Why I Won’t Be Asking Santa for a Bodyguard This Christmas

Madonna bodyguard

Let’s not get distracted by asking why in the world I would ever even think I might need personal protection—my delusions are my own business. I’m just saying that, via some odd cosmic coincidence, bodyguards have been on my mind.

U2 performed in Southern California on Sunday and I scored a pre-show party pass. It wasn’t an excruciatingly discriminating guest list to my eye, but I was thrilled to be in a big tent with places to sit and tray-served champagne. Just as I was fluffing up with self-importance for sharing oxygen with everyone from Frank Gehry to Paris Hilton, I was nearly knocked to the floor by what looked like an NFL reject who had traded helmet and pads for a navy blue blazer and an earpiece.

It wasn’t the first time I’ve been collateral damage to the rapid ingress or egress of a VIP, so I knew the duck, roll and quick turn required to survive the blow AND see the special person who is in need of protection from me.  She was stunning—taller than her bodyguards—and well, nobody. Well, I’m sure she’s somebody to her children and famous husband, but no one who I could conceive of as being in imminent danger of attack.

That’s when I learned the first reason why I won’t be asking for a bodyguard of my own from Santa:

Unless You Have a Real Reason, Such As A Written and Notorized
Kidnapping Threat Against You Or Are Venturing Into Known
Insurgency Territory, Your Bodyguard Makes You Look Like An Ass
With A Personality Disorder.

Shortly before the “clipping” incident, however, I visited Colombia. You know, the South American country made famous here in the US by the Medillin cocaine cartels and FARC rebels. For the record, the country is not only gorgeous, but also reassuringly safe these days after years of strife. Still, bodyguards are de rigueur accessories among the wealthy and influential. In certain affluent areas, bodyguards stand at the entries of residential apartment buildings and follow mommies and kids down to the local parks.

Nonetheless, they are a dubious luxury if you ask me. I heard a tale of a recent terrorist attack on someone’s domestic bodyguards. It was no big deal; I was reassured, because the only things the terrorists took were the bodyguards’ Uzis. What a relief—just a few more semi-automatic guns in the hands of crazy young men. Which leads to the second reason I won’t be asking for a bodyguard from Santa:

If You Brings Weapons Into Your Environment, You May Be Killed With Them.

That’s why I’ve never considered keeping a gun in my house for protection. If the need to use one arose, I knew I’d be as careful and deliberate as Barney Fife, as would all my semi-hysterical family members. If we didn’t shoot each other, we would most certainly suffer the trampling casualties most commonly seen in soccer crowds as we clawed our ways over each other to escape the threat.

A few days ago, I read that Taliban militants attacked a guesthouse in Kabul, Afghanistan.  UN workers, several of whom were killed, favored this guesthouse. Now, I’m just a civilian going out on a limb here, but I’ve got to think that somebody somewhere knew that this was a dangerous place to live and I’m going to bet they had security. Nonetheless, it all went walkabout in an instant. “Where were the bodyguards and security forces?” I silently asked the online Washington Post article.

Well, judging from the reports that have been coming in regarding the private security force hired to protect the American Embassy in Kabul, they were busy hiring hookers and photographing each other in drunken quasi-homosexual pool parties that were required attendance for new young guards seeking promotions and plum postings.

Which leads to the third reason I won’t be asking for a bodyguard this Christmas:

No Matter How Well-Intentioned Bodyguards May Be, Sex Will
Always Trump a Client’s Need For Protection.

Come to think of it, that’s pretty much true in all aspects of life when group hormones gather and reproduce.  I have little doubt that an assassin in the form of an attractive and willing sex partner can penetrate (accidental but noted pun!) the most conscientious security schemes if human beings are involved in their enforcement. I’ve seen women develop strong personal attachments to their own bodyguards and the guards end up functioning as the hybrid, Escort/Personal Security. Picture Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner in “The Bodyguard.” In the old days of chivalry, I believed another term they used for this hybrid was Husband. Which also raises the question: From whom is the client being protected, exactly?

Personally, I’m still not over President George W. Bush’s visit to Iraq when a guy in the press conference launched not one, but two shoes at our Chief Executive. Let’s see if I had this right; the President was in a conflicted and occasionally hostile environment, he had the most exquisitely trained and exquisitely handsome bodyguards available on earth, he was particularly unpopular in the region at the time and still the guy got the second shoe to the target! And that leads to the fourth reason why I’m not asking for a bodyguard:

Bodyguards Generally Recognize Danger At About the Same Time
The Victim Recognizes It.

George didn’t get clocked in Iraq because he has superb reflexes for a guy his age and he ducked, twice. If you follow my blogs, you know that I believe that Congressman Joe Wilson should have been taken down by the Secret Service when he aggressively called President Obama a liar, so I’m a strict constructionist where bodyguard performance is concerned.

I guess the lessons are two:  First, instinct is our most effective security. If we are in threatening territory, we should be bold enough to be afraid. Heads down and ears up is always a good posture. And second, bodyguards are humans and as easily distracted and bored as the pilots on that Northwest flight who overshot Minneapolis by 150 miles.

So, I guess it’s back to the Neiman Marcus Wish List for my inspiration this Christmas.

Vicki Iovine – Girlfriends' Guides