Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Dear Mexican: Is it really possible for a terrorist to sneak into the U.S. through the southern border, or is that just more fear-mongering from the conservatives?

Not Crazy About Quds

Dear Gabacho: Of course it’s possible, but we’re really not going to know until we find out, right?

American officials have gone on the record as stating that drug cartels have established ties with groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, yet haven’t offered conclusive proof. (And that rumor you heard about al-Qaida establishing camps in Mexico to train terrorists to look like my Tío Lencho? Pinche false.) But I don’t think the cartels are so pendejo to assist terrorists hell-bent on destroying America from within—after all, they already have that market to themselves.

Some years ago, we attended a family reunion in Cuba, New Mexico, where the Mexican branch of the family put on a skit. They used a recording of a song, but it has gone missing, and we all would love to find a source to purchase this song. The family says it was an old 45-rpm record, but we can’t find it now and don’t know who the artist was. It’s a gas of a song, and if you’ve never heard it before, I bet you would have a good laugh over it.

The song is about a young Mexican boy who falls in love with a girl. (We can’t remember her name.) His daddy tells the boy he can’t marry the girl, so the boy asks the daddy why. The daddy replies something like, “Maria is your sister, but your mama don’t know.” In frustration, the boy goes over and cries to his mama about the situation, and the song ends with the mama smirking and telling the son not to worry, because: “Your daddy’s not your daddy, but your daddy don’t know.”

A friend suggested the song might be titled “Hey, Pepito,” but we’re just not sure. Perhaps you might be able to help me find the correct title and maybe even a source to obtain the track.

A Mexican New Mexican

Dear Wabette: The name of the canción your family played is called “Ay Pepito!” because that’s the memorable chorus of the song (and the girl you mentioned was Marie).

The performer was Baby Gaby, part of the Sanchez dynasty of New Mexican music headed by the legendary Al Hurricane (who once played at one of your humble Mexican’s book signings in Albuquerque). But the song’s real name is “Shame and Scandal in the Family,” and Gaby most likely covered the version sung by Mexican-American artist Trini Lopez. Lopez, in turned, joined legendary American recording artists like the Stylistics and Johnny Cash in covering a song called “Shame and Scandal” recorded by ska and reggae titans ranging from the Skatalites to the Wailers (with Peter Tosh in the lead). They, in turn, were giving their spin to a calypso classic originally grabada by Sir Lancelot in the 1940s. And if you think Mexicans taking inspiration from calypso is strange, you obviously don’t know the similarly tangled history of “Esa Chica Me Vacila” (“That Chick Teases Me”), the techno-banda favorite by Banda Vallarta Show, a remake of the punta ditty “Ella Me Vacila” (“She Teases Me”) by Grupo Kazzabe, itself taken from “Lady Teaser” by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, who got his inspiration for the track from the soca standard “Teaser” by Becket.

Back to Baby Gaby: Give him credit for Mexicanizing the song by crooning the lyrics in a Jose Jimenez accent and giving the previously nameless character of the tale the nombre Pepito, proving that there are some New Mexicans not afraid of their Mexican roots.

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Dear Mexican: I’m a pocha immigration attorney. I have so many questions for you that I’m thinking I should just hire you as a consultant.

Why do Mexicans seem to want me to lie to them and steal their money, and tell them they can become residents—even when it’s hopeless? Why can’t Mexicans answer “yes” or “no” questions with a “yes” or “no”? Why do they have to give me long narratives that make no sense? If Mexicans claim that part of the reason they don’t want to be in Mexico is because of government corruption, why do they ask me to lie for them, and help them lie? Why are polleros the rudest, most aggressive clients a lawyer could ever have? Why don’t mexicanas want a female attorney, while mexicanos seem to think it’s kind of cool? When I go into fast-food restaurants in my power suits and order tacos, why do the mexicanas selling me the food giggle and make fun? Why can’t they just be happy for and proud of one of their own? When I tell a Mexican that I don’t think their case is winnable, why do they change from using “usted” with me to “tu”? When I tell a Mexican bad news, why can’t I just speak normally in Spanish? Why is it that I get so nervous that my pocha accent comes out super-strong?

Pocha Attorney

Dear Wabette: If people want to hire me as a consultant, I charge by the hour, with payments acceptable in tacos, tequila bottles and Chicano Studies books. So let’s empezar your bill starting … ahorita.

