Vox Pop, Vox Vulgaris.

Posted: June 15, 2012 in Allosaurus, sci fi
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Part Four in an ongoing series, apparently.

Palmetto-bug Man. Just your average, everyday superhuman goody-two shoes kinda guy.

“Bay News 2 asks: The Vigilante Epidemic – Is this a good thing for our city? Tricia Gutierrez put that question to a sampling of the people in our community! Here’s what she found out! Tricia?”

“Thanks, Steve. By and large, we seem to have plenty of mixed feelings about the growing number of self-styled ‘superheroes’ patrolling our streets. Some for, some against – I even got a chance to talk to one gentleman who considers himself a superhero and a role model for today’s youth. Here’s what you, the people in our community, had to say.”

The young man pushed his glasses back a little as he thought. “I don’t think it’s a good idea, really. I mean, who are these people? Why are they hiding? What kind of training do they have? My biggest concern, though, is, who do we hold accountable if they mess something up?”

“Oh, no. No, no, no.” The older woman shook her head, salt and pepper dreadlocks swaying to and fro. “This whole vigilante thing is too much like what we had after the Civil War. And, if you remember, those folks wore masks and hoods too. I find it a bit disconcerting, also, to note the neighborhoods where these people are most active, in the low-income and minority areas.”

“Well, of course they’re gonna be in those parts of town,” countered the grey bearded man next to her. “That’s where the crime is. I dunno. I feel a little safer knowing that regular citizens are out there sometimes. We know what the po-po do to us; maybe we should encourage more of our people to go out on patrol.”

“I don’t really care about it, one way or the other. It’s like anything else. Stay outta trouble, keep a low profile,” shrugged the barista behind the counter of the coffee place. “I mind my own business.”

“Yeah, sure. Why not?” The mother glanced down to the little boy tugging on her dress. “Not now, Caesar,” she shushed.”If somebody wants to help out, and maybe keep their neighborhood safe, I’m all for it.”

“Man, I wish one of them masked freaks’d take a shot at me!” the teen bragged, as he thumped his partner on the chest with a grin. Pantomiming boxer moves, he continued. “Bop! Bop! Pow! Sucker’d go down quick, boy! I don’t play around!”

His friend was not impressed. “Man, you’d be screamin’ like a little punk if one of them commando girls showed up!” he teased.

“Lady Justice is kinda hot, yo,” the bespectacled record-store clerk whistled in appreciation. “I’d like to get involved in some ‘legal wrangling’ with her, if you know what I mean.”

“One of those guys actually saved me the other night,” the old woman nodded. “I’m not sure, but I think it was the one they call The Enforcer. He was wearing all green and black and what have you what not. Such a nice boy.”

“I’ve never told anyone this,” the young woman began, “but I met one of the commando girls one night. She was … scary. Stopped me from getting mugged, then called me stupid for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like I could help it. Some of them might be some good, but that one, she’s a menace.”

“They are law-breakers, plain and simple,” added the young man standing next to her, arm around her protectively. “I think a class action lawsuit is in order, quite frankly.”

“I wanna be one when I grow up!” The little boy’s face was rapt in admiration.

“I look at it as a calling, an obligation,” said the hooded figure, goggles concealing his eyes. “As Palmetto-bug Man, I can help keep the streets safe at night, and during the day I can provide a positive influence for our young people. Times are hard. We need heroes now, more than ever. You know, Tricia, I take it very seriously that I received a gift of these, ah, abilities, and I think it would be a shame not to use them for good.”

“We have rights, spelled out in the Constitution,” the woman nodded sagely. “Second Amendment. That’s why we don’t worship no Queen. These are just people exercising their God-given rights to be American, and God bless ’em for it.”

words  © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

Allosaurus continues next time in Does Whatever A Palmetto-Bug Can.

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