On nearly every street in my part of this paved jungle there has recently been erected a "Block Watch" sign. These signs have a disquieting effect on me, because they're reminiscent of the ultimate keep out signs: heads on stakes.
If you happen upon one of these signs, what might your reaction be? I've seen whole groups of people turn and walk the other way, looking behind them at some indefinable threat. If you don't know what to fear, it's only natural to fear everything. Signs like this give criminals ultimate power and turn the concept of survival of the fittest on it's ear.
One evening, while walking Sam-dog past an array of ignored signs, I saw a small band of my perkiest, most hope-filled neighbors sipping cider and nibbling on junk food in the middle of the street. Traffic cones laced with yellow tape barred cars from picking them off, one by one. They were "taking back the streets" by encouraging each other to stay safe, make that 911 call if needed and make this a family oriented neighborhood once again. Be a hero. Squash evil. Assert yourself, even if it means blocking traffic and eating your weight in potato chips.
A hundred yards away stood a prostitute, busily flashing her boobs at potential customers. I imagined some of the same brave men at the block watch party furtively pulling her into their cars. I ducked around a corner so no one could see me laugh.