As we are approaching the season of consumerism, scratch that, giving, I’ve decided to offer some of my crime prevention suggestions to you, my loyal readers, free of charge. Please do not assume that these suggestions aren’t as valuable as the ones I’ve given in lectures in years past (where the organisers have generally asked for a small monetary donation): it’s just that here you don’t get biscuits. Go grab yourself some if you feel they’re needed for you to be able to pay attention.
I only mention that I’m offering this advice gratis to highlight that, sadly, during the run-up to Christmas, there is a smorgasbord of scammers and dodgy dealers just waiting to relieve you of your hard-earned cash. This is my first tip: be weary of everyone. Now you know me, you trust me, because I’m very likeable, honest and always leave my clientele satisfied, if you know what I mean. So were I to request a small fee, it would be sensible to pay it. However, how many times do you hand over your coins or credit cards to people whom you do not know, admire or find sexually alluring? Just bought your wife a necklace–are you sure the jeweller isn’t in the blood diamond trade? Found a great deal online—how reputable is the company? Are you supporting animal abuse with your holiday meal purchases? The donation you made outside the Post Office—was the fact that the man owned a red bucket all you needed to hand over a tenner? I’m certainly not saying that you shouldn’t buy things from retailers or give money to charities. I’m just saying if you’re going to be mindless about how you throw your money about, don’t come whining to me about being ripped off. And if you are financially supporting corrupt companies and practices, then in many ways you’re just as bad as the criminals themselves. What are you going to do next, kill a fluffy kitten just to watch it die? You disgust me.
Another crime that seems to peak this time of year is pickpocketing. People get so wrapped up in how many errands they have to run or how many purchases they have to make that they let their guards down. They focus on their lists or rushing to beat the queues, and they leave their purses or pockets easily accessible to baddies. My tip to avoid those with sticky fingers is to keep your wallet hidden upon (but not within) your person. Women are advised to keep their cash in their brassieres; men should tuck it discreetly into the pockets of their Y-fronts. Yes, it may be uncomfortable and possibly awkward at the till, but it’s safer, and safety don’t come easy, baby. I do not, though, recommend this technique when shopping in toy stores, for obvious reasons.
Break-ins are also popular during this season. It’s best to assume that burglars are constantly staking out your home. They’re watching you carry in bundles of purchases, they take note of the empty boxes you put out with the recycling, they know when you’re packing the car to go away for a few days. The only way to deal with this threat is to beat them at their own game. Be sensible when displaying new and expensive items you’re bringing into the house; use security lighting outside your home; cancel milk and post delivery, set timers or hire a housesitter if you’re going away; devise a schedule which means a family member is sitting guard at all entry points to your house 24-7 from today until mid-January. Don’t be a passive victim. Getting robbed is terrible, but it stings even more if you could have proactively avoided it.
Lastly, the holiday season includes many parties, and these parties often involve the imbibing of excess amounts of alcohol-based concoctions. As statistics show, when people drink too much, they are more likely to become aggressive which can lead to cruelty, violence and property damage. My tip for avoiding any trips to hospital and/or the local police station is to water down Granny’s sherry from the get go and confiscate both her cane and knitting needles upon arrival.
Be safe and wise when celebrating, my dear ones, and have lovely holiday season!