Keeping Up With the Lopezes
Dear Mexican: As a Mexican-American, I’ve lived in St. Louis for about 17 years and have seen a substantial influx of my brethren. Nevertheless, I’m for border security — against the no-good, godless Canadians. I hate Canadians! Funny accents and cold weather — ha! Why is America not closing the Canadian border? Those bunch of hockey playin’, maple syrup–eatin’ hijos de putas should take responsibility for the atrocities they have committed against good God-fearin’ American folks — Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morisette, among others. Where does the humanity begin and hopelessness end? I expect that the Canadian-American War may begin at any moment, and I can hardly wait to bitch-slap a non-O-pronouncin’ mawfucka.
—El Commandante de Cinco Estrellas de los Chulos del Mundo
Dear Five-Star Commander of the World’s Handsome Men: I will not stand idly while you denigrate an entire race. How can anyone hate Canadians? Such simple people who let Mexicans steal their precious Wave, thereby eliminating one of the few contributions they’ve made to world culture besides hockey, comedians and Lennox Lewis? Besides, those snowheads and their pleasant ways always ask the Mexican questions about his hermanos despite the relative dearth of wabs in Canada (the swarthy hated folks in the Great White Norte are the Pakis, I do believe. Or Newfoundlanders. I forget). We know why our northern border is largely unprotected: no Mexicans on the other side. Besides, why are you trying to antagonize the last, best hope in North America? My Canadian peers: Ignore this pinche puto pendejo baboso. The Mexican nation worships ustedes like the gabacho gods you are. All hail to the hoja de arce!
I’ve been together with my Mexican boyfriend for over three years. However, at the beginning, I had problems getting along with my mother-in-law, and now that I’ll get to meet the mother of my mother-in-law, it seems things might get rougher with her. I try my best but it never seems good enough. What should I do? I also have difficulties understanding that, also, mi novio is looking forward to scare the first boy that would approach his young sister. Por favor explain me how to seduce la familia!
—Saludos Desde Quebec, Canada!
Dear Facebook Friend: I’ve answered this question before — go through the ¡Ask a Mexican! archives in my book for further consultation. One major point I forgot to explicar only because it’s so obvious — but for you Canadians, I’ll explain slowly — is that in Mexican culture, the mother is queen, and la abuelita is empress: even more regal, more difficult, more beautiful, and more terrifying. Proceed with caution — tell her she looks like Maria Félix, but DON’T mention the old-age home or the prodigal son who’s only going to show up when she dies to claim his part of an abandoned casa in the rancho.
Around our store in Little Saigon, it’s a running gag that “Nguyen” is the Vietnamese “Smith” and “Tran” is the Vietnamese “Jones.” Which got me thinking about an old question of mine: Which of these four common Spanish last names — Rodriguez, Lopez, Hernandez, and Gomez — would count as the Mexican “Jones”? And, while I’m asking, a little historical query: How did those family names become so prevalent anyway?
—Canadian Guy of English Descent Whose Name Is Not Smith
Dear Hoser Gabacho who Works with Chinitos: Since the 2000 United States census counts Jones as the fifth most popular surname in the United States, its wabby corollary would logically be Lopez, since it’s the fifth most common Hispanic apellido, following Garcia, Rodriguez, Martinez and Hernandez. But that means Tran is the Vietnamese Johnson, and Hoang its Jones. Prevalence? Same way other surnames spread: Their carriers schtupped as much as possible to keep up with the Lopezes.
¡ASK A MEXICAN! SPECIAL WEDDING EDITION
Dear Readers: Since the Mexican’s sister is getting married to a good man from Zacatecas this weekend, I must ignore my research archives to slaughter a pig and hire a banda sinaloense. So indulge yourselves in some piratería questions I ripped off from my book, and await my return next semana!
Dear Mexican: Isn’t brown pride a P.C. adoption and morphing of white power?
—Serapes Scare Me
Dear Gabacho: True, Serapes. And that’s why events like Hispanic Heritage Month are lame responses to centuries of gabacho oppression and exclusion. Hispanic Heritage Month is useful only to see how hilariously clueless gabacho administrators, newspaper editors—hell, the entire American power structure — still are about Mexicans. Bake some pan dulce, throw in a salsa band, invite the Mexican as a keynote speaker (note to said power structure: email me!), and that’s culture, right? Or run weepy profiles of Mexicans rising from nothing to barely something, as daily papers do during Hispanic Heritage Month, and that pleases those pesky Latinos who clamor for positive, accurate coverage in the press, ¿qué no?
What’s worse is the litany of accomplishments recounted during Hispanic Heritage Month to show that Latinos are just like everyone else, but more so. Look — a Mexican astronaut! Golfer! Doctor! No gardeners here! And don’t be surprised if you hear some MEChA chapter state some really out-there claim, like that Thomas Alva Edison was Mexican, that the Aztec empire went as far north as Michigan because the state name sounds like Michoacán, and that Mexican women take it up the butt to protect their virginity. All those cultural-pride pendejadas get tiresome after a while because it’s nothing more than pandering and assumptions. Ask Mexicans what they’re proud of, and they’ll probably point to their shiny new Silverado.
I’ve noticed that areas with lots of recent Mexican immigrants have stores that sell nothing but water. I find this very odd. Do people recently arrived from Mexico not know that tap water here is potable? How can these stores survive selling nothing but water anyway?
—Agua Pa’ la Raza
Dear Gabacha: Mexicans can never get far from the bottle, whether it’s H2O or Herradura. In a 2002 survey, the Public Policy Institute of California found that 55 percent of Latinos in the state drink bottled water, compared with 30 percent of gabachos. It’s definitely a custom smuggled over from Mexico, where tap water remains fraught with nasty viruses and bugs and crap. So it seems the Mexican affinity for Arrowhead is another case of assimilation gone dead, huh?
But another possibility is suggested by Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. In the 1964 Stanley Kubrick classic, Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper reveals that fluoride-contaminated tap water is a commie plot that’s robbing America of its precious bodily fluids. Mexicans want no part of that. We want our mecos healthy and hopping, so when it comes time to repopulate the States after the bomb hits, we can turn all surviving gabachitas into baby mills.
Ask the Mexican at email@example.com, myspace.com/ocwab, facebook.com/garellano, find him on Twitter, or write via snail mail to: Gustavo Arellano, P.O. Box 1433, Anaheim, CA 92815-1433.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.