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When one smokes marijuana,
one’s eyes become bloodshot,
one’s appetite increases,
one’s mouth becomes dry,
and one becomes mildly euphoric.
To eliminate the redness, use eye drops.
To eliminate the increase in appetite, have a healthy, nutritious snack.
To eliminate the dryness of the mouth, drink some pure, cool water.
To eliminate the mild euphoria, scrutinize the government.

Marian Higgins,
at Max Yasger’s Farm, Bethel, NY,
August 16, 1969

She took a deep breath, climbed out of the Ford, locked it, and began her unsteady trek back across the lot. She felt worse than ever. If she couldn’t get a little gin into her, she knew this was going to turn into a migraine. She began to panic. Just hold on another ten minutes, she thought. She clutched her purse as if it was the only thing holding her up, and went on.

The boom-boom-boom continued.

Suddenly, something slammed into her, knocking her to the ground. It seemed like someone had tried to grab her purse, but she had been clinging to it too tightly and it went to the ground with her.

Two of the boys she had seen in the other car were over her, reaching for her purse. Their faces were masks of evil, expressions that put terror into her soul with their intensity and hatred.

She tried to scream but the breath had been knocked out of her. She curled up, both arms pulling the purse close, protecting her solar plexus.

“Give it up, bitch!” one of the thugs hissed.

“Now, or we’ll fucking kill you!” the other growled.

It’s just a purse, that voice inside her said, while she resisted losing anything else. First Edwin, then the car accident, now this…it was too much too bear.

The boys hovered over her in slow motion. Her heart pounded and, in spite of her pain, she felt surprise at the way her adrenaline rush seemed to make time stop. She wondered if she could get up and run into the safety of the store.

But before she could make a move, a blur in purple suddenly came into her field of vision. A leg pumped through the air, smashing the side of one boy’s knee. He screamed as it shattered, and his leg folded grotesquely beneath him.

The other boy started toward the new threat but, before he could complete the turn, the purple blur spun, a hand flashed, chopping the boy’s throat, and a knee jerked into his groin.

Both attackers writhed on the pavement, moaning.

To Faye’s astonishment, the purple blur solidified into Marian Higgins, the woman from the pool!

“Are you all right, darling?” she asked, helping Faye to her feet. “Did they hurt you?”

Faye shook her head, but couldn’t yet speak. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw one of the boys roll to his feet, struggling desperately to remove something from the front pocket of his ridiculously oversized jeans.

Faye gathered what was left of her strength and threw herself on him, knocking them both to the ground. There was a sudden explosion right under her, and she thought she had been shot! In a panic, she looked downward and saw that the thug’s toes had been blown off his right foot.

Suddenly, there were footsteps, and shouting, and store clerk uniforms, and a big, burly man yanking the other boy to his remaining good leg, and a distant voice saying, “Thank you darling, you can let him go, now! Let go, dear. Let go.”

Faye released him and allowed herself to be helped to her feet. The boy’s foot was a mass of red, reminding her of Edwin’s head when he shot himself. Shaking, she suddenly filled her aching chest with air, and gasped, and sobbed. Marian patted her on the back and held her comfortingly.

A few minutes later, a police car arrived, followed by an ambulance. Faye still had trouble speaking and was disturbed by the blood she knew was drying on her stockings and skirt. Fortunately, Marian was still there, and told the police what had happened. It seems Marian had pulled into the parking lot just before Faye got out of her car, and had seen the two young men leap from theirs and attack her. Their accomplice, driving the boom-boom-boom car, had peeled away when Marian caught up to the two attackers and downed them. “However, I did note his license number,” she added helpfully, reciting it to the astonished officer who wrote it down.

The other police officer looked at Marian’s petite frame and asked, “How in the world did you take these punks? You can’t weigh more than a hundred ten!”

“Kung fu, darling,” she replied. “I learned it in the seventies and I keep in practice. You fellas can’t be everywhere!” She pointed to her T-Shirt and the words that were emblazoned across the front: Take Care of Yourself. No One Else Will!

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