I'm standing over by the "Relaxation Station." The shoddier booths are on this side of the convention centerlots of mom & pop lock shops, etc. I'm immediately won over by Webb Co., maker of beepers, pepper sprays and tazer guns.
Memories come flooding backI'm watching an episode of "That's Incredible" and audience volunteers are being zapped with tazer guns. It's supposed to be this great revolutionary thing that's going to change the face of crime prevention. Fran Tarkenton stands there and tazers poor Midwestern audience members. After they are roused, Cathy Lee and John Davidson hold them up and they testify about how incredible their electroshock waslike they were evangelically healed. Tazer guns, I remember, are cool.
The Webb attendant, an expert on tazers, is a funny, round, Lay-zee-Boy kind of guy who hates his job like Suzanne, the Gemini girl. He tells me the cheapest tazer gun is about $26. They have two kinds100,000 and 200,000 volts. "The 'hundred thousand' will probably take a guy like you down," he says. "It puts a guy down for five minutes. You point it to the upper torso." What if you want to subdue them for longer than that, I ask. "Oh. Well, you can just keep the tazer on them."
The Webb guy moves onto his other non-tazer products. Pepper spray is now legal in most states, he tells me, so you can pack it in your bags next to your Abdominizer and be ready to take on the town. My absolute favorite product is Pepperfoam. It "blindfolds attackers providing the ultimate in chemical spray protection." It glops onto someone's face and sits there and burns like a cruel, cruel pie.