All Illustrations by James Yamasaki

F act: If you write an article about how to defend yourself against a dog attack and characterize the potentially attacking dog as a pit bull and title the piece "How to Defeat a Pit Bull with Your Bare Hands," lots of people will get angry. Here are some tips on how to defend yourself against angry, easily startled, logic-ignoring, foaming-at-the-mouth pit bull lovers.

1. Create Distance Between You And The Angry Mob

Most of the angry people will wish to loudly make the "Dog attacks are the fault of lousy dog owners, so why don't you write an article about how to educate lousy dog owners instead of perpetuating the myth that pit bulls can't wait to rip everyone's faces off?" argument.

This argument is quite common, and to properly address the many people ready to argue this angle, you should stand on a car.

Once there, point out that holding a consciousness-raising session about responsible dog ownership with the owner of a dog that's attempting to rip your face off is a lovely idea, but it does nothing to stop a dog attack already in progress. The piece that provoked so much outrage was about self- defense, and the most common dog to have to defend oneself against happens to be the pit bull. Explain that diplomatic outreach to the pit bull community about future encounters is a secondary concern, and reiterate that your piece was about the primary concern of getting out of a dog attack alive. Try not to be too bitchy about it.

2. Play Dead And Cover Your Sensitive Parts

A smaller number of angry, foaming-at-the-mouth pit bull lovers will wish to make the "Merely publishing this article is a reckless act of cruelty" argument. This argument is harder to take seriously, so you don't have to. Apparently, to some folks, mere discussion of self-defense qualifies as animal abuse. You should do your best to explain your position while guarding your face and crotch. Patiently explain that your piece wasn't about beating the shit out of random dogs for fun and profit, but about protecting yourself—or your baby, who would make a fine snack for a pit bull—from a potentially fatal dog attack.

3. Mace The Race-Baiters

An even smaller number of angry, foaming-at-the-mouth pit bull lovers may spring the "Perpetuating the stereotype that all pit bulls are killers is as ignorant and bigoted as saying all black people are criminals" argument. This one's tough, because the one-to-one equation of animals and humans of any race makes all sane people furious. Some pit bull defenders know enough to not drag race into it, voicing their displeasure at pit bulls being exemplified as a killer breed without resorting to claims of canine racism. To these folks, explain that the many widely reported and horrific attacks attributed to pit bulls have unfortunately made the dog the automatically name-checked breed in discussions of dangerous dog attacks. (Similarly, China is the auto-name-checked country in discussions of the production of melamine-tainted baby formula.) It may not be fair, but that's life.

And dragging race into it is a deal breaker. If they continue to attack, Mace the fuckers.

4. If They Won't Stop Screaming, Force Them To

A very select few of the people made furious by "How to Defeat a Pit Bull with Your Bare Hands" will begin screaming nonsensically, "By suggesting people should be afraid of pit bulls, you're making people afraid of pit bulls, which is subconsciously creating an environment where pit bulls are subliminally encouraged to attack!" This one—while startling when it's delivered by a screaming, foaming-at-the-mouth pit bull lover—is easy. Tackle the psychic-pit-bull defender, press the bony part of your forearm against his windpipe, and repeat (until he shuts up) "IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ENCOURAGE A PIT BULL ATTACK WITH THE CONTENTS OF YOUR MIND. AND IF IT IS NOT, THAT'S ONE MORE REASON IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO BE READY TO DEFEND YOURSELF AGAINST THESE MIND-READING ATTACK MONSTERS." When the psychic-pit-bull apologist has stopped struggling, remove your arm, discontinue your tackle, and go get a milk shake. recommended

Previously: How to Defeat a Pit Bull with Your Bare Hands.