Mexicans want you to tell them they can become residents, because they are paying you to make their hopeless situation a legal one—lies or not. Their “long narratives that make no sense” is otherwise known as America’s immigration system. They ask you to lie for them because the alternative is going back to Mexico’s cesspool of corruption—again, it’s your job as an immigration attorney to make the hopeless hopeful by making the impossible happen, ethics be damned.

Polleros are going to be rude because they’re criminals—and outside of Daniel Stern’s character in Born in East L.A., do you know of any gentleman human-smugglers? Mexicanas not wanting you to represent them isn’t a pocha thing, but a female thing, so go write to Jezebel about that one; Mexican men wanting you as an attorney, in turn, is all about an hombre ogling you. As a pocha, you shouldn’t be eating fast food in the first place—and the mexicana-on-pocha hate is another female issue that Jezebel can answer.

When a Mexican switches from addressing you as usted to tu, it’s because you’re no longer someone deserving of their respect, but the shyster scamming them out of cash. Finally, you start talking like a pocha when you tell them the bad news because you don’t like delivering bad news—that’s understandable.

Let’s see … carry over the dos, add three, include a first-timer discount, and your final legal bill with me is a taquero for 30 people, a bottle of ON Tequila, and a first-edition autographed copy of Occupied America. Pleasure doing business!

Why do so many Mexican parents let their kids play in the street unsupervised? I’m sure this practice isn’t limited to Mexicans, but it seems like some neighborhoods are filled with Mexican kids playing in the streets, not paying attention to traffic (no matter how quiet the street might be), and with no parents in sight.

Are these parents lazy, stupid, or encouraging self-reliance?


Dear Gabacho: Every chamaco is going to be a different story, but the main reason Mexicans let their kids play on the street is because there’s nowhere else for them to play. The lack of park spaces in barrios is an unfortunate phenomenon well-known to city planners, and best examined in California State University Los Angeles professor David R. Diaz’s influential Barrio Urbanism: Chicanos, Planning and American Cities. Compounding that is the fact that most landlords in barrios don’t allow kids to play in common areas, leading families to let them loose onto the mean streets.

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Dear Mexican: My hometown of El Paso is getting a new Triple-A baseball team. The owning group just announced the name: The El Paso Chihuahuas. The reasons given? The origins of the dog and the city’s location in the Chihuahua desert, and that it was family-friendly.

Many in this city are saying the name is offensive, while others (myself included) love the name, as it follows the team-name protocol/trends of minor league baseball. Plus, the logo seems pretty awesome. So, in your most Mexican opinion, who is right?

Getting Drunk at Chope’s

Dear Wab: Neither. For one, smarty-art Mexicans need to own the Chihuahua as a fine metaphor for our raza instead of something shameful. As I wrote back in 2008, the perritos are “quintessentially Mexican: Napoleonic in complex, usually brown but available in all colors, maligned by gabachos as puny runts, but secretly ferocious and smart, and bearers of muchos, muchos babies.” If Huskies (University of Washington), Salukis (Southern Illinois University), Terriers (Boston U), pinche Scotties (Agnes Scott College) and far too many bulldogs to mention can get athletic fame and glory, why not Chihuahuas?

On the other hand, the owners of the San Diego Padres affiliate named their team the Chihuahuas specifically for the publicity, so shame on them for their Hispandering. Besides, both sides are getting it not correcto: The team should be called El Paso Doubles, not just for the extra-base hit, but also in honor of a double order at the legendary Chico’s Tacos chain. Now THAT would be chingón.

What is with the nerve-fraying multiple sound sources required to operate a Mexican restaurant? The jukebox is hawking Shakira or Juanes; the overhead sound system continues to pump day-old Juan Gabriel; there is a boom box blasting anonymous ranchera from the kitchen; and at least one television is spewing hysterical telenovelas or hysterical soccer matches—to no viewers.

Tacos Yes, Trumpets No

Dear Gabacho: It’s nerve-fraying only to precious gabachos like yourself—us Mexis can compartmentalize all the different sounds just fine. Don’t like music with your Mexican food? Tough tamales and tubas, tonto.

