One of my neighbors, I’ll call her Mandy, asked last week how she should act when she goes downtown. Until recently, she’d been one of those people who likes to keep some cash on her, just in case someone needs it. She’s a sweet, grandmotherly, salt-of-the-earth sort who wouldn’t hurt a fly.
Then, during one of her occasional afternoon excursions to the symphony, someone asked her for change. When she apologized and said no, the woman rose from the sidewalk, grabbed my friend by the shoulders, and sort of shook Mandy around as the woman spat green mucous.