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“¡Métete en tu casa, coño!” yelled Pilar Rodriguez, a diminutive 77-year-old woman wearing a floral nightgown, face mask, and latex gloves. She charged a young couple across the street, brandishing a sandal over her head. “¡Son las once de la noche y tienen que irse a dormir!”

The couple froze in instinctual fear before sprinting down the sidewalk away from the septuagenarian.

“¡No se escaparán de mi!” cried Rodriguez. She flung the sandal with such Olympian skill that it connected with the back of the lagging youth’s skull from forty feet away, sending her tumbling onto the grass. Then, mid-stride, she removed another sandal from a bandoleer across her chest, and flung it at the second teenage with the same result.

“¡Ustedes saben que hora es!” exclaimed Rodriguez, hands on her hips as she towered over her fallen prey. “¡Calabaza, calabaza, todo mundo pa’ su casa! ¡Váyanse ya!”

The wayward teenagers muttered their apologies and whimpered home. They were Rodriguez’s 52nd successful hunt of the night.

“It’s very simple,” explained Alfredo Ramirez, Miami-Dade County’s Police Director. “We needed to enforce a citywide lockdown at 10 PM to slow coronavirus’ rate of transmission over the 4th of July weekend. That’s when we realized we had a practical army, no, a special forces command hyper-specialized in imposing bedtimes: our abuelas. I don’t know about you, but if my Mima tells me to go to sleep, better believe I’m running to my room.”

Back on the street, all was quiet with the exception of an occasional smack and yelp from a distant chancleta strike. Rodriguez was far from alone, as the county hired 5,000 other abuelas to patrol the roads. She dusted off her sandals and placed them back in the bandolier with a satisfied grunt.

Asked how she perfected such a disconcertingly accurate throw, she simply smiled and responded, “Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.”

Rodriguez then leveled a menacing glare at me. “Y tu sabes perfecatmente bien que hora es,” she growled,  unholstering a sandal. I estimate I got 50 feet before the chancleta connected with my head.

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Andrew OtazoAndrew Otazo

'Miami Creation Myth' author Andrew Otazo has advised officials on Cuba policy, worked for the Mexican president, fired a tank, and ran with 30lbs of trash.

Check out the first free chapter of Andrew’s upcoming book here.

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