Self Defense for the Elderly

The abuses suffered by our senior citizens are now unfortunately commonplace; though frequently reported they are rarely dealt with in an effective way. While it is not in this author's power to change a society which has allowed such things to evolve, it is in his power to at least suggest some effective deterrents to theft or personal injury.

Cards are a particularly efficacious self-defense technique for the elderly because all old people play gin rummy. Consequently, cards are a familiar item and there is no need for long periods of getting acquainted with the product (like there might be with a crossbow or garrote) before effective results can be produced. Also, carrying cards may eliminate the need for the steel-plated-monev-belt-and-undergarment combination so many of our senior citizens are being forced to wear for their own protection.

Forget the "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" attitude of so many people. I have demonstrated at the Columbia School of Card Throwing's Geriatric Classes that the elderly can learn to effectively throw and protect themselves with cards in only twice the time it takes a clumsy teenager.

Cards are among the lightest of weapons and should add very little burden to the shopping bag or pocket, and, of course, single card techniques are possible by all but the most infirm. An old person should never be without a card.

And just think of the social advantages of such a defense system. Upon being approached for any reason, the senior citizen can analyze the accoster and, if realizing he is a grandchild or otherwise harmless person, offer to play a little gin with him. Of course, it is always advisable to keep a joker at hand in case the newcomer is a poor loser, relative or not.

The Drop and Attack

This is an effective deterrent to robbery. If attacked, the old person should produce money on demand, securing a packet of cards secretly behind the bills. He ldndly proffers the cards to the thief but at the last minute lets the bills fall to the ground. In deference to the elderly, the thief bends down to pick them up and the old person comes down sharply on the attacker's neck with the packet of cards in the Children's Cudgel position. If this technique is accompanied by the distinctive scream of the elderly, the thief—if he is able to move—will surely run away.

If an outdoor, non-contact prophylactic is needed, try this: At the approach of any unseemly character, our senior citizen should nonchalantly throw cards at a nearby tree, making them land firmly in the bark. He or she should then leer at the stranger who will hurry by or reverse direction.

Geriatric cases should not overlook "Cards from Mouth" (the technique discussed on page 87, as it is a favorite of octogenarians.

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