I want to write a scene in which: Two characters, a teenage boy and girl, are volunteers for a left-wing political party, canvassing a rough neighborhood to drum up support for the party. They are accosted by one of the neighborhood toughs—not a “gimme all your money” confrontation, but more like “what are you punks doing on my turf”. I want the boy to defuse the situation in a way that demonstrates his street smarts, manly virtue, and grace under pressure. Unfortunately I have none of these traits. :-/
Googling “how to talk your way out of a street fight” seems to turn up a lot of articles about how to win a street fight, and not so much about diplomacy.
Any suggestions? Do any former volunteers from the Obama campaign have stories to share?
(If it matters, the teenagers in question are from a middle-class background; the boy is black, the girl may be either white or Asian; I am flexible regarding the ethnicity of the neighborhood.)