This may come as a surprise to the young people out there, but in the past a person could safely learn about an expected baby’s gender without fear of carnage or massive destruction of property. What used to be handled by a card sent through the mail or a Facebook post has escalated in a manner not unlike a Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border. Every week we read news of the aftermath of another senseless act of gender revelation. One of the most recent was so destructive it made local residents think there had been an earthquake.
With these events spiraling out of control, a person can be forgiven for wondering “am I next?” The unsettling answer is, unfortunately, “maybe.” The fact is that in many states (particularly in the South), there isn’t even a requirement to be licensed to carry gender reveal munitions. Because of this ever growing danger, here is some practical advice from law enforcement, self-defense experts, and military combat veterans on what to do if you find yourself facing the business end of a gender reveal invitation.
First, if someone threatens you with an invitation to a gender reveal party, you must take him or her seriously. While you may feel you know this person and that they might just be “kidding,” you can’t risk that a lighthearted chuckle might set the perpetrator — and their poorly constructed festive ordinance — off. Now if the invitation is electronic, or even via mail, your response is simple: cut all known ties with the inviter (unfriend and unfollow all social media). If you are close family members, you may be forced to change your name and alter your identity. For the next several weeks, do not leave your home, answer the phone, or check your social media. Continue this until you hear the explosion and give ample time for fallout to clear.
However, if the invitation was given in person, things become much riskier. In this instance, you need to look for any opportunity to distract your former friend/family member to create an opening to flee. If you thought ahead, you could use a taser or possibly a smoke grenade. (One former police officer told me how he escaped a recent invitation by “popping blue smoke” that disoriented the inviter long enough for a police helicopter to extract him). If you didn’t plan so thoroughly, tell your impregnated assailant that you need to “call your husband/wife/child/parents/doctor to see if you are free on the given date. As soon as you are out of their line of sight, run like your life depends on it. Because it does.
Another important thing to note is that gender reveal devices make traditional self-defense courses irrelevant. Tae kwon doe doesn’t teach a roundhouse-high explosive neutralization kick. But you may consider enrolling the family in a neighborhood basic bomb squad class. These classes are usually fun, create a bonding experience for the family, and may prepare you for the possibility of staring down an unstable detonating device hooked up into a fertilizer bomb crammed with pink or blue confetti.
Thanks to the free market and economies of scale, gender reveal survival bunkers and panic rooms are becoming increasingly affordable. These apocalypse-proof buildings may be just the ticket to ride out not only the initial blast, but also the fiery hellstorm that may follow. Once built, it is important to not only stock with adequate amounts of food and water (2 weeks supply is recommended) and entertainment (many states mandate bunkers hold at least one season of Friends) but you and your family must be sure to practice your response regularly in order to be prepared for the time when you truly need it. Drilling for one half-hour per week should do it.
Although you may be uncomfortable with the idea, consider purchasing a gender reveal device for home defense. With proper training and care, having one in your home can provide you with peace of mind and a level of protection should the unthinkable ever happen.
Finally, many military veterans say that “the best defense is a good offense.” If you know or suspect someone in your social sphere may be “expecting,” quietly collect as much gender reveal ordinance as possible. If you receive a letter or email from them that at all hints of being an invitation of sorts, discard it and plan your own reveal party. Remember, you didn’t start this, but by golly you’re going to finish it.
Remember, having a baby is one of the most fulfilling and beautiful things one can experience. But learning whether that baby is a boy or a girl can be one of the most traumatizing. You owe it to yourself to be ready.
Originally published at https://www.damperthree.com on May 10, 2021.