Another astute column from my friend, Henry:

My neighbor hollers, the kids scatter. It looked like the beginning of another silly inner-city dispute, but soon police officers were involved, statements were being taken down and adults and kids quizzed. And then it ended just like that, the children resuming their mischief, the adults returning to their booze, and the officers driving off to yet another hot spot.

The scene can appear slightly comical: The policeman as disciplinarian, an arbiter of urban social disputes, neatly dressed in his pressed blue uniform, driving an immaculate cruiser, storming in with a gun on his hip, seeking to impose order in a place apparently designed for disorder. Doesn’t he feel misused, overburdened?

One would think that a reasonable, logical and more productive response from my aggrieved neighbor is to chat with the kids’ parents. But that wouldn’t happen: with little interaction among us, nobody really knows anybody here. Better to keep it that way. We’re merely passing through, strangers brought together by chance and determined to remain that way.

Good point. Read the rest. The last couple of graphs are very compelling.

One night some kids were out in the front of my house yelling and being hooligans. My neighbor went outside and told them to shut up. I was impressed that she didn’t call the police and just took care of it. I found out later that she knew at least one of the teen’s parents.

That explains why her house didn’t get T.P.’d.