CVIndependent

Sat06152019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Gustavo Arellano

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 08:00

Ask a Mexican: How Do You Properly Eat a Sope?

Dear Mexican: I’m not bilingual, but I am fascinated with the differences and similarities between Spanish and English words and idioms. They often point to interesting differences between the cultures. Some words, like vejigazo (to get smacked in the ass with an inflated cow bladder) are self-explanatory, but there is one that I’d like your help with.

I don’t remember the word, because I stumbled across it in a Spanish-English dictionary once right before I fell asleep, but I do remember the definition. It means “to wear for the first time,” and I can’t think of any reason why a culture would need a verb to describe that situation. Do you know what that verb is, and more importantly, can you tell me why Spanish would need it?

Thanks very much.

El Guapo

Dear Handsome Gabacho: The verb is estrenar, derived from the Latin strena, which meant a “favorable omen.” Estrenar isn’t just a verb to describe wearing new clothes, though: It also means “to premiere,” as in “un gran estreno.” The Real Academia Española doesn’t give any clue how estrenar got its sartorial sense, but the connection is pretty obvious, and it ain’t unique to us hablas: Every materialistic culture on Earth brims with modern-day Beau Brummels showing off their latest kicks, and their most vintage Saint Laurent—and you don’t need one word to describe this anymore with the advent of Snapchat.

Oh, and #fucktrump.

Dear Mexican: I know that in Japanese, when you want to emphasize a relationship with a person, you add -kun or -chan to the end of someone’s name.

Is there anything like that in Spanish? I’ve heard people use an -ita or a -ito, but I need some verification.

Taco-chan

Dear Chinito Wab: You have verified correcatemente! The suffixes you cited are diminutives that Mexicans add to the end of male (-ito) and female (-ita) names to signify fondness or endearment toward the cabrones. Grammar rules are generally simple—the diminutive seamlessly latches onto the fín of nombres with consonants (Davidito, Daffodilita) and morphs in strange ways if they end in vowels. (Pepe becomes Pepito, while Maria transforms into Mariquita, and Maclovio’s diminutive is Maclovito.)

Males have two other suffix options, with the same grammar rules: -ote (which is the equivalent of calling someone “Big,” as in Big Miguel—Miguelote), and -ín (Gustavín), which makes no sense to me. You wouldn’t use them with girls—go ahead, try calling one gorda and see how fast mexicanas can punch.

Oh, and #fucktrump.

Dear Mexican: Sope. My question is: What is the proper way to actually eat the damn thing? Do you pick it up like a taco (inevitably making a mess), or do you saw it up with the barely adequate plasticware provided at the counter? And in what part of Mexico did this enigmatic li’l morsel originate?

CUlinarilly CHAllenged

Dear Gabacho: Proper way? Whichever way is your bag, baby. Where it came from? It goes back to the ancients, because putting something on top of a thick tortilla ain’t no thing, you know? Oh, and #fucktrump.

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 follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Readers: The Mexican is currently in the hills of Kentucky, drinking white dog with the good ol’ chicos while doing tamborazo covers of “Molly and Tenbrooks” and bluegrass versions of “Las Isabeles”—because hillbillies and paisas are brothers from another madre, you know?

Anyhoo, onto some oldies-pero-goodies. Salud, and yee-haw!

Dear Mexican: It seems that whenever Chicano professors want to show off their mexicanidad, they wear a guayabera. In fact, I saw a picture of you in the Los Angeles Times donning the shirt, along with Dickies pants and Converse All Stars. How trite and bourgeois! You go to a café or bar in any university town in Mexico, and the students will think you’re totally naco. I stopped wearing the guayabera when a friend said I looked like a waiter in a Mexican restaurant.

Do certain clothes determine your Mexican-Ness?

Sexy Mexy

Dear Pocho: Abso-pinche-lutely. “The bigger the sombrero, the wabbier the man,” is a commandment all Mexicans learn from the Virgin of Guadalupe.

But seriously, Mexican clothes correspond to social and economic status—a sweaty T-shirt indicates laborer, a calf-length skirt means a proper Mexican woman, and if a cobbler used the hide of an endangered reptile to fashion your cowboy boots, you’re probably a drug-dealer or a Texan.

