El Zorrero

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While browsing an online dictionary of Mexican slang (don’t ask), I stumbled across this word: “zorrero.” It can be used as an adjective to mean “sly or cunning,” as in “¡Que zorrero!,” i.e., “What a sly or cunning thing to have done!” But its more literal translation, as a noun, is “a thief who robs your house and then craps on the floor.”

¡What a wonderful word! I thought, “Why is there no word for this in English?” And then I thought, “More to the point, why don’t English-speaking burglars ever crap on the floor? Why is it only burglars in Mexico who do this?” I mean, it must happen, or there wouldn’t have been a need to create a word for it. (Are Mexican burglars incontinent? That could be the case. I mean, I know what happens to me after I eat Mexican food. I can only imagine if that were ALL I ate. In fact, some weekends, that IS all I eat. And I know what happens. I’ve proved my own point.)

As I discussed the matter over lunch with my friend Smacky, we concluded that in America, burglars wouldn’t risk leaving behind any DNA. In Mexico, however, law enforcement is a bit, how you say, lax. They’re not up on DNA science there; the only way they can even use fingerprints to learn a culprit’s identity is if the criminal actually leaves a finger at the scene. So why not “go” if you have to?

Then we imagined a Mexican cop drama, “Mexico City P.D. Azul,” with a hardened detective arriving at the scene, taking a sniff, and saying, “This looks like the work of El Zorrero. ¡Bring him in for questioning!” And El Zorrero, who zorrero-izes his crime scenes so often that he has come to personify the act, is cocky and defiant back at the precinct. The cops are grilling him, and he’s just sitting there saying, “¡You got nothing on me!” I don’t know how they eventually convict him. Maybe a sting operation, or maybe they slip an indigestible transmitter into his food and wait for it to show up at a crime scene 16-24 hours later. However they do it, I’m sure it is clever. ¡Que zorrero!

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