The Fart Whistle: An Appreciation

41YpgXxx9bL._SX522_Yesterday there was a hastily arranged, but well-attended, protest of Donald Trump’s visit to Austin in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. I wasn’t working security in any formal way, so I just brought along a grab bag of items that I thought might be useful, especially in the event of disruptive counter-protest. And in fact, a few Trump supporters did show up (including one lady who took a piece of my posterboard to make a sign that said “Africa for Trump”), and some conflict did occur–mainly verbal. 
So I decided to try out the fart whistle I bought last month, on the theory that ridiculous noises can go a long way toward a. drowning out alt-right nonsense and b. defusing tension.

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Kick the Rat

Princess-Bride_92-1My friend Jennifer Hargis, whom I have known for lo these three decades and more now, co-wrote this piece with me for The Hairpin: Seven Classic Film Heroines Who Suck at Personal Safety.

How to not be Snow White: Learn to say “No.” Don’t volunteer information to strangers, and don’t feel obligated to provide honest answers, or any answer at all, to personal questions. A simple “I’m not comfortable sharing that information with you” will do the trick, whether you’re dealing with telemarketers, strangers at bus stops, or your disguised evil stepmother queen.

If you’ve ever had the urge, while watching The Princess Bride, to grab Buttercup by the shoulders and shake her until her teeth rattle, this piece is for you.