‘El Vigilante”

A Suburban Luchador stands for certain principles: taming of the lawn, wiping of the butts, and defending the cause of the defenseless.

The other day as I patrolled my area of the safari called “public school”, I spied one of my students cuddling with a certain male species. I’ve known this girl since she was in 7th grade and have worked with her and her family in many ways. So, needless to say, this ‘cuddling’ needed to be addressed.

As I first circled around, I made sure to make eye contact with her as I signaled with my index and ring finger to my eyes and then silently mouthed “I’m watching you” in the best Batman/vigilante tone I could muster. But that wasn’t enough. It was time to swoop in for a closer evaluation.

I came up with a random excuse for a conversation and then approached the enamored couple.

“So Lupita… I heard you’re going to do a rap at our upcoming event,” I said, looking directly at the guy, an Asian boy with wispy black hair and quiet demeanor.

“Yeah mister… I got you!” she said, in her usually perky tone.

“And who is this young chap?” I inquired.

“Oh… this is Carl!” she beamed.

I greeted him with my best Mr. Roger’s tone.  “Hello, Carl. I’m Mr. Rivera.” I shook his limp hand as he gave me a brief “hi.”

To keep him on his toes, I went switched back to ‘El Vigilante’.  “This here is a very special girl. She’s loved by a lot of teachers around here. Did you know that, punk?”

“Uhh… I guess.” he mumbled, looking nervously around.

I got a little closer so he could hear my raspy voice. Lupita was starting to look a bit concerned.

“Ever heard of  ‘Jack Bauer Justice’?” I asked him.

“Who’s  Jack  Bauer?”

“Never mind.  You see those trees over there?”

He looked and nodded.

“And that window? And the spot on the wall down there?”
He looked at both randomly picked spots and nodded, curiosity mixed with tension covering his boyish face.

“Those are my eyes… I’m everywhere.” My tone oozing with mystery and creepiness.

“Uhhh… umm” was all he could say to this terrifying new reality.

“I’m like the NSA, FBI, CIA and MIB… all in one.”

“MIB, like Men in—”

“Never mind what they stand for! You just need to know… i’m watching you,” I Batmaned, index and ring finger on my fixed eyes as I backed away slowly, slowly.  It would have been the perfect opportunity to throw a smoke bomb from my utility belt and then disappear into the night, but all I had was my black leather belt.  So I turned around and just walked away… but it made  for a  good closure to my “scared straight” tactic.

Later on, Lupita walked into my class for after school tutoring.

“That was an awkward talk you had with Carl.” she said.

“Well, he’ll probably never meet your parents, so it was necessary… who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.”

“Yeah… well… thanks for talking with him,” she smiled.


I covered myself with my imaginary cape and gave her a stern look.

“No problem.  And… tell all your friends about me.”

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