The guayabera (a loose-fitting, pleated shirt common in the Mexican coastal state of Veracruz and other tropical regions of Latin America) also announces something about its owner: The güey is feeling hot and wants to look sharp.

Why the hate, Sexy? Remember what Andy Warhol said: “Nothing is more bourgeois than to be afraid to look bourgeois.” Who cares if people mistake you for a waiter if you sport a guayabera? Just spit in their soup. And who cares if Mexican university students call me, you or any guayabera wearer a naco (Mexico City slang for bumpkin)? They can’t be that smart if they’re still in Mexico.

Dear Mexican: Why do Mexicans pronounce “shower” as “chower” but “chicken” as “shicken”?

Vietnamese About To Orate (VATO)

Dear Chino: This column has provided readers with many indicators of the differences between recently arrived Mexicans and los que have lived here for generations: skin tone, car purchases, whether the Mexican in question flushes his soiled toilet paper or tosses it in the trash can, etc. Another sure-fire way is the ch/sh phonetic test.

Proper Spanish doesn’t feature a “sh” sound (known among linguists as a lingua-palatal fricative), so Mexicans pronounce English words using the “sh” sound with the harsher “ch” (known as a lingualveolar affricate). However, many indigenous Mexican tongues use lingua-palatal fricatives. The most famous example is in the original pronunciation of Mexico: As said in Nahuatl, the word sounds like “meh-shee-ko.” The Spaniards couldn’t pronounce the middle consonant, though, instead substituting a guttural “j” (as in “Meh-hee-ko”) early in the Conquest. They killed most of Mexico’s Indians in the ensuing decades, but the indigenous “sh” sound never wholly disappeared: If you do hear a Mexican using “sh,” it’s probably a Mexican Indian.

So next time you hear a Mexican ask for a “Shinese shicken sandwish with Sheddar sheese,” VATO, por favor, don’t shortle.

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 follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: I’m a gabacho living in a barrio. It took a year after we moved in (we’ve been here for five years now), but I grew accustomed to the bicycle-horn-honking guys selling churros out of grocery carts, the tamale lady selling out of a stroller, the couple selling new clothes out of a panel van, the fruit/vegetable guy who really just sells crappy chips, and the every-other-day yard sales. Don’t get me wrong; I love the “micro-economics” of it all; it’s kind of like living at the ballpark. If you sit there long enough, somebody will show up with something to eat. 

I’ve started to not jump every time I hear the “Tijuana Doorbell.” A LOT of trash gets thrown into the street and my yard, much of it from the crappy chips the aforementioned fruit guy sells. The trash and the honking still piss me off, but I’m used to it. The cholos, ’copters and potholes—old news.

What I just can’t get my head around is this: Why do so many Mexicans—men and women—sit in their cars for hours at a time? Or start the car and then walk away for a half-hour? The car’s just sitting there—ON—and nobody’s around. The sitting around might be attributable to not having any privacy at home; I get that. But starting your car and just sitting there or walking away?

Señor Gabacho Con Questiones y Mariscos

Dear Mr. Gabacho With Questions and Seafood: Ever heard of carburetors? That’s what real cars have in their engines, and you need to warm up said carros in the morning in order for them to run. Mexicans have always preferred real ranflas, so even when we eventually get weak-ass fuel-injection cars, we still warm up cars as a form of habit.

While this might seem like a weak answer, it’s based on precedent: Look at that classic Mexican habit of not flushing away toilet paper full of caca.

Dear Mexican: I’m a 64-year-old white guy. I’m one of your readers and a Facebook amigo. I’m a huge fan of Tejano music, which led me into appreciating Mexican music. Then, of course, there are Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys, who can (and do) play anything. Then there’s that whole Depression/World War II diaspora that had a hand in the Oakland/Bay Area horn funk bands of the ’60s and ’70s, and, of course, the whole damn Escovedo family up there in NorCal.

Boy, did I get off base. My question is: Am I a gabacho?

