When you walk around Baltimore City ("Bawlmer, hon"), you see it everywhere: BELIEVE. White letters on a black background. "Huh," I thought. But I didn't pay it too much mind until I saw the first parody bumper sticker "Blieve, Hon".
Okay so it is ubiquitous and now people are putting their own spin on it. What is it?
It turns out that it is "an advertising, community-centered campaign aimed at reducing drug trafficking, drug violence, and drug use in the City." Sounds good. It could also have a beneficial effect for the homeless in the city, of which there seem to be hundreds in the Inner Harbor/convention center area alone. Not everyone is convinced it will work. Left-wing nuts over at the Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel blame Bush, naturally. Whatever...
So what about the variants? Besides "BLIEVE, HON" there are also "BEHAVE" and "BEEHIVE", "BE EVIL" (said to be a favorite of John Waters) and "BE VILE".
The same magazine article mentioned green and white "Bertha's Mussel's" stickers, but oddly, I don't recall seeing a single one of those. Maybe next time.