I had been married to my Mexican wife for a while, when one day, my father-in-law Adolph says, “I bet an aleman like you probably wants to know why my name is Adolph.” I said, “Yeah, that’s true.” He told me that because the California Mexicans from days of old and the rebels from Mexico wanted to take the Southwest U.S. back from the United States, and because the Germans asked Mexico to invade America back during World War I, the Mexicans thought that if they supported Hitler, he might have helped them liberate California. To me, that kind of made sense, but I had a different question: “Why do all Mexicans drive Fords?” He looked at me like I was a stupid gringo, which I am, and told me, “I thought you knew history; didn’t Henry Ford support Hitler before the war?” So what about this Central California Mexican man’s story?

El Gringo de Sangre Meclador

Dear Gabacho of Mixed Blood: Your cuñado was fucking with you.

Hitler was just a lowly soldier in World War I, when the Zimmerman Telegram he was referring to was proposed. And everyone knows why Mexicans love Fords: Enrique’s hiring of Mexicans during Ford’s Golden Age (“far more than any other Detroit-area carmaker,” according to Recasting the Machine Age: Henry Ford’s Village Industries) was mucho appreciated, God bless his anti-Semitic heart.

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Dear Mexican: I was surprised on a trip to Mexico earlier this month that I only ever found the holiday referred to as “Dia de Muertos,” whereas in the States, I’ve only ever heard it referred to as “Dia de los Muertos.”

I’m really curious as to why there’s a difference north/south of the border. Do Chicanos include the “los” so that it better matches up with the English translation? Do Mexicans use the phrase so often that the “los” has just fallen by the wayside? Is “los muertos” actually more (historically?) correct grammatically? In Spanish, do you actually NEED the “los,” or does the word “muertos” effectively include the article?

I’ve asked friends, but no one seems to know the reason for the difference; knowing your love of etymology and history, I was hoping you could give a definitive answer. Sorry for the long letter!

La Catrina

Dear Gabacha: Now let’s not put any blame on those mongrelizing Chicanos, one of whom (Michael Orozco) just helped the U.S. soccer squad save Mexico’s ass from World Cup elimination by scoring a goal in the Uncle Sam’s Army’s epic 3-2 triumph over Panama.

Both “Día de los Muertos” and “Día de Muertos” have been used in Mexico since the 16th century, although I’m noticing Chicano yaktivists and their fresa cousins are preferring the latter, most likely because they feel too many gabachos now know about the holiday and therefore prefer to use something the gabachos won’t understand—kind of like how Mexicans began using gabacho once gringos started calling themselves gringos, you know?

Both are technically right: “Dia de Muertos” is the literal translation of All Souls’ Day, the Catholic holiday from which Mexico’s veneration of its faithful departed is partly derived. (Notice how it’s not called “All of the Souls Day,” even though that makes more sense.) On the other hand, the day before Día de los Muertos, All Saints’ Day, is almost universally known in Mexico as Día de Todos los Santos (which literally translates as “Day of All of the Saints”) instead of Día de Todos Santos.

Confused yet? Don’t be: The Mexican propensity for elision is as notorious as our love for agave-based spirits and confusing the hell out of gabachos.

The other day, I went to Taco Bell and hit the drive-through. At the window, I ordered something with jalapeños. When I spoke the sacred “jalapeño” word with my gawky gringo accent, the illegal Mexican at the cash register corrected my pronunciation by repeating the word slowly and condescendingly with his own accent—“hah-lah-pen-yo.” Kind of annoying. True, I only suspect he’s Mexican, and I suspect he’s illegal as well. But I find that his almost complete inability to speak English offers some kind of clue, wouldn’t you say?

I wonder: Is this dude so ignorant that he doesn’t understand people pronounce words differently depending on where they’re from? Or was he intentionally getting rude ’cause he just hates gabachos? Or was he kindly instructing me as to how words will be expected to be pronounced once the Reconquista fulfills its promise? I’ve seen the stats, and I have no illusions; if you Mexicans keep reproducing like bunnies, y’all will eventually rule the whole continent.

Home Fry

Dear Gabacho: Let’s just set aside por un poquito your preposterous assumption that the guy taking your order is undocumented—Taco Bell uses E-Verify to ensure only legal citizens and residents prepare its slop.

The guy took your order, right? Which means he knows English. If anything, the Mexican was being charitable—you’re obviously the last gabacho left who doesn’t know how to pronounce jalapeño correctly, which means you’re as clueless about Mexican affairs as Damien Cave, The New York Times’  Mexico correspondent whose stories seem like press releases penned by the PRI.

