The adventures of Neighborhood-Watch-Man

Deep underground in a cave on the outskirts of Sanford Florida filled with the most high quality crime fighting equipment, a slurpee machine and an X-Box hooked to a massive television dedicated to playing nothing but Call of Duty

In a dark city near the swamps overrun by a conflict between retirees and undesirables over who gets to be buried in which plots of swampland

A red telephone rings and George Zimmerman leaps into action

He puts down the telephone and says to his imaginary teenage sidekick enabler,

“Black teenagers are making middle aged white women nervous at the movie theater again”

            “Holy disproportionate response, Neighborhood-Watch-Man! What do we do?”

Neighborhood-Watch-Man loads a semiautomatic rifle and tightens his utility belt around his sweaty sloping belly which juts out from tight black spandex and hides the erection-of-justice he gets whenever he fondles a firearm

“We’re going to show them that middle aged white women don’t have to be afraid of teenagers stealing through the bushes anymore, not in the America my family fled to!”

He slides down a fire-pole into the bucket seats of a white 75 Gremlin with a confederate flag painted on the hood, turn on the radio to Rush Limbaugh and God Bless America

Squealing off into the Floridian night

Cleverly disguised by the public’s fear at large of otherly intruders polluting their golf courses, universities, country clubs and virgin daughters and by his incongruously Jewish-sounding last name and mixed ethnicity

Neighborhood-Watch-Man is a silent vigilante, a lone protector aided only by policemen, senior citizens peering from windows with doors double-bolted and smartphones, and his invincible aura of co-opted white privilege

Wherever the upper class cries out for justice, wherever people aren’t ready to let go of outdated social conventions because they fought for their country and feel that the law is too soft on kids smoking pot and eating skittles

Neighborhood-Watch-Man will be there ready to defend himself

In every home, in every city, citizens inspired by their escapades prepare their hunting rifles for open season, some head south down to the border while other patrol the streets, weapons firmly in hand to keep the children safe


We always expected this to happen, that whole bit about a well regulated militia was practically begging for it

But we expected it to work like comic books, strong jawed musclemen in red tights foiling bank robbers, counterfeiters and communists

Oh well America, look what you started finally got started:

All your adolescent fantasies running amok

The age of vigilantes begins now

And god help you if any of them are black



photo of Nate Maxson

Nate Maxson is a writer and performance artist. The author of several collections of poetry, he lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, August 21, 2023 - 11:30