Thursday, September 1, 2011

Almost went to the dogs

Those of you who aren't here during normal business hours missed a lot of commotion two days ago, with choppers overhead and email blasts about an armed gunman who was, indeed, briefly at large here or just west of here. 

This, of course, had nothing whatsoever to do with our neighborhood, per se.  Reportedly, a chase originated in La Marque after the gunman hijacked a cigarette truck.  It must have been one hilarous sight to see ten million cigarettes flying all over the place and people swarming like flies-on-you-know-what to abscond with them.  After unintentionally distributing his ill-gotten gains thusly, the perp fled into Leage City's deep suburban bowels and escaped. 

At any rate, this incident served as a good reminder for me of the potential for a normal day to suddenly turn badly entropic, not because there was a gunman, but because of what happened in our house as a result of it.

As soon as I got the email blast, I went to fetch a means of personal protection which must be kept under constant lock and key.   I left our dogs in my office and was retrieving said device from a bedroom when all of a sudden, the dogs came barreling down the hall, snarling and vicious.  

Fortunately, after a split second of cold fear, I realized why this was happening: I opened my lockbox with a key that lives on a ring I almost never have to handle.  That set of keys makes a different jingling sound than my everyday keys.   When the dogs heard an unidentifiable noise in a bedroom, they assumed it was an intruder and thus launched into attack mode.

If I had not been able to make this swift association, I, too, would have assumed that an intruder had just entered or was about to enter. That's a very logical conclusion when faced with:

(a) an email blast informing of a gunman headed this way,
(b) physical confirmation of this urgent situation in the form of choppers circling overhead, and
(c) trained dogs going berserk.

If I had not realized what was actually going on, I, too might have come out of the bedroom and down the hall in a corresponding attack mode, which would have been extremely bad for me, the dogs, the infrastructure of the house, plus everything and everyone else with the misfortune to be in momentary linear alignment with me.

Moral of the story: a deleterious conspiracy of variables can occur very quickly in a perceived emergency situation.   You need to set yourself up properly if you ever think there'll be an situation in which good split-second decision-making depends entirely on accurate information.  For me, among other things, this means discarding a lockbox that requires the rattling of any unfamiliar keys, thus nullifying a previously-unrealized canine attack trigger.  I'm thinking about one of those products that is said to be as silent as it is secure.
NOT an endorsement of any specific manufacturer,
but I have friends who are quite pleased with these types of keyless finger-pad safes (they are available with or without biometric ID).

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