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Dear Readers: The Mexican is taking the week off, because his home paper is preparing its fantabulous Best Of issue. Behold, then, an oldie-but-goodie column that Art Laboe would approve of—enjoy!

Dear Mexican: A friend says she read somewhere that only 20 percent of Mexican men go down on their ladies. I don’t believe that. Can you “spread” some light on the subject?

El Gabacho Guapo

Dear Handsome Gabacho: Let me penetrate the thrust of your friend’s argument by referring her to the seminal The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality, a set of studies on the world’s sex habits gathered into one grande book. Its section on Mexico cites two surveys from the early 1990s which found that about 50 percent of men in Mexico City practiced oral sex on women—more than twice the number your friend laid out.

In fact, the Mexican hombre’s taste for cunnilingus grows once he hops over to the United States: A 2002 report by the National Center for Health Statistics showed that 74 percent of Latino men had performed cunnilingus at least once. However, that percentage is dwarfed by the 87 percent of gabachos questioned by the NCHS who admitted doing the deed.

The Mexican holds various theories about why his swarthy hermanos aren’t as prone to panocha-pecking as gabachos: Traditional Mexican men don’t bother with cunnilingus since it doesn’t lead to procreation; Mexican women are too ashamed of their bodies to allow a male tongue near their hoo-ha; Mexico’s endemic machismo produces a culture in which vagina dentata is as feared as la migra.

But forget explanations. The paucity of Mexican men who munch muff is an urgent social ill, and I urge all mujeres to remedy the problem by nabbing a Mexican and taking an orgasm in the name of La Raza.

What do you think will happen to the gringos if Mexicans become the biggest raza in America, like a lot of people predict?

El Mex de Durango

Dear Gabacho: That’s the 64,000-peso question, Mex. Demographics show that Mexican birth rates grow even as those of gabachos fall. The Jim Gilchrists of this country predict chaos and a goat in every backyard once there are more Mexicans than gabachos; pro-amnesty activists claim Mexicans will assimilate into this country’s fabric just as previous immigrant groups did.

I’m among the latter, and I propose we’ll be the most American ethnic group yet. Taking historical cues from our gabacho forefathers, Mexicans will ridicule English-speakers and dismiss them as lazy minorities with funny-sounding surnames and traditions. We’ll do what gabachos were always too pussy to try—take over Mexico, and create a true NAFTA, bringing further riches to the United States and ending the illegal immigration problem for good. Then, we’ll become too complacent and fat, and gabachos will plot the takeover of their ancestral lands by having more babies and agitating for affirmative action and Gabacha/o Studies programs.

What’s the moral of the story? Protect your children’s future, gabachos. Treat Mexicans well, and encourage their simpático ways. Otherwise, we might just become Americans.

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Dear Mexican: I’m a Mexican-American Catholic who is really upset about something I saw after Mass last night.

As I waited for my son to come out of confirmation class (yes, I had already attended Mass myself), I noticed something really odd: I saw a grocery cart parked by a curb. It was odd, because it was filled with all those things a vendor sells at parks. Then I noticed another weird thing: Some lady was setting up a little table by the front doors of the church with assorted items to sell. WOW!

What is going on with people? Have we become so desperate for money that we are now hitting up churches like we do parks? I’m not sure if you have seen or heard of this before; I was really offended. I am also struggling financially; I live paycheck to paycheck, but I still don’t think I could resort to this. I felt it was tacky and just adds to the stereotypes we already have to deal with.

What do you think of this?

Dazed and Confused Mexican

Dear Wabette: You have issues with working-class folks trying to make a buck after Mass, thinking it tacky. You know what else is tacky? A Catholic Church hierarchy that allowed priests to rape boys and girls for decades, and not only did nothing to stop it, but protected said pedophiles from the cops and joined their congregants in smearing victims and critics who pointed out the obvious—priestly pedophilia no es bueno. And guess what? More than a few of those victims were—you guessed it!—Mexicans.

But since the Church has done such a masterful job of brainwashing Mexican Catholics into believing that speaking out against the hierarchy is speaking out against God, our raza in the States has universally remained silent about this sex-abuse scandal—hell, you still see Latino politicos and immigrant-rights activists asking for the blessings of pendejos who should be spending life in prison for their cover-ups. Pray to God; pray to La Virgen de Guadalupe, even to La Santa Muerte if you must—but any Mexican who still gives money to the Church might as well also donate to la migra.

