At the time when my girlfriend Bev and I had been dating about a month, she was working part-time at the Subway on the Guide Meridian in Bellingham, across the street from Barnes & Noble. The Columbine Incident had occurred only two months before, so going out in public while wearing all black was still a somewhat dangerous proposition.

Bev, of course, has never been one to allow something like bad publicity to prevent her from wearing whatever she chooses, so she continued to go about her daily activities swathed in her ever-present black trenchcoat. She was used to being harrassed for her mode of dress, so she didn't take much notice when she heard someone shout "DIE, TRENCHIE BITCH!" as she crossed Meridian on her way to work ("trenchie" being local slang for goths in general, and goths in trenchcoats in particular).

She sure noticed when the souped-up Honda Civic sedan knocked her off her feet. As she stood up, dusting herself off a bit -- shocked, but unharmed -- she saw a pair of jock types sitting in the front seats, jeering at her and giving her the finger. I'll love her forever for what she did next:

"I may be a trenchie bitch," she yelled, "but you forget we wear combat boots!" And, with that, she delivered a denting axe-kick to the Civic's hood. Composing herself, she continued on her way to work, fuming but unharmed.

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