-- Safe at Home --
This piece originally ran in the July/August 2010 issue of Penthouse, and is used with permission.
All the awesome illustrations were done by Chris Philpot.
Reading about the face-crushing exploits of hardcore badasses is totally awesome and everything, but every once in a while (i.e. when the teeming hordes of murderous ex-KGB ninja pirate assassins finally track you down and come kicking in the doors and windows of your apartment) it always helps to be able to bust out a couple totally-hardcore asskicking tricks of your own. With that in mind, here are some every day household items that you can use as improvised weapons to crush the skulls of all who would dare oppose you in mortal combat. I've gone ahead and taken the liberty of sorting your badass arsenal of destruction by room, primarily for convenience and training purposes.
The Living Room:
A main point of entry for anyone with a keen eye for smashing your front door into splinters with a steel-toed boot, the living room is literally packed with dangerous, manslaughter-tastic items you can use to get the upper hand in any life-or-death situation. As is generally the case with most self-defense situations, your first objective should be to close on the Yakuza hitmen before they can use their guns to bring the battle to a swift and unfortunate conclusion. The best way to accomplish this none-too-easy task would be to fling some kind of dangerous and/or skull-smashingly heavy object at them. Laptops, remote controls, heavy lamps, and Xbox controllers can all be used to stun or disorient your assailants, while whiskey glasses or beer bottles can double as either flying shrapnel grenades or pointy shanks worthy of any maximum security penitentiary yard. Once you've got your enemies' attention, you can work them over with a fireplace poker to the groin or harness your inner rock star by swinging a guitar around like an out-of-tune Louisville slugger. Wall-mounted coathooks or taxidermied antlered animals make for great opportunities to impale your foes, and if you have stairs, you can always try kicking them down it. Once your soon-to-be-fucked enemy has tumbled down to the bottom, you can break off a piece of the banister railing with a tough-as-shit biceps curl and then pummel them with the broken-off hunk of wood so that they know they're bitches.
Bonus Points: Bodyslamming a dude through a coffee table—especially a glass coffee table—is the sort of opportunity that should not be passed up.
Nobody wants to die while pantsless, so if you want to avoid an inglorious demise you'd better be ready to fight back in the can. A prime spot for being ambushed when you least expect or deserve it, the advantage to engaging in hand-to-hand combat in the bathroom is that many ultra-dangerous items are easily within arm's reach. The non-business end of a toothbrush or a can of shaving cream mix very well when forcibly inserted into your enemies' eyes, and razor blades have been a time-honored method of neck-slashing badassitude for generations. It's also relatively simple to twist the latrine's surroundings to your advantage by driving your attackers' heads into the mirror, the toilet, or the built-in soap dish in the shower, smashing their faces into porcelain destruction with enough force to crack a coconut. If you have a few seconds to prepare, MacGuyvering together a makeshift blowtorch using an aerosol can and an open flame is a pretty hardcore way to melt some evildoers' faces – provided, of course, that you aren't using a flower-scented candle for the open flame. That would be totally lame.
Bonus Points: Clubbing your foes into rubbery submission by swinging a plunger around like a medieval mace. It may not be especially painful, but it's definitely humiliating.
Not everyone keeps a large-caliber firearm, a fragmentation grenade, or a well-polished samurai sword on or near the bedside nightstand, so if you don't fit into that category and some crazy Commie-Nazi lumberjack commandos rappel in through the windows of your apartment unexpectedly, you'll need to get your shit together quickly and find an alternate method of fucking these dudes apart with the realness. If you have a large, heavy flashlight by the bed (which, by the way, is always a good idea just from a general home-preparedness standpoint), you can crack a skull or two with one of those, and a solid throat-strike with an alarm clock or a hardcover book can easily crush a windpipe and leave your enemies sucking failure. You can also try rolling up a back issue of Penthouse and using it Jason Bourne-style to fend off a dude who's trying to attack you with a knife, but it would be kind of a shame to ruin a perfectly good magazine in that way.
Bonus Points: Choking a dude out with a bra. Double bonus points if you don't remember whose bra it is.
The Kitchen/Dining Room:
Regardless of the square footage, the kitchen is a tremendous chunk of real estate when you're talking about home defense. This is, of course, largely because you're completely surrounded by cutlery ranging in size from shiv-like steak knives to meat cleavers that are more akin to Viking battle axes than anything even remotely resembling a utilitarian food-preparation implement, but while the easily-accessible knife block is the obvious solution when Illuminadi agents start rushing into your kitchen to drag you off to their underground lair, there is, as they say, more than one way to skin a Templar. For starters, don't forget about the other utensils – jamming a fork or a corkscrew in the eye and twisting can be just as painfully horrible as any slashing wound, tenderizing faces with a giant wooden mallet has a certain satisfaction all to itself. Unless you want to start keeping a 16th century English crossbow in your freezer, you can use hot coffee and boiling water make as ranged attacks, and getting the drop on someone and clubbing them in the back of the head with a WWE-style chair smash never seems to lose its appeal both in effectiveness and hilarity.
Bonus Points: Killing or incapacitating someone with bacon or a bacon-related construct. I have no idea how this would work, but I love the idea of it.
The other main location of the house that allows you to maximize your anti-intruder destructive powers, the garage is rife with badass weaponry at your disposal. Depending on how hardcore you are about making trips to the Home Depot every weekend, this place can potentially be literally covered from wall to wall with diabolical instruments so pointy and menacing that it makes some of those pussy-ass Spanish Inquisition torture chambers look like an inflatable bounce house at a six-year-old's birthday party. The classic gas-powered chainsaw is the obvious choice, particularly because a potential Zombie-killing death-spree wouldn't be constricted by cords or cabling, but there's also something inherently badass about impaling someone with a pneumatic nail gun at close range. If you prefer a more manual approach to neutralizing the zombie apocalypse solely with items located in your garage, you can always grab any number of shovels, hammers, screwdrivers, or hedge clippers. I'm under the impression that the undead also dislike fire from time to time, so spraying them with lighter fluid or gasoline and throwing a match in their direction would seem like an advantageous tactic as well.
Bonus Points: Decapitating someone by throwing a circular saw blade like a ninja star.
The Home Office:
Paper cuts, while ridiculously and inordinately painful, aren't going to be eviscerating any villainous goons any time soon, so when you're under fire in your home office you'll need to bust out the heavy artillery. The first thing you'll want to do is flip the desk and use it for cover. Sure, your crappy wooden desk isn't going to stop a minigun-toting cyborg samurai babe, but it will provide cover from ninja stars and throwing knives, and keep your assailants guessing about your actual location behind the desk. File cabinets may provide some cover against gunfire, and as an added bonus they can be pushed over on top of your foes to crush them with nerdery. Once they're within striking distance, letter openers, scissors, ball-point pens, and number two pencils are the right size, length, and pointiness to be jammed up the nostrils and into the brain (as long as you're not squeamish about stabbing people in the brain, that is). Fax machines, printers, and heavy paperweights can be perfect for inflicting a little bit of good-old-fashioned blunt force trauma, and USB cables can be adapted to improvised strangulation devices to choke the shit out of those fools who dared to fuck with you. If you're dealing with well-dressed Mafia enforcers or top-secret IRS death squads, you can also try stuffing them tie-first into the paper shredder and letting the machine do its thing.
Bonus Points: Staple removers are the perfect size for plucking out eyeballs.
The Complete List
About the Author