Green Goes the Gringos

Dear Gabacho: Did you ever hear that joke Chris Rock said about black people and “niggas”? That’s how it is with white people and gabachos. The Mexican frequently gets accused by gabachos of being racist toward white people, when that’s not the case at all. Some of my best friends are white people—hell, one just installed a door for me the other day, and I even let him use my bathroom!

This column takes on the gabachos of the United States, though. It’s gabachos who think Mexicans are destroying this country, and gabachos who want to elect Trump, yet profess their enjoyment of Mexican food. White people hate gabachos as much as Mexicans, which is why they don’t have a problem with the Reconquista. Gabachos, on the other hand? Better stock up on the Tapatío as a peace offering, ’cause you’re gonna have to make nice with us muy soon.

So you, sir, ain’t no gabacho: You’re just a plain ol’ gringo.

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 follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: So how long can you keep up this racist shtick in an area where Latinos are the majority? You’re clever enough to use irony as a device to blunt your own just-kidding racism, but most of the Mexicans and pochos I know don’t care enough to bother with such clever tricks.

I’ve lived in L.A. most of the last 30 years, and I’ve worked and lived with many Mexicans and Mexican Americans here. I even married a couple of them. I’m raising a half-Mexican child right now. What I’ve noticed is that Mexican hate for gabachos is surpassed only by their hate for, roughly in order: blacks, non-Mexican Latinos (mostly those from Central American countries closest to Mexico) and Asians. Europeans, with the possible exclusion of the French, are held in relatively high regard—meaning you might not get spit in your burrito if they understand that your whiteness doesn’t preclude your shared status as enmigrantes. I’ve heard about how “inteligente” Hitler was from Mexicans far more than I ever heard it working with the white sons and daughters of slave states. And the Germans I’ve worked for over there were much kinder to their own Turkish and Italian laborers than I’ve seen Mexicans be to salvadoreños, guatemaltecos or—God forbid—blacks in the workplace.

Why this victim/oppressor ambiguity? Is it a mirror of the legacy of La Conquista? The Stockholm syndrome of your non-consensual Aztec hottie (great-times-15) grannies for your bearded Euro forefathers? Once you get your standard canned-insult response out of the way, please enlighten us all on this point.

El Humano

Dear Human Gabacho: Mexicans hate no more than gabachos—no, seriously, look it up. And we worship whiteness no more than gabachos—no, seriously, look it up. Hate blacks? Y’all beat us by a bunch. Asians? The same. Gays? We might hate Central Americans un chingo, but it doesn’t compare to the gabacho treatment of Mexicans.

Really, the only difference between Mexicans and gabachos is that when we scarf down a bunch of hamburgers or bed a gabacha, we don’t appoint ourselves experts on the Mexican condition, unlike ustedes pendejos after a michelada and a morenita.

Dear Mexican: I occasionally stumble upon news articles about your compadres sneaking in hundreds of pounds of illicit bologna and cheese from Mexico. The thought of eating bologna that’s been sitting in a hot car for a couple of hours is enough to make me gag.

So what’s the deal? What is it, exactly? How good can this stuff taste that it’s got to be smuggled in like kilos of weed? Surely there’s got to be a more legitimate source for it in Southern California, no?

Cheese It

Dear Gabacho: I would’ve answered this question, but I have to pay for my wheels of illegal queso de pata from Zacatecas. So I threw the pregunta to Javier Cabral, West Coast correspondent for Munchies and a fellow zacatecano.

“It’s a little-known fact that most of the cheeses that you find at supermarkets in the US are pasteurized, rubbery garbage,” Cabral told the Mexican. “This stands in stark opposition to the world of full-bodied, complex cheeses made from raw milk that most Mexis grew up eating before tunneling over to the U.S. I’m talking about sharp parmigiano reggiano-like quesos añejos and briney, mozzarella-like Oaxacan quesillo fit to be on the pizza scene of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. In some Mexican families, if your Mexican relatives show up without a neatly-wrapped ball of cheese, they might as well be excommunicated. Sadly, the stringent laws against raw milk in the American dairy industry do not allow for the production or sales of any true Mexican cheeses. Until that day comes, you best bet that the underground Mexican cheese trade will be as rampant as the Mexican poppy trade.”

