Not all of our allies scoot by in luxury sedans. My favorite foot soldier is the self-proclaimed witch who speaks in incantations and dusts protesters with salt. The first time she showed up with her cardboard Morton container, Grizzly Adams flipped. “She’s trying to bind us with witchcraft!” he yelled.

“Dude,” I said, walking over and kicking at the white granules with my shoe, “it’s just table salt.”

“See? See!?” Now Grizzly was indignant. He was pointing at me. “The salt is attracting the demons!”

On this, I have to defer to the expert.

Save for an occasional demon sighting, the drama rarely intensifies beyond red-faced debate. There are, however, exceptions: four-letter words fired toward protesters at 35 mph from the passing cars, lobbed rockets of spit, middle fingers jutting from rolled-down windows—and on the rare occasion, physical violence.

An important rule of thumb: Just because someone is sedated doesn’t mean they can’t go all Chuck Norris. Which is exactly what happened when a seemingly comatose patient reacted, shall we say, poorly, to the experience of having her exit from the Surgicenter filmed by the protesters. With no warning other than a phlegmy mumble, the patient sprang from her wheelchair and swung her purse in a crushing arc that would have planted itself right in the face of Aryan Force One’s oldest daughter. I threw myself in the path of the lethal handbag. I’m not spry, but I make a heckuva human shield.

There was a loud pop of leather on bone, then an explosion of mascara tubes, loose change and scratch-off lottery tickets hitting the cement.

I’d done my job. The patient was subdued and the teenager’s dreams of becoming homeschool homecoming queen remained intact. But can you reset the metacarpus with an ugly orange vest?

"Hey." The voice behind me screeched like an F-16 peeling up Lovejoy. I looked. It was Axl. "Thanks, Death’scort."

Death’scort? Me? No thanks… I’d rather be a whoremonger.

Whatever that is.