I know why the Mexican man digs in the trash can: He can’t believe what Americans throw away.

My mom was from Northern Ireland, and we got many treasures over the years from walking past our neighbors’ trash cans here in the U.S. She grew up dirt-poor and could not believe all of the things Americans would waste and throw away. She felt it was sinful. I dug through trash cans myself and had several yard sales over the years, which helped put me through college.

Mary in Oregon

Dear Gabacha: Gracias for answering your own pregunta so thoughtfully—but please don’t do it again, lest I get reduced to spinning tejanas on my finger at street corners for a living.

Why did all of the conquerors come from Europe? And why were Africans conquered as slaves, instead of Latinos? Are we more rebellious and not easy to control?

Latina Grrl

Dear Wabette: Latinos are not slaves? Look at Mexican Catholics.

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Dear Mexican: With the current state and federal prison system (especially here in California) spitting out even harder criminals due to overcrowding; and gang activity allowed to a certain degree by the “system”; why are some legislators, government officials and American citizens stating that illegal immigration can be fixed by sending many undocumented immigrants to prison?

Our prison system, I think, would create more criminally minded individuals … and, if not, expose immigrants looking for a better opportunity in life to the savage nature of living behind bars.

I don’t know if there will ever be a law passed that would provide such punishment to those crossing the border, but with this ever-growing Middle East war using up a very high percentage of United States resources that could be used for domestic issues, I feel that if the citizens of the United States ever vote in the “wrong” presidential candidate, our new president will be pressured to pass a law that would only lead to immigrants of all nationalities having an even more negative stigma. We can sit here and discuss facts and charts and percentages of those who are in prison, and if there are more white people in jail compared to Mexicansm blah blah blah … but what do we need to do to avoid such a scenario from occurring?

Worried for Wabs

Dear Gabacho: Methinks you had a bit too much of the pruno before typing this letter, but I follow you: You’re saying that it’s wrong for politicians to enact draconian laws that imprison undocumented folks, and that we should elect a president who wouldn’t support such measures.

Problem is, American voters went for the “right” presidential choice with Barack Obama these past two elections, and look at the results: More deportations have occurred under his administration (about 400,000 people a year) than there ever were in the era of Dubya (who, for his many, many faults and sins, at least had the right ideas about Mexis, given his sister-in-law is one). Mitt Romney, of course, was a far-worse choice, what with him stealing the satiric idea of legendary cartoonista Lalo Alcaraz that illegal immigrants “self-deport”—but Obama is bad, and the escalating protests against him by the left (witness the seven DREAMers who recently chained themselves to the White House fence) are not only a welcome development, but absolutely vital.

Do Mexicans use cream of mushroom soup, or is that a gringo/Campbell’s ploy to get white people to eat Mexican food?

I grew up with parents from Kansas, and we lived in New Mexico in late 1960s and early ’70s. Being from the casserole generation, cream of mushroom soup was a staple of all casseroles, and my mom did not have the love for true green chile. The family chicken enchilada recipe called for cream of mushroom soup and Velveeta cheese. I loved it growing up, but now that I am older and beyond nostalgia, the enchiladas taste like shit, so I am working on a new family recipe. The process of formulating a new recipe has me wondering if cream of mushroom soup is used by those of Hispanic descent at all, or is it just a post-Depression white person’s abomination?

One Royal Vomit

Dear Gabacho: Don’t forget that a lot of Mexicans came of age in the same era as you, so while cream of mushroom isn’t exactly a Mexican pantry staple like, say, Tapatío, it’s not unheard of.

Mexican food is chameleonic and adapts to what’s available, ensuring its brilliance. For instance? My mami’s magnificent buñuelos—giant fried disks of cinnamon-sugar goodness—are made not with flour tortillas or even masa, but … rice paper that chinitos use for their spring rolls. Somewhere, Rick Bayless se cago his pants … and that’s a good thing!

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Dear Mexican: Can I “Ask a Mexican” why El Tri sucks so much? And why a little stadium in Columbus, Ohio, was louder and more passionate than Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which seats more than 100,000?

