I enrolled in the “Steve Martin Teaches Comedy” online Masterclass. The first lessons encouraged students to “observe your thoughts, be inspired,” and assured us that “there is room out there in the world” for what we create. Steve also stated that the class was “nonrefundable and to make the most of it.”
My thoughts drifted to a TV program I watched growing up on Chicago’s Southside. That inspired a character whose idea took a wrong turn. World, make room out there for Sissy Ann Jablonski, because I’m not getting my money back from Steve.
Dona Diego Zorro Queen Zips Her Lips
I love ABC on Thursday nights in 1957! I love watching Zorro ride his black stallion, Tornado, into the night. I love when he slashes a “Z” on the mission’s wooden door. I especially like when the “Z” rips Sergeant Garcia’s pants! I love loyal Bernardo, his mute sidekick. I love that Don Diego zips his lips keeping his identity secret even though he fights for justice and to keep his people safe. I hate that Zorro is a boy!
Sitting on the back steps, I think about how I, Sissy Ann Jablonski, would keep my people safe if I were Zorro. Hank, my lab, rests his head on my knee. His drool spots my peddle-pushers. No one would tease my brother if he strikes out at his Little League game. The bullies would flee the field as I ride in and mark home plate with my “Z”. Mrs. McGurk’s Old Tom wouldn’t swipe at Hank. The varmint would scuttle up the oak yowling at the “Z” slashed trunk. The chipmunk wouldn’t uproot Mom’s potted geraniums. He’d dart away, or my “Z” would tattoo his back! If only Zorro wasn’t a boy!
I watch the wind snap a beach towel hanging on the clothesline. It snaps an idea into my head! A genius idea! A never before thought of idea! I will become a girl Zorro! I will become Dona Diego Zorro Queen – enemy of baseball bullies, defender of drooly dogs, and protector of front porch flowers.
Dona Diego slips out of her Keds and into her black rain boots. Beach towel becomes cape. Last Halloween’s feathery red mask is today’s disguise. A baton twirls into a slashing sword. A birthday tiara transforms Dona Diego into Zorro Queen!
No game today. Baseball bullies have nothing to fear. Zorro Queen patrols the backyard perimeter. On the other side of the fence Mrs. McGurk cracks open her door. She lets Old Tom inside. Hank, as dark as Tornado, is safe for now.
Zorro Queen creeps along the driveway next to the house under the open window. Peeking around the corner, Zorro spies twitchy nosed chipmunk perched on the front porch railing. He nears the pots. His jerky movements remind her of Disney’s Chip and Dale. This is no cartoon hijinks. This is Bandito Chipmunk stalking Mom’s prized geraniums- an injustice to Zorro’s people!
Zorro Queen sneaks below the front porch behind the marigolds. Bandito Chipmunk makes his move and so does Zorro. She leaps the stairs two at a time with a slicing baton-sword. Hank, seeing a chipmunk, rushes forward barking. He crosses Zorro Queen’s path throwing off her aim. The swift “Z” misses the alerted Bandito Chipmunk and lands on the pots. All six crash to the ground taking out geraniums and marigolds in one fell swoop. Zorro Queen quickly becomes Dona Diego and zips her lips.
I sit on the back steps thinking that although Hank is as loyal as Bernardo he isn’t nearly as quiet.