As for Mexican bologna? Cabral and the Mexican have never heard of such thing. “However,” Cabral adds, “come back if you want to talk illegally imported carne seca from Sinaloa.”

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 follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: The word “cholo” means “mixed race” or “mestizo.” So isn’t using “cholo” to refer to gangbangers or other delinquents racist?

I’m Cuban, but please don’t group me with idiots like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.

Cubiche Chula

Dear Pocha: There are multiple meanings of “cholo” we’re dealing with here. The word derives from the Nahautl xolo, and its first documented definition was in Alonso de Molina’s epic 1571 Nahuatl-English dictionary, Vocabulario en lengua castellana y mexicana y mexicana y castellana; there, he said the Aztecs took it as “paje, moço, criado, o eƒclavo” (“page, waiter, servant or slave”). Spaniards being Spaniards, they applied the term to refer to the offspring of an Indian and a mestizo. Mexico being Mexico, it then became a palabra to apply to lower-class people, which spread across Latin America and into the United States. Gabachos being gabachos, they took cholo and made it into a derogatory slur applicable to all undesirable Mexicans. And pochos being pochos, they reappropriated cholo, then dumped it on gang members, not realizing that they were essentially calling the homies “dirty Mexicans.”

Don’t you just love how we don’t know our history?

Dear Mexican: I read in one of my Mexican conspiracy-theory magazines that Frank Zappa was not a founder of the Mothers of Invention. One of the two founders was actually a Mexican from SanTana. Is this a Mexican Jimi Hendrix type of mentira?

Confudido

Dear Pocho: For once, the Mexican conspiracy magazines—those that insist that Thomas Edison’s middle name was Alvaro, that Walt Disney was an orphaned Spaniard, and that Mexico will win the FIFA World Cup in this millennium—is right. Roy Estrada was the bassist for the Mothers of Invention, which got its start as an Orange County band named the Soul Giants. And Estrada was born in SanTana, the most Mexican big city in America.

But let’s not go out and try to claim him like we do with Ted Williams and Joe Kapp: Estrada is serving a decades-long prison sentence in Texas for being a chester.

Dear Mexican: I’m deeply saddened by this treatment of Mexican people and how it affects my family. It bums me out. My husband’s family doesn’t like me because of my race, and I know they are embarrassed about me and our children. I don’t feel welcomed in their homes, and it puts a burden on my husband to be in the middle. Sometimes, I feel so undeserving of even being alive.

I know I am a sensitive type, but this is ridiculous. … I try to stay away, but I am forced to participate in family functions even though I am uncomfortable. Any advice besides divorce?

Bummed

Dear Pocha: Don’t stand for your in-laws’ racism. Tell your husband that you and your children will not stand for such pendejadas anymore, and that if he can’t do that, that he’s a chavala and you will withhold sex from him until he changes. Ever see Lysistrata? Withholding your panocha from pendejo men, works, ladies.

Now, if only there were a nationwide campaign to prevent Trump from getting into office …

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 follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: Over the years, I’ve had several different American doctors digitally violate me to examine my old prostate. Before they examine me, they always play Cat Stevens music. It explains why old American men uniformly hate Cat Stevens.

I’m moving to Mexico soon, and I assume that my next annual physical will be performed by a Mexican. Do Mexican doctors play Cat Stevens before they examine your prostate? Do old Mexican men hate that guy as much as old men from America?

Culo Chris

Dear Gabacho: Does anyone care about Cat Stevens anymore besides Muslims? Certainly not Mexicans. But I can say that old Mexican men hate prostate exams far more than gabachos, because they’d rather risk dying painfully from a preventable cancer than getting anything shoved into their nalgas.

This ain’t just stereotyping Mexican masculinity, but the unfortunate truth. The awesomely titled “I Will No Longer Be a Man! Manliness and Prostate Cancer Screenings Among Latino Men” by Zully Rivera-Ramos and Lydia Buki, which appeared in the December 2011 issue of Psychology of Men and Masculinity, found that “prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer among Latino men. Due, in part, to lower rates of screening.”