Can I also ask why a country that lives and breathes soccer/fútbol always freaks out in Crew Stadium against my beloved U.S., as they did on Sept. 10, when El Tri lost 2-0 to the United States? HAHAHAHAHAHA! I want to hear this one. Oh, and please don’t give me an economic reason, because El Tri gets treated better in Mexico than any organization in that country.

Member of Uncle Chava’s Army

Dear Wab: You’re not going to get any apologias from me on this one. I’ve long maintained that the current squad for El Tri is overrated and full of themselves; that Chicharito isn’t the second coming of Hugo Sanchez or even Cuauhtemoc Blanco, but just an overrated fresa; and that their since-deposed coach, José Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre, was a disaster. (Quick aside: Did ustedes see the mock poll asking people whether Chepo had harmed Mexico more than notorious narco lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán? God bless our gallows humor!)

I do find it funny that the United States can only secure a fan base for its soccer squad’s games in podunk towns, and that U.S. Soccer rarely stages matches in major cities these days, lest its fan base get overwhelmed by the opposing side’s followers, whether said opposing side is Mexico, Poland or Iran. What are you so afraid of, cabrones? Let the U.S. play Mexico in the Los Angeles Coliseum—Mexico needs more humiliation, especially in Aztlán, to get its soccer act together, and if that means not qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1990, then I’m for it.

Oh, and you’re mistaken that El Tri is the best-treated organization in Mexico. Those would be Televisa, Carlos Slim, and the PRI, which are pretty much one and the same cartel.

Oye mi amor: I’m not a big music listener, but why do rockeros HATE Maná and call them sellouts and clichéd? They fill arenas around the world; they are humanitarians; and their music is reaching a new generation, while beloved Molotov, Café Tacuba, etc., can’t sell out even small venues. Is it because those fans themselves sold out and hang out in trendy cafes? Isn’t music supposed to be enjoyed? Not a hater, pero me vale madre cuando estoy clavado en un bar.

Latino-Lite for Life

Dear Wab: I answered the opposite of this question—a rockero who wondered why so many Mexicans love the soft-rock titans—so let me darle the question this week to Josh Kun, a professor at the University of Southern California; author of the excellent book Songs in the Key of Los Angeles; and a pioneer in covering rock en español back when it was good.

“Part of enjoying music is hating the music you don’t enjoy, right?” the good profe writes. “For a rockero, hating Maná is not really a choice. It’s a pre-requisite. Maná are rockero kryptonite, the ultimate rockero foil. The sellout scenario doesn’t really work with them, because Maná never really had underground status. They’ve long been cologne-doused fresa favorites, inoffensive rock for upturned Polo collars, rock that didn’t shake any foundations or transform any genres or piss anyone off or get anyone arrested. So when they get all the Grammy nods for being rock reps, the tried-and-true chavos banda get their outsider values reaffirmed—it’s like vanilla winning the best chocolate prize, over and over again. Plus, they (still!) sound like The Outfield, and who wants that as a soundtrack for desmadre?”

Good job, profe! I wish I could guarantee this is the last time we’ll discuss Maná in this columna, but that’s as likely as El Tri winning the World Cup. Sigh ...

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Dear Mexican: I have a Mexican friend at work, and we happened to get into a discussion that started off fine—but I believe I offended her as the discussion progressed. My intention, of course, was not to do such.

We were talking about a Cinco de Mayo celebration, and I asked if she knew the true meaning behind Cinco de Mayo. “Of course I do,” she said. “It was a famous battle we won”—“we” meaning Mexico.

“That’s great,” I replied, “because a lot of people have the wrong idea. They think it’s when Mexico got its independence.” She then said, “Yeah, only you gringos think that.”

She implied that she should know because she is Mexican American. I said that she’s really an American who happens to have Mexican heritage. “I don’t call myself a European American,” I told her. I was born here, just like she was! I also said she should call herself a Roman-Moorish-Spanish-Mexican-American. Showing signs of being upset, she then said that we are really in Mexico. I was at first confused, and then realized that she was suggesting that Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico were originally Mexico’s land. I said, “Actually, we’re in Nevada, which I don’t think was part of that region.” I also stated that it was originally Indian land, and that the Mexicans took the land from the Native Americans. We, being Americans, took it from the Mexicans.

Seeing that she was upset, I apologized for upsetting her. What’s your opinion?

H.R. Harridan

Dear Gabacha: Nevada is not a former part of Mexico? Where do you think the name came from—The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle? That said, you were in the right.

