Yesterday El Guapo was mowing. It relaxes him. And here’s a little known related fact, El Guapo invented the Segway. Not the transition from one idea to another (segue), but the independent two-wheeled vehicle that moves a person from one place to another, the thing that makes the toughest thug look like a pigtailed school girl out for a joyride on a modified pogo stick. On his eighth birthday, your guapo received what every young Latino male receives to add to his landscaping arsenal at that age – the intensely yearned for lawnmower. But in true guapo style he modified it to suit his needs. 22-inch chrome, spinning rims. A rattling sound system that shakes the ground announcing his arrival ominously like a dinosaur out of Jurassic Park. Naked lady silhouette mud flaps. A windshield like Ponch used to rock on CHIPs. Both of the previous two enhancements serving practical purposes – not to mention that the windshield also allows the chance to adhere a scorpion decal and hang some fuzzy dice – making it damn manly. He finally slapped some pegs on the vehicle and rode it into the horizon, leaving perfectly manicured lawns in his dust. And even as a little guapo, he traveled and sought to right wrongs, to enlighten, to experience life in all its splendor.
But, back to yesterday.
Sometimes El Guapo just travels the Earth and observes, letting the gentle wind ruffle his hair net. And yesterday he rode past a local park where Rafaela Buendia pushed her young daughter on a swing. El Guapo was listening to the chirping birds and sounds of spring, when a palpably awkward moment silenced everything within a three block radius, and even the disease-ridden pigeons froze mid neck-strut in disbelief. Even his newly installed "La Cucaracha" horn stopped mid " 'racha". A fellow park mom approached Rafaela and struck up a conversation. She assumed Rafaela to be the little girl’s nanny. Upon being horrified to hear that Rafaela was, in fact, not a nanny, the woman changed the subject and asked Rafaela when she was due and put her hand on Rafaela’s abdomen. Rafaela informed the woman that she also, in fact, was not pregnant. The not pregnant woman became irate and quickly picked up her child and walked away. The embarrassed woman chased after Rafaela shouting “Consuelo, I’m so sorry."
In a related story, a local Latino man a block away was mistaken for an elotero when he put down his groceries to tie his shoe at a bus stop and an ear of sweet corn poked out of the top of the bag. A car pulled up and asked him for “a corn and a rice water.” The presumed elotero retorted with, “I got your elote, guey.” The frightened driver raced off and was spotted in front of a swanky restaurant handing his keys to a perplexed Dominican who was smoking outside waiting for his own car to be returned from the valet.
Your handsome and humble servant...