In 8th grade my mom resurrected her working-world life and suited up as a real estate agent. Simultaneous with her Agent resolve was pepper spray. Mom immediately procured Mace for protection against the crazies, zanies, and insane she was confident she would encounter in her new profession. For easy accessibility, she situated the spray on her keys.
It was logical: easier to locate her keys, simple to grab if her safety was compromised.
My mom, my sister, a friend and I were in a sandwich shop one blistering afternoon. I was contentedly perusing the menu when abruptly a scorching, fiery sensation molested my mouth and nostrils. My eyes streamed and my vision curled. I staggered and coughed. Incomprehensible sounds emanated from my throat as I clutched my scorched tongue in one hand and my blazing eyes in another. My sister bowled herself to the ground. My friend blindly darted away, gagging and wailing.
My mom said later when the three children surrounding her began behaving like burn victims with cries and screams charging the air, others in the store bestowed horrified and perplexed expressions on her. She elected to discard the pepper spray that day.