Steve Allen, the famous comic, grew up in a rough neighbourhood. He says, â€œBeing funny was sometimes necessary for survival. Making the bullies on the corner laugh was the best way to avoid being beaten up.â€
My husband Bill found that to be true early in our married life. We were living on the south side of Chicago while Bill was finishing graduate school. One night while I was baking, I used the last of the milk in the refrigerator. Bill quickly volunteered to run out to get some on nearby Halsted Street. It was after 10 oâ€™clock in the evening when Bill left the house. He drove the five blocks to get the milk, but when he returned to the deserted street, he found a dozen tough-looking kids standing in a circle around the car. This looks like trouble, Bill thought. Quickly he considered his options. None of them looked good. Silently he prayed for protection and wisdom. Donâ€™t panic, an inner voice seemed to say. Talk to them.
â€œHello,â€ Bill said, trying to sound as unconcerned as possible as he walked toward the door on the driverâ€™s side of the car, but the gang stood shoulder to shoulder, denying him access. â€œHello yourself,â€ a muscular young man in black leather sneered back. The dozen street kids did not move. Bill was now standing face-to-face with their leader. â€œHowâ€™s Tom?â€ the leader asked. Bill didnâ€™t know anyone these kids knew. But the question called for a response. â€œI havenâ€™t seen Tom for days,â€ he replied. â€” Beliefnet.com