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We may not be psychologists or psychiatrists but we could have a bit of fun compiling and analysing what we imagine people’s spontaneous reactions would be, hearing the word “Protection” totally devoid of context;  the way the shrinks do it but without lying on a couch.  My personal, partial list would look something like this :

–   That solid plastic shield for the testicles; the padding for shoulders and shins; maybe even a tight-fitting rubber helmet to soften blows to the skull and to avoid cauliflower ears  (Rugby-men)

–   Most of the above, with emphasis on a solid helmet and oversized shoulder-pads (Gridiron players)

–   Condoms  (Some men, many women)

–   Pills  (to avoid pregnancy as well as sea and air sickness)

–   Mosquito netting  (In the tropics)

–   Oils of all sorts  (On the beach)

–   Sunglasses  (Idem, plus behind the wheel and anywhere in Australia)

–   Hats  (Down Under and other really sunny places)

–   Insurance  (Ideally, a must for everyone)

–   Warm clothing including ear-muffs  (People who live in places with real Winters)

–   Appropriate boots  (Workmen, skiers, fire-men)

–   Backyard underground shelters  (People really uptight about Iranian, Pakistani or Russian attacks or our own nuclear plants)

–   Police  (In some countries)

The list could be much longer.

I wonder whether anyone would blurt out any of the following :

–   A Saint Christopher, or a Miraculous, Medal

–   Mary, the Mother of God, “Stella Maris” (“Star of the Sea”)

–   Poseidon  (for those who got the idea from my post “Poseidon Protège-Nous”, August 3, 2013, page 2).

Gut-reactions can be very revealing.  I know that pity is an unworthy sentiment, but I would feel sorry for anyone who would spontaneously count on some silly fetish or good-luck charm, or on a lady who died 2000 years ago, or on an imaginary pagan god to provide them with protection.  Some of the other protectors may not be very effective but the ones in the second list are dead-sure to be totally useless.