The conversation went something like this: "I'm gonna kill ya. God Bless yah, I'm gonna kill ya."
The whole thing might have been humorous had the man uttering these words not been blocking our path in the streets of Oakland, Calif., wielding a large stick. But I was amazingly calm. I have no special skills, I'm no undercover karate master or self-defense guru, and at 5'2" and under 95 pounds, I can't even physically intimidate a second grader. But what I lacked in physicality I made up for in ingenuity. I had downloaded and subscribed to StreetSafe ($19.99 per month) and my finger was on the app's trigger. I knew that if it came to it, police assistance was just a finger's flick away, which enabled me to speak calmly with "stick man," apologize for whatever indiscretion we had been accused of (I don't think we ever got clarification as to what exactly we had done) and safely pass. Crisis averted.