Why the low rates of digital rectal exams? The same reasons are found in “Expressions of Machismo in Colorectal Cancer Screening Among New Mexico Hispanic Subpopulations” in the April 2012 issue of Qualitative Health Research: It’s the machismo, pendejo. Mexican men, like Kanye West, only want toilet paper to touch their anuses, because anything else would make them gay.

And now you know why Mexico is Mexico.

Dear Mexican: My husband swears up and down that Mexican men do not grant drivers the courtesy of “cutting in” or merging into their lane. I tell him that he’s crazy, but every time he runs into this situation, the driver just happens to be a male who looks to be Mexican.

What’s the deal with that? I’m out to prove him wrong, but so far, everything is working out in his favor.

Let Me In, Damn It!

Dear Gabacha: You really think a culture that celebrates coming into this country without papers is going to care about letting people get ahead of them during traffic? That’s like expecting Donald Trump to suddenly offer aguachile at his restaurants—¡no mames!

Dear Mexican: Is it just my imagination, or do Mexican families tend to fiesta on Sunday evenings more than any other day of the week? If the driveway is packed full of cars, the oompah is blaring, and the kids are running wild, it tends to be a Sunday. Why?

Interested Neighbor

Dear Gabacho: My saintly mami told me that when she and her siblings were picking garlic in California’s Central Valley during the 1960s as preteens, they’d work Monday through Saturday; wash clothes and clean around the house Sunday morning; and then spend the rest of their Domingo afternoon relaxing along with all the other Mexicans they knew.

The same goes with Mexicans of this era, although I would add that Saturday evenings are also reserved for weddings and quinceañeras—but since they involve navigating family and rancho rivalries dating back to the Porfiriato, the Mexican considers them more hard labor than puro pinche pari.

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 follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: I have a few questions. Why is it so wrong for Americans to expect people from other countries to follow our laws when entering this country? What reason do you have that should make Mexicans entering this country illegally OK?

Secondly, why aren’t you as concerned about the way immigrants from, let’s say, El Salvador are treated as they are making their way to America through Mexico? I was married to someone who made this trip, and I got to hear about the atrocities committed by the Mexican people against foreign immigrants just passing through. Rape, murder and incarceration are commonplace. But you complain because Americans simply want immigrants to follow our laws? There is nothing worse than hypocrisy. This country spends BILLIONS of dollars every year on people who come here illegally! Our tax dollars!

There’s a reason there is a process in place for people to enter this country. The reason is simple: If it’s not done properly, it will cause problems for people here in America! Why is this so difficult for you to understand? Donald Trump is winning for a reason: He is speaking out on what the American people are feeling inside! America isn’t in a position to be the godfather for every failing country in the world anymore! We need to focus on the condition of this country for a while and get things back to where they need to be.

Lastly, I would like to comment on the recent cover image of the OC Weekly (The Mexican’s home paper; pictured below) of a donkey fucking Donald Trump. I think it’s totally uncouth and tasteless. It shows exactly why your magazine is given out for free. How about drawing a picture of Vicente Fox violating the entire Mexican population? If the Mexican government wasn’t worthless and corrupt, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion! Then the Mexican people would stay in Mexico! But the truth of the matter is that Mexico, for the most part, sucks as a country! Instead of demeaning our political system, why don’t you go fix Mexico? That’s what I think is so hilarious about seeing Mexicans in America sporting the Mexican flag, and yelling about how proud they are to be Mexican—yet they don’t have any problem coming to America and reaping the benefits of this society that is supposedly so terrible. It’s insanity.

Anyway, I would like to say thank you for putting your paper out, for one reason only. It works great in the bottom of my cat’s litter box, and it’s free! I highly doubt my comment will be addressed or put into your trash mag, but I’m giving you permission to if you see fit.

Newt Me!

Dear Gabacho: You want to talk hypocrisies? Regarding everything you trashed Mexicans for supposedly doing, you could say the same about your (presumably) Salvadoran ex-wife and your immigrant ancestors—the border-hopping, the not staying in her country to improve it, the trashing of other immigrants. But as usual, gabachos excuse everyone except Mexicans for everything.

And forget hypocrisies: How about stupidities? Everyone knows papers like OC Weekly and the Coachella Valley Independent print version are best used as compost, because they’ll fuel your garden with truth. But, hey: Trumpbros like you seem to hate the truth, so keep wallowing in your cat’s shit.

