Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was walking down the street when he heard it — the blood-curdling sound of children being ruthlessly exposed to diversity.
Faster than you can say, “political hack,” he ducked behind a handy mango tree. Moments later, gone was the mild-mannered governor of a great southeastern state. In his place, clad in the teal unitard and pink cape that strike terror in purveyors of compassion everywhere, stood … Captain Florida!
Wasting not an instant, the sunshine avenger scanned the horizon with his opportunistic vision until he spotted the source of the sound. There, in a middle school classroom, the Woke Monster towered over two boys.
“You know,” the Woke Monster was saying, “it shouldn’t matter if another kid is gay or transgender, should it? What matters is what kind of person they are.”
The boys never got to respond, because at that precise moment, Captain Florida came crashing through the window. “Eat restrictive legislation!” he cried as he slugged the Woke Monster.
“But …,” the Woke Monster gasped, “I was … just … trying to teach the kids … tolerance!”
“Not on my watch!” snarled Captain Florida as, with another mighty blow, he vanquished the Woke Monster, as another teacher decided she’d rather get her real estate license.
“We must fight the woke in our schools,” declared Captain Florida, as the teacher gave notice. “We must fight the woke in our businesses. We must fight the woke in government agencies. We can never, ever surrender … ” Which is an actual thing the actual governor actually said, sounding not unlike Winston Churchill. (“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds. … We shall never surrender.”)
Except, of course, Churchill was only talking about Nazis. He didn’t know about real threats, like “woke.”
But Captain Florida did. And now he posed with arms akimbo, scanning the horizon for new dangers. The kids gaped.
“Who’s going to teach us math?” asked the first boy.
“Wait a minute,” said the second boy. “Captain Florida, aren’t you the one who attacked that Miami restaurant for hosting a Sunday brunch where drag queens perform?”
“Yes,” said Captain Florida, “I did fight the Legion of Cross Dressers.”
“And didn’t your election cops just arrest some former felons for voting,” asked the first boy, “even after the state told them they could?”
“Dr. Voting Fraud. One of my toughest foes.”
“And you even picked a fight with Disney World, didn’t you?” It was the second boy again. “They opposed your ‘Don’t say gay’ bill.”
“Ah, Mr. Mouse. A worthy opponent.”
“My dad thinks you’re a jackass,” said the first boy.
Captain Florida gave him a sharp look. “Your father doesn’t understand my mission. I fight for freedom.”
“But who’s going to teach us math?” the boy demanded again.
Captain Florida wasn’t listening. “You see, boys, someday I want to do for America what I’ve done for Florida.”
“But my dad says all you’ve done is bully LGBTQ people, people of color and other vulnerable Floridians because you want those MAGA lunatics to elect you president.”
“Exactly. Ever since I was bitten by that radioactive ambition, I have lived my life by a simple creed.”
Captain Florida returned his steely gaze to the far horizon. “With great power comes great opportunism.”
Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Miami, Fla., 33172. Readers may contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.