She shouldn’t have called you a gringo at work—she should know better that we save that for when you’re out of sight, or we mutter it under our breath when you’re one cubicle over. She also shouldn’t be telling you that this land is Mexico—although it is, it’s a classified secret not ready for revelation until Nevada is majority-Mexican, like Southern California.

Finally, her whole weepy-moany act is beneath a true mexicana—she should’ve dismantled your weak-ass arguments with the facts or—better yet—a well-placed chinga tu madre.

I’m a very white man who lives in a small town about 13 miles from the Mexico border. In this small town, there is a coffee shop, and an attractive Mexican lady started working there. She does not speak English. I have a Spanish/English dictionary, and I have been writing her notes when I go into the coffee shop. She writes back, in Spanish, short little notes. She says hello to me every time I go in there; I have been practicing my Spanish “hello.” That is about as far as we have gotten. Her children speak English, but she does not. I cannot see spending my life talking to her through her children.

I am not sure what to do next. Can you help me with the next step? I would enjoy spending more time with her …

Still On Spanish

Dear SOS: Wow, a Marty Robbins song come to life! While your average Chicana scholar would rightfully rip you apart for your paternalistic, colonialist, macho, hetero-normative attitude, I’ll be a bit more sympathetic: You’re getting WAY ahead of yourself.

Already talking about seeing a lifetime with this woman? Get to a situation where you can slip off her chonis first, son! And to get to that step, learn some habla first. And to get to that step, get thee to a Spanish-language class; since you’re near la frontera, a soccer league will suffice.

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Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: I have read (from the usual suspects and a few Know Nothings) that illegals can say a few magic words to get temporary, pending review, asylum status. The reports say the illegals can claim asylum from drug gangs. My understanding is that fear of crime in one’s home country has never been grounds for seeking asylum in the USA. In other words, these reports make no sense.

My experience of the Mexican government’s insufferable machismo is that it would go ballistic if we granted asylum to even one peon based on “government oppression.” They would recall their ambassador, expel ours and embargo the export of serapes and piñatas.

Do you have any of the FACTS surrounding this brouhaha in San Diego?

Queso Grande

Dear Big Cheese Gabacho: Both the Mexican and American governments want to discount the threat of narco-violence as a plausible reason for refugee status, for self-serving reasons—but look at the stats.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, which monitors the status of refugees worldwide, estimates that about 160,000 Mexicans have fled their homes, citing in a 2012 report that “the largest but least-acknowledged cause of new displacement was generalised drug-cartel violence and human rights abuses, in the form of fighting between cartels and government forces, extortions, kidnappings, assassinations and threats against civilians.” Not all of these Mexicans went up to the United States, but it’s not a big salto in logic to surmise that some of those internal refugees want to go up to el Norte—and more will follow.

And why shouldn’t they claim refugee status? We give it to Cubans whose sole reason to come to this country is to play Major League Baseball—nothing against that awesome Los Angeles Dodgers coño Yasiel Puig, mind you …

Why the hell do Mexicans parents want their kids to talk to relatives in Mexico when the kids don’t know those people?

No Tia Goya Ni Que Ocho Cuartos

Dear Wab: You mean you don’t want to be introduced to the primo hermano of your bisabuela’s yerno’s madrina’s ahijada’s sobrina’s madastra’s third uncle once removed? What are you—a gabacho who has met their first cousin from Indiana only thrice?

As the summer draws to a close, I’m thankful, as that means the constant screaming of the kids in the swimming pool outside of my apartment will cease. The parents drag the kids into the water when they do not want to go, and the older siblings and cousins push the young kids underwater and force them to do things they don’t want to do. The kids are SCREAMING and crying, and the parents sit by, laughing. I do not understand why fear is a part of childhood in Mexican families.

Confused Güera

Dear Gabacha: Fear is as much a part of a Mexican childhood as piñatas and drunken uncles at baptisms. It prepares them for life in this country—sink or swim, with no rafts allowed. (Those are for the Cubans.)

When we throw our kids in the pool, don’t forget that they’re surrounded by older siblings who know how to swim who are in turn being watched by adults who know how to swim. We must be doing something right: A May 2012 issue of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found Latino children had the lowest rate of drowning deaths of any ethnicity, beating even gabachos.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or ask him a video question at!

Published in Ask a Mexican