If you're unlucky enough to be in a situation where you must defend yourself from an attacker, you should consider which objects around you might make serviceable improvised weapons. Everyone knows about pool cues and beer bottles, but have you thought of using a cup of hot coffee or a metal pen as a potential weapon if your life is on the line?
Tactical blog ITS tactical notes that a piping hot cup of coffee makes an effective weapon for ending a confrontation.
I have responded to many calls for service with a steaming hot cup of coffee in my hand. Burns do a fantastic job of overloading the central nervous system, causing the person to fixate on their injury instead of what is going on around them. A hot liquid in the hand is a great example of an improvised weapon: it is not carried as a weapon, but is effective none the less.
Likewise a metal-bodied pen can be an effective weapon for striking soft points such as the face and neck of an attacker.
Even a rock used to hit the head of an attacker can end the confrontation.
Say you pick up a rock and swing it into the head of your attacker, attacking the central nervous system. Just like watching a good show on TV, the cable does not have to go out to mess up your viewing pleasure. All that is needed is a bad signal. So, you hit him over and over until the cable goes out. Since you are in the neighbourhood anyway, land a few shots to the collar bone, extending your attacks to the structural system. This can deanimate the entire arm.
Hopefully no one who reads this will ever be forced into a violent encounter, but if it does happen, knowing how to use items around you to aid your defence can be a deciding factor in aiding your continued survival. Be careful out there.