That's me, far right (in the striped scarf and blue jeans), surreptitiously aiming my camera at the security videocam in my local McDonalds. It was about 7 p.m. last night, and I was waiting for my eggnog milkshake--only on sale at this season.
I don't think all McDs have security cameras, do they? But my neighborhood is full of economically challenged people who might get desperate for a Big Mac. I've bought a few, over the years, for people lingering outside, asking for change. They're always happy when I throw in fries too.
A while ago, on a warmer night, a brash young man stopped me on the street near my place and asked,
"Is it safe here?"
Sarcastically, "Is she safe?" gesturing back at a scared-looking pretty blonde woman in tow. Like he was demanding to know because she was being ridiculously chicken.
I was confused and asked if they were thinking of moving into the neighborhood.
No, he said, they were just looking around. It seemed he'd driven in from the 'burbs and was getting a kick out of wandering around this "bad" neighborhood, and part of the kick was dragging his girlfriend along.
I said was that it was safe enough, but they might get approached and asked if they wanted to buy or sell something (drugs or sex).
Now I wish I had told the woman that if she wasn't comfortable, she should go home, because, in fact, they could have been wearing targets:
hepped up young guy with a fight-club attitude, dragging along a terrified white girl.
I'm afraid the person she had the most to fear from, though, was this guy she was with, who thought it was fun to humiliate and control her in the guise of comforting and entertaining her.