My Vigilante Career: Phase 1

Recently, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of the vigilante.

Yes, it has everything to do with the impending release of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and the amount of Batman graphic novels I have been consuming of late, from Frank Miller’s YEAR ONE to last night’s read, BATMAN: EARTH ONE. I’m sure it doesn’t help that a new Spider-Man film was released with an increased emphasis on his vigilante status. Plus, when one owns Spider-Man and Captain America masks as well as a Batman cowl, one can’t help but fantasize about donning one himself to take on wrong-doers (though none of those three masks are practical; I can’t turn my head or hear in one, I can’t see out of the other, and two of them are much too bright for justice-seeking).

Just like Gwen Stacy’s boyfriend, I’m a “man of many masks.”

Combine the current popularity of vigilantes with where I’m at in life and you not only have obsession, you have motive.

We live in a time where being 24 no longer makes you an adult. My peers are all stuck in either retail jobs or the first steps of their careers, both of which pay an insulting amount. Meanwhile, the corporations we work for hand out giant bonuses to themselves whilst cutting employee hours and incentives (I could write blog upon blog bitching about the crimes committed by AMC Theatres and every Studio I worked for in Hollywood).

Meanwhile, we have the 1%, throwing away more money in a day on luxury than a life saving procedure would cost a penniless, dying patient (who ends up dying for lack of insurance).

“Again, Nick, you’re just at that age where you feel rebellious and the whole world is against you. Eventually you’ll grow up and accept the way the world works.”

This is true, but why must we just accept the status quo? Do I have to be treated like shit to be successful? Must I accept working 45 to 60 hours a week, most after all the 1% are fast asleep in their beds that cost more than I make in a half a year, only to live a lower class lifestyle?

Sitting in a city park for days, doing nothing, does nothing, but perhaps there is something one man (or man-boy) can do.

I have much more to say about all this, but as usual, I digress.

For whatever reason I want to be a vigilante, I have finally found the place to start.

In my new house, located in the city of Denver (my city), someone has been throwing trash in the south-east corner of our backyard.

My city burns.

It’s not blowing into our yard, I know that for a fact. What started as candy wrappers has become Cold Stone cups, entire newspapers, and a dirty sock. There are also still candy wrappers.

I doubt it is our next door neighbor, she’s our property manager, after all (but what perfect cover for the crime that would be!).

I don’t know the neighbors we share our back fence with, so it is likely them. But what if they are innocent? The innocent do not deserve my brand of “justice.”

When I was a kid, sure, I was guilty of occasionally throwing an ice cream wrapper over the fence instead of making the trip all the way into the house and our garbage pail.

But I was “smart” about it (as far as a child thinks he is smart). I would often throw the trash into the yard catty-corner ours, so its origin was less obvious.

So, there is always the chance the neighbors catty-corner to the north-east are responsible for the crimes against my city.

Or, it could be kids, sneaking into our yard at night to fornicate, leaving ice cream containers and articles of clothing.

Before I can seek justice, I must know who the villain is.

My plan: dress all in black (maybe my Batman mask would be of some use here), and lurk in the shadows of my roof at night. Waiting. Watching.

Artist’s rendition of me on my first stake-out.

And when I see the evil-doer, my first arch-nemesis, make his (or her, women can be criminals too, I ain’t sexist) move, I’ll know who deserves justice.

There are only three questions remaining: what if this goes deeper than I realize and my nemesis only acts when I’m at work (as alluded to earlier, I work mostly nights)? What if he acts during the day (I suppose I could just peek through the back window on surveillance all day as well, but honesty, who commits such heinous crimes in daylight?)?

And what do I do with my foe when I catch him?

My first instinct is to leap from my rooftop Batman/Wolverine-berserker style, tackling my opponent and yelling “SWEAR TO ME!” in my best Batman voice (which I have nearly perfected). Of course, after such an outburst, I’ll have to quickly explain that the criminal is swearing not to trash my yard, and then speedily make a dramatic exit with those little-fun-popping-“fireworks” before the neighbors catch sight of the neighborhood’s new vigilante.

After all, I must be more than just a man, I need to be legend, right Mr. Wayne?

Perhaps a smarter route would be to wait before taking action.

That way I don’t break my entire body on my first vigilante outing, KICK-ASS style.

So I’ll watch and wait, noting which house my nemesis lives in so I can exact my revenge… err… I mean justice, later.

You see, though most people use the phrase with a negative connotation, to me, justice is very much “an eye for an eye.”

No, really it’s a step farther than that, but summed up by a classic Sean Connery quote:

“He pulls a knife, you pull a gun, he sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.”

An eye for an eye doesn’t stop anything, but escalation… that’s justice.

I suppose my most likely point of attack would be to pay back this criminal, 100 fold.

He leaves a sock in my yard, I dump my entire trash bin in his. In the dead of night of course, because the key to any vigilante is keeping one’s identity secret. Can’t have him knowing where I live. I could be catty-corner… or adjacent… or some unrelated bum… who knows? There are a lot of bums in my neighborhood…

Actually, for the sake of anonymity, perhaps I should not start with crimes against my own backyard. Too easy to trace back to me, which may be dangerous for my roommates (and possessions) once I move onto Denver’s bigger fish.

Unless my neighborhood has a serial litterer, in which case, justice will be served. And if he’s that big of an ass to litter all over my city and not just in my own back yard, perhaps he deserves a good-old-fashioned beating by a masked man, instead of just a trashy yard.

Besides, using my own trash would be stupid; one piece of junk mail and the “crime” (more like counter-crime) is traced right back to me.

Thinking more about anonymity, perhaps I should not be posting my vigilante plans and motives on the internet for all to see. That could hurt my secret identity at some point…

So… yeah… if you’re reading this police, or my arch-nemesis, or what-have-you, I’m just kidding around. I had nothing to do with the beating of that serial litterer. I work nights, remember? Who has time to fight crime and work nights?

I’m jumping ahead several phases anyway.

In the classic Scarface model of “first you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women” vigilatism has order as well.

“First you train your body, then you find your costume/symbol, then you get justice.”

So, phase 1 is working out and training. I figure that if Bruce Wayne needed 18 years to prepare (a la YEAR ONE), then I can do it in 18 weeks.

Just wait, The Litterer, I’ll be watching. And getting ready. Soon my city will have justice.

Only, not from me, because I’m innocent of any wrong doing… especially if this blog ever ends up in a court of law.

On a completely unrelated note, anyone have any ideas for a symbol? Particularly one a vigilante could use to strike fear in the hearts of litters?

Don’t suggest Bats, please. I think that’s been done.