Octogenarian Martins' quick action in response to the attempted robbery was rightly hailed as heroic. Afterwards, meeting with reporters in her living room, she opined,
"If more people in our country were allowed to carry apples and mangoes inside neighborhood markets, there would be far less robbing going on, I'll tell you that. I only wish I'd had my cantaloupes. They can do major damage if on target, and I can hit a dodging mosquito with a bing cherry, I'll tell you that!"Police spokespersons informed the public that the perpetrators, each an employee of a nearby mango firing range, also were found to have a large cache of other high caliber fruit in their apartments. A New Bedford police officer told reporters,
"These guys even had a number of watermelons, so they now face possible federal charges under the FMD laws (fruit of mass destruction). We'll see. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firefruit investigators will soon be on the scene."Ironically, Mrs. Martins, who did not have a license for her apples, may also face federal firefruit charges, although a spokesperson for the United States Attorney General indicated that no charges are contemplated against
"this courageous Commonwealth citizen who was forthrightly exercising to the fullest her second amendment right to bear fruit."For her part, the 80-year-old firefruit enthusiast remains feisty.
“I can throw twelve 2.2 caliber mangoes per minute if I'm in practice. It doesn't sound like much, but if you're on the receiving end . . . well, let me tell you. And mangoes are bigger now than the old days when I was young, they're being specially designed to be sleeker and more stable in flight. Apples? Well, apples are still apples, they're the first and the last line of defense. Just like old times."Mrs. Martins who is known to locals as the New Bedford firefruit historian, continued in the historical vein. Pointing to a beautifully framed painting on her living room wall (see images at left and center below), she asked,
"Did you know that back in the 1400s at the famous battle of Agincourt in France, the Brits' Henry the Fifth's tiny army was down to its last few thousand pineapples. And, you know what? They faced thousands and thousands of mounted Frenchie canteloupers and applemen. They also had lots of watermelon catapults. Well, you know what? The Brits won. Against ten to one odds. Against horse mounted French knights. Why? How? The English pineappleman-at-arms, well, he dominated warfare then. From birth, Brit boys were raised to pelt Frenchies with fruit. And that tradition still exists today, God bless 'em.”
Once at the new image, just click it again for an even larger version.)
Obviously, Mrs. Martins doesn't shy away from anything, even from the bitter fruit control law debate. She's adamant,
"Unless you get an under ripe one, fruits, all by themselves, can't hurt people. They're not like spoons that make people overeat pudding, or like pencils that misspell words. A peach is our friend, a maniac packing a peach, well, let me tell you, that's the problem. If maniacs want to get a peach or a pear or a guava for evil purposes, no fruit control nonsense can stop them! And, let me tell you, I am not going to surrender my right as a lawful octogenarian to acquire any fruit variety. And in any caliber or amount that I want, either! Just go ahead and try. Oh, and listen to this, you anti-firefruit people, I'm saving up for a magazine that holds 100 bing cherries! HAH!”Our interview ended with that burst of defiance. The formidable octogenarium, visibly tired from a long day of eventful firefruiting, bid us adieu. As we journalists took our leave, Mrs. Martins son-in-law told us,
"I'd bet dollars to donuts that tomorrow morning she'll be on the internet ordering mangoes and apples to replenish her ammo!"This member of the press would not be surprised, not surprised at all.