ChapStick saved my life, not
just my lips
Deceober 7, 2008 | ChapStick -- you should never leave
home without it. It could save your life. I can honestly
say that it saved mine.
I was a Mormon missionary for two years in the beautiful
country of Argentina. And as a Mormon missionary I was
often sent to the most dangerous parts of town, I mean
real, live ghettos. The majority of the people are humble
and very accepting. But some see two well-dressed Americans
walking through with no defense, and assume that we
are carrying large sums of money.
My No. 3 mugging happened on a cold night, and I could
see the perpetrators coming from across the park. I
knew there was nowhere for me to go. It would be No.
1 for my companion and I didn't want him to get hurt.
Being mugged at gunpoint by someone in a different language
can be hard on a guy. He was brand new to the country
and did not know Spanish at all.
I started walking fast and straight toward them. My
stare locked onto the eyes of the one facing me, I wasn't
going to break down. Even though my knees were knocking
together as I scanned to see where he was hiding the
gun or knife or whatever he was going to use to mug
me. But I kept my face cool and calm.
My companion was completely oblivious to what was
about to happen, but I could feel it coming. I always
could. We crossed paths and the two of them stopped
us, blocking our path.
"Can I help you?" I asked, as if I didn't know what
was going on.
He wrapped his arm around my shoulders and I felt
cold steel being shoved into my side.
"Don't hurt my friend, he doesn't speak Spanish,"
I was whispering, and I could feel the adrenaline begin
to pump through my veins as I begged for mercy for my
companion. I promised to cooperate, as long as they
left my companion alone.
The other thug overheard the conversation and put
the gun he was pulling out of his pocket back in, and
just pulled my companion aside so that I could be dealt
I was astonished by the idea that this punk that was
threatening my life was going to do as I asked and leave
my companion out of it. Here this guy was threatening
my life, and yet he was willing to be nice to my companion.
I couldn't understand it.
"Empty your pockets," he told me nonchalantly, like
he were ordering at a fast food restaurant. There was
no anger in his request; it was merely an order that
he knew I would follow.
I showed him the contents of my pockets; keys to my
apartment, a broken watch and a ChapStick, original
flavor. He looked past the keys and picked up the watch.
It was a "Hello Kitty" pink watch without a band. I
carried it so no one would want to rob it. He put it
back and went for the ChapStick.
"What is it?" he asked.
"Chap Stick, for your lips, when they hurt."
My knees weren't shaking anymore and my pulse started
to level out. I didn't feel like I was in any immediate
danger. I was talking to this guy that was holding me
at gun point as if we were discussing the weather.
"I want it." The thug left everything else behind,
grabbed the ChapStick and walked away.
"Why did you give that guy your Chap Stick?" my companion
asked curiously, as we finished walking home.
"I think his lips were chapped real bad," I responded.
"I didn't need it."
This guy could have beat the crap out of me, he could
have shot me, he could have taken away my keys and caused
a huge mess. But he didn't. This guy could have grabbed
my companion too and told him to empty his pockets.
We were alone at night. There was no one around. But
they didn't. Was it possible that these two street thugs
had a set of morals? Was it possible that these guys
were holding a pistol to my side because they had no
I'm still not sure what made that time I got robbed
different. I was robbed 11 times in a span of two years,
and I will never forget how I walked away from No. 3
without being hit, spit on, or losing anything of any
real value. I still wonder what made the difference.
Was it kindness on the part of the two assailants? I
personally don't think so.
I think it was the ChapStick.