Oh yes, folks. I've got another review, and it's not of a video game or movie for once.
It's something very unusual, in fact. No, I'm about to review the pepper-spray canisters I bought.
Now, no, don't worry, I haven't sprayed anyone in the gob with them yet. See, the problem is I don't think I could even if I wanted to.
I bought three products in total, all over-priced (especially because two of them were made by a local company -- no excuse to not be cheap or at least of high quality). I am spending this money because I plan to give my mother the best of them because she has a night-time commute on the most dangerous days of the week. I've been concerned for the last ten damn years, so I decided to move ahead and pick up a self-defense product for her.
Now, let me reiterate: these three products are THE ONLY ONES AVAILABLE here without going online. In stores, where you can pick them up and walk away, these are the only three products you can find. That's fucking horrific. Three products.
The fucking gun store I bought the best of the products in? Yeah, they happened to have more FIREARMS for sale than pepper-spray. More knives, guns and heavy metal rods for cranial surgery.
So, it was with a great deal of frustration that I wanted to look up some information on the un-labeled products (the smallest and largest of the purchases). It was very hard to even discover who made it. Turns out it was a local company with a website that had not been touched since 1998. No information, nothing useful, was on that website.
That's also fucking horrific. What is this? What is this bullshit?
Now, let's move on before I suffer another aneurysm. I test fired the larger of the products and promptly wanted to punch a Aussie smug wanker in the chops - rather than a spray, this was more of a pepper-drool. I am not kidding.
The liquid oozed out like an apathetic dog going through the motions of chucking up last night's chicken dinner. Right all over my hands.
I swore and went to wash it out. By all means, that should be quite difficult to do. I was in no rush, wanting to see if it did anything whatsoever to my hands. However not only did the OC mixture actually wash out easily, but the cold water was more irritating. I stopped after a cursory wash and said "right, bring it; surely you can at least make my fucking hands warm or something." Barely.
Utter flop; good thing it WASN'T actually effective, since it mostly just got my hands and the fucking floor two-feet away.
Worse, the product is unwieldy, difficult to draw and exceedingly hard to actually fire. The benefit of the doubt, I will give: perhaps the propellant was out of date, or perhaps I wasn't crushing the trigger like the fury of Moses, so it only felt compelled to lazily ooze onto my hand. The nozzle actually points downwards too, rather than where it should: directly forward. Pointing downwards puts it at risk of, you know, going downwards instead of forwards.
The smallest product, also made by the these people, was more of a pepper-squirt. It squirted maybe five feet forwards with an extremely water-gun-esque spray. It was still better than the first one.
However, it's meant to be a key-chain unit.
Except, because Australians just cannot be fucked doing anything right, like updating their security firm's website every decade at a minimum, there's no way to attach it to a key-chain or belt. You have to fumble in your pocket for a canister smaller than a lipstick or sour candy spray - if its potency is the same as the larger product, and it likely is, it's probably less effective than lipstick or sour candy too.
Imagine confusing your pepper-spray for your candy.
Hell, actually, that stuff feels kinda good on your hands. Maybe I'll do that again later.
Alright, third and final product? The propellant was fine. TOTALLY different from the others, this is actually what pepper-spray is supposed to be. Given the marked difference from the others, I have no intentions of spraying anyone with it to test the most important thing.
But wait, who made this one? Google turns up nothing. No address or contact information. Who are they?! Where is the god-damned marketing blurb somewhere that tells me ANYTHING about this product?
Not only do I not know how effective it is, but I don't even know who made this thing. It is, however, the only competitor for the other useless junk - which by the way is more expensive. Seriously, it drools on my hands and they had the nerve to ask for $45.
I think that actually beats UFC 2010 for the title of "most disappointing thing I ever spent too much money on." But the only way to do the research is to buy it - no websites, no testimonials, nothing. I'm more than horribly disappointed, I'm offended. This isn't just pissing me off as a consumer, but as a citizen of this country. Is this the best we can do? No it fucking isn't, and we need to step it up.
Pepper-dog-vomit and water-guns that are good at warming your fingers on a cold day?
Yeah, next time I'm faced with an enraged, drunken loon at the train station, wanting to start a fight with whoever happens to be there, with his three buddies (as has happened before) I'll be fine; I have my misplaced confidence in my pepper-drool/spray.
But hey, at least I'll wake up in Intensive Care knowing I really made that asshole suffer a greasy stain that looks like he spilled nacho dressing on himself. Probably made his face preeeeeetty warm too. That'll learn him.
Two dud products being disposed off (will be demanding money back for the larger one). Will purchase one more of the decent ones. Next time, I'm cutting the bullshit and importing Fox Labs' face-melting solution from the good old United States (of Everything is Cheaper There Anyway).
Incidentally, I'm suspicious that the decent unit is actually American anyway.
Now, you've probably not looked into it, but this is my problem: there are hundreds of products like these in the USA. They all have reviews, testimonies and so on, so forth. I quickly discovered several names that were renowned as the best, and found detailed information on them.
Here? We don't have that here. We've got these three, and no information on them. This is just frustrating and sad; we're not Nigeria, we're a first world nation. They also appear to be twenty-years behind in terms of development; no excuse for this given they can just copy the American solutions.
Not naming and shaming the company here who made the rubbish products, mostly to be fair: I don't know for a fact that every unit they sell is so horrid.
Also, such a company seems likely to sue no matter how right I am. Thing is, due to the recent shuffling of legislation, most people in this state don't even know it's legal and don't carry it, even when they're at risk. So if, say, someone made a shithouse product, nobody would notice; without the stimulation of capitalistic competition, nobody makes a better product.
It's not that we don't need these products; it's literally that nobody knows to buy them here. We need them alright. Don't think for a minute Australians are non-violent "mates" who chuck prawns on barbecues. They're every bit as violent and criminal as Americans. Just more vulnerable to anti-defense rhetoric.
It's very sad.