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 follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: Tell me one thing Mexico is good for.

MAGA Man

Dear Gabacho: Paying more taxes than Donald Trump. Read on …

Dear Mexican: The other weekend, I met a Mexican girl at bar. Hoping to score some points, I pretended that I, too, was Mexican. Between my nondescript ethnicity (Eastern European and Vietnamese … chabacho, perhaps?), my command of Spanish, and some carefully timed quotes from Blood In, Blood Out, I managed to pull it off … con mucho éxito.

It got me thinking: Do Mexicans ever pretend to be other ethnicities? Do light-skinned jaliscienses ever go undercover as gabachos? Do Mexicans sometimes set aside their orgullo to go the Lou Diamond Phillips route? I’m dying to know.

Carlos Chan

Dear Chinito: All the time! When Mexicans hang out with Middle Eastern folks, we like to boast that we have an uncle who looks just like Saddam Hussein; when we’re with Jews, we say that our grandmother observed weird rituals, like lighting candles on Friday and never preparing pork. The lighter-skinned among us continually claim that we had a Frenchman in our family tree who decided to stay in Mexico after the Hapsburg occupation; Xicanxs with full beards will attend Native American powwows and boast they’re a direct descendant of the last honest tlatoani of Tenochtitlán.

That’s the thing about Mexicans: We’re everything … except Salvadoran.

Dear Mexican: I teach a volunteer class to kids in the ’hood, most of them Latinos (many of them Mexican). I like the kids a lot—but how can I justify teaching kids who may be illegals over kids who are legal? Shouldn’t I cater to kids whose parents have been paying taxes for years? Shouldn’t we “take care of our own” first?

Gabacho’s Moral Dilemna

Dear Gabacho: Since you’re volunteering your time, you have every right to be a pendejo in your private life. But refry the following frijoles: Primeramente, the Supreme Court’s 1982 decision in Plyler v. Doe found it unconstitutional to deny public education to undocumented kiddies, so if you’re doing this via a school, you’d better keep your bigoted views to yourself, lest you get a lawsuit.

Also, don’t forget that “illegals” pay un chingo of taxes; a report released this year by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found undocumented immigrants pay about $12 billion in state and local taxes despite their lack of legal status. “Undocumented immigrants’ nationwide average effective tax rate is an estimated 8 percent,” the report said. “To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent of taxpayers pay an average nationwide effective tax rate of just 5.4 percent.” That’s probably more than Donald Trump!

Finally, study after study shows that those illegal kids are more driven and smarter than “legal” kids. Besides, these are children we’re talking about; hating on kids trying to get ahead in life is all we need to know about our modern, paranoid 21st-century ’Murica.

With morals like yours, the U.S. deserves our future Chinese overlords sooner rather than later.

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 follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: Why do SO many chamacos of this generation. who are Mexican, refuse to learn Spanish and/or speak it? What’s the big deal? Are they THAT embarrassed of their native tongue because they’ve been so Americanized, or what? It’s been bugging me for years!

I’m Mexican-born and raised in San Diego, and grew up quite differently from most Mexican kids, I guess, but I never backed down to speak, read, write and learn Spanish. Osea, que conejos con está generación?!

Cachanillo, ¿Y Que?

Dear Pocho: Sure, the Pew Hispanic Center and other survey-happy think tanks publish study after study showing how quickly children of Mexican immigrants learn English, and how fast they begin to favor that idioma instead of habla. But the fact remains that it’s more acceptable than ever for people to speak Spanish, especially given that we’re in the end stage of Reconquista. And still, Mexico kids end up becoming English-dominant, as they always have in post-World War I America.

Why? Because despite what Univisión wants you to believe, English is how you win in los Estados Unidos—and win, we must. Besides, what’s wrong if Mexican kids lose the ability to speak Spanish? Sure, being bilingual is great, but a lack of Spanish doesn’t somehow make you less Mexican—just ask Cuauhtémoc.

