Housewife Escapes Boredom and Cuffs

Inside Magic Image of Donna Purnell as Alexandria the Great Escape ArtistCBS News reports on Donna Purnell a/k/a Alexanderia the Great whom they describe as “housewife by day, escape artist by night.”
The network relates the story of two ordinary folks who loved to escape from rope, handcuffs and chains as they courted in their youth.
Now, with their children out of the house, they avoid the empty nest syndrome by trying more complex, more daring escapes.
Donna Purnell trains with a strength coach and a “holding breath coach.”
In the unbearably cutesy narrative, the home of Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Edward R. Murrow relates how her family reacted to learn of her new vocation.

“[H]er kids like the idea of having an escape artist mom – in fact, they were relieved to find out that’s all she is.
“We would walk around the house and we’d see chains and handcuffs in places,” said her daughter.
Apparently, compared to that image – seeing your mom trapped in a tank of water is nothing.

Man oh man are we cynical here at Inside Magic. This is a story that did not need the following saccharine phrases:

“She felt like her hands were tied. And it motivated her to start thinking inside the box.”
“A few of her friends think she’s jumped off the deep end.”
“Donna and the kids hope that this act and the story behind it serve as inspiration to you – to escape whatever it is you’re stuck in.”
“It’s quite a predicament – especially considering, originally, all she wanted to escape – was boredom.”

Here is our twisted take on the reporting of this story. The author apparently believes these stunts are foolproof; that no one ever drowns whilst being tied, locked, and cuffed within 700 gallons of very cold water (Boston – Outside – Winter). Whether the artist is 49 or 14, this is a story about guts. Donna has our respect not simply because she risks her life performing escapes she learned later in life; but that’s a lot of it.
Dean Gunnarson told us once that there is no “automatic” escape and there is no “safe” escape when water is involved.

We would have loved to hear about her influences both as a teen and now. How she keeps up with the daily physical training to perform and whether she ever feels fear.
The questions were never asked. Donna is not a symbol or a story hook. She is a person set on doing what she enjoys and apparently doing it very well.
We’ll be less cynical soon. These types of stories will then roll off our hunched back and everything will be okay again.
Here’s hoping. Keep it up, Donna. We’re proud of you!
Visit Donna’s Facebook Page here.
You can catch her on Twitter aqui.

The best source for information on Donna can be found on her excellent — and inspiring — web site here:

You can view the CBS Evening News Video at CBS’ site: Housewife Houdini escapes suburban boredom – CBS Evening News – CBS News.

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