorknob in the bottom of the purse. (If Thoughts Could Kill and A Class Act)
Baseball Bat: Good bashing weapon. Remember to check your target before you deliver the blow! Available wherever sporting goods are sold. (Spiderweb)
Large Stick: Kind of like a baseball bat in a more natural setting. Type of wood matters less than size and sturdiness, but those interested in tree identification should consult the Junior Trailblazers Handbook. (Burn Out)
Boat Oar – The nautical version of a stick or a baseball bat. Don’t lose it if you still need it to paddle your boat! (Flight to Freedom)
Tripping Up the Enemy
Sometimes, you’re not really trying to harm anyone but maybe trip them up a little or knock a weapon out of their hands. There are many possibilities for this purpose, but here are some of Amanda’s favorites:
Net – Not found in all environments, but when available, it’s excellent for bringing down baddies and keeping them contained. Classic element of Scooby-Doo traps. (Fred would be proud! And, if you can’t toss it or drop it on someone, you could always shoot it down. (Flight to Freedom and Over the Limit)
Car Doors: Perfect for stopping the running baddie! Of course, to do this, you really need to be in a car, and for various reasons, you may not want to stay there. Weigh the benefits against other options. (Waiting for Godorsky and Reach for the Sky)
Hanging Meat: A little esoteric, unless you’re used to fighting people in a meat-packing company, but certainly effective. Shower well afterward. (Life of the Party)
Wooden Board: Easily found at construction sites, sometimes in sizable stacks. Comes in different lengths. (Odds on a Dead Pigeon)
Cords/Cables: Classic tripping weapons, especially when strategically-placed. Watch for when enemies are near them. (Car Wars)
Tool Chest: Too heavy to lift but easily moveable because they tend to be mounted on wheels. Give it a good shove into the person you want to stop. (A Relative Situation)
Suit of Armor: Also a little esoteric, but still found in fancy houses, castles, and museums. It helps if the suit of armor is also armed. (Murder Between Friends)
Boxes: Especially good when in stacks that can be knocked over. Most effective when the highest box is higher than your opponent’s head. (Over the Limit)
Want to strike fear into the hearts of your enemies without actually hurting them? If you don’t have a weapon and can’t find one, you can use some trickery and intimidation to distract them or get them to back down.
Your Own Hands: Point them like you’re holding a gun and yell “Freeze!” It will take your enemy a moment to realize that you’re actually unarmed, providing a useful distraction. (The First Time)
Piece of Pipe: The round shape of the end can feel like the barrel of a gun to a baddie who can’t see what you’re really holding. It can be used in place of a weapon in an emergency, as long as you use it behind the other person’s back. (Ship of Spies)
Blackmail Material: Often takes the form of embarrassing photographs, although there are many other possible options. Blackmail can be used to intimidate and influence your enemies or obtain information and/or money from people who would otherwise be unwilling to supply it. In a less threatening form, it can be used to convince your partner to give you the attention you deserve and a nice dinner as well. (A Little Sex, A Little Scandal, and J. Edgar’s Ghost)
Last, but not least, the number one best tool for psychological intimidation:
Toilet Brush: Tested against Francine Desmond. No actual harm done, but test subject begged, negotiated, and attempted bribery to avoid her fate. Further testing may be indicated. (Life of the Party)
Just keep your wits about you and think on your feet! Be safe out there, agents, and keep in mind that the world contains many otherwise innocent items which you can use to make the world more dangerous for everyone else. Have a nice day!