Dear Mexican: When I was a small child of a poor farm family in Oklahoma, we started to have visits from an extended family of about a dozen persons who were following the harvest work from the border northward. They would stop again on their way south when harvest was over. Our farm was on a river, and our cabin had lots of shade and space for them to set up their tent and make the campfire. My mother always welcomed them, and we nine children were delighted to find these friendly brown children to play with. Mama would give them corn, tomatoes and sweet potatoes from our garden. They, in turn, would show my mother how to make flat bread on the cooking fire, and how to use very hot peppers in cooking.

I regret that the way to cook that flat bread was not passed on to me. I wish someone could tell me how to cook that bread. It would remind me of the great joy and delight we all felt when we saw them coming down our road from the high Dust Bowl plains. “The Mexicans are coming! The Mexicans are coming!” we shouted, and it was a great moment in our lives twice a year for three or four years in the 1930s.

Most of the Mexicans I encounter now are doing yard work or picking fruit here in Florida. Each time I see a brown face, I greet them with a smile and think of those wonderful people who I have always considered amigos. If anyone can give me a recipe for making the flat bread like those amigos made it, I would be most grateful.

Okie From Kissimmee

Dear Gabacho: Flat bread? You mean a tortilla, right?

Your letter is sweet, so I’ll spare you any further ridicule other than to note, as I always do when talking about Oklahoma, that the state should unconditionally support undocumented immigrants since it was founded by those dirty illegals called Sooners.

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 follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: I have visited other countries. None would appreciate me waving my flag in their country.

It all comes down to this, MI AMIGO: If you enter this country from any other country, you must have the necessary paperwork to allow you to stay and/or work here. If you enter without paperwork, you have committed a crime. It’s called ILLEGAL ENTRY. All over the world, this law will send you back to your country of origin. Why the hell do Mexicans think for a minute that they are excluded from this law?

Donald Trump has some muy loco ideas. There will be no wall or his other mierda. But be prepared: Should he become the boss, he will look very closely at criminals, reoffending, running back to Mexico and coming back—at the very least. It can’t keep going this way.

You will all work yourselves out of your American dream. I’m sick and tired of Mexicans thinking that this land belongs to them. NOT ANYMORE. Get in line in the legal way. Everybody needs to stop using and abusing the American system. We are now in so much debt that poor citizens don’t have jobs and money to support their families. STOP that CRAP NOW. If you don’t belong here, go back to your country.

Tool for Trump

Dear Gabacho: Don’t blame Mexicans for the national debt; blame the Iraq War and Reaganomics. Don’t blame Mexicans for coming into this country, with or without papers; blame NAFTA, capitalism and the people who hire unauthorized Mexicans. Don’t blame Mexicans for saying the American Southwest belongs to them; blame an unjust war. Don’t blame Mexicans for using and abusing the U.S.; blame an American system that has encouraged cheating every step of the way ever since the Boston Tea Party. Better yet, blame EVERYTHING: That’s all Trump supporters do, anyway.

Man, I haven’t come across a whinier bunch of CHAVALAS since hearing Mexicans defending the use of “puto” during soccer matches.

Dear Mexican: How do I keep my Mexican friend from stealing all my shit?

Amigo de Aztlán

Dear Gabacho: Coat your stuff in condoms—that’s like kryptonite to Mexican men!

Dear Mexican: My co-worker donned a poncho and sombrero for Cinco de Mayo and got totally wasted. He said he had no bad intentions and does not understand why Mexicans get so upset when he embraces Cindo de Drinko. Oh, and he does not understand why “Cinco de Drinko” is offensive, because it’s an American holiday, anyway.

Can you help explain why some Mexicans get offended when a gringo wears our attire on Drinko de Cinco?

I’m the Mexican in the Office Who Brings Tamales During Christmas

Dear Pocho: At this point in America’s history, I say let the gabachos dress up as gross caricatures of our raza. They have little else going for them: Birthrates are down; death rates are skyrocketing; and all their daughters are shacking up with paisas. They’re tilting hard for a new identity, so now’s the time to enact the final stage of Reconquista: Get them borrachos while wearing sombreros and bigotes, then sic la migra on them. Just like it was prophesized in the Florentine Codex, you know?

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 follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!