Ask a Mexican!


Why do Mexicans make the sign of mucho dinero with a gap between their thumbs and index fingers, as if holding an imaginary wad of bills between both fingers? 
— El Zorro Chupagringos 

Dear Gabacho-Sucking Fox: Because if a pendejo like you can get the gesture, imagine us normal folks.

Why do Mexicans who come into money become so rude and conceited like their caca doesn’t smell? 
— El Hijo del Pueblo 

Dear Wab: Same reason gabachos do. We do assimilate sometimes, you know? 

This Irishman living in Denver has asked many Mexicans why Estados Unidos is abbreviated in Spanish as EE.UU instead of E.U.? No one seems to know. I even emailed the question to a couple of friends in Costa Rica for Christmas. The doubled-up abbreviation gives me that queasy double-vision sensation I get from mixing too many pints of black Irish stout with fine gold tequila. 
— El Irlandés 

Dear Mick: Why are you bothering Costa Ricans with intellectual queries? All ticos are good for is creating a stable state in the middle of banana republics. The answer is simultaneously simple and stupid: grammar. Spanish grammar rules dictate acronyms for plurals get a double-dose of letters, something that makes as much sense as a Guatemalan becoming president of the United States. 

After reading your column and listening to Lou Dobbs, I think I know the problem. See, many of us Americans grew up reading the comic strip Gordo, viewing Speedy Gonzalez outwit that cat, and learned to love corn chips — which advanced to tortilla chips and Taco Bell — from the Frito Bandito. Older folks saw Mexicans from those funny-but-loyal Mexicans that John Wayne defended in cantinas from those who knew not the power of the tequila. In my case, there were those funny people serving meals at Casa Bonita in Denver. See, we miss those sombrero and sandal-wearing types. Now, all we see is lowriders and gang bangers. Is this not a PR nightmare? Maybe since retro is in, you all should go back to the drawing board. 
— El Mick 

Dear Mick: If widespread acceptance of Mexicans were that easy, que no piensas we would’ve done this already? If that were the case, Stepin Fetchit and Carlos Mencia would be civil-rights icons on the level of Martin Luther King Jr. and César Chávez.  

Your voice needs to urge your fellow Mexicans to make street marches for amnesty a MONTHLY occurrence. Those marches showed America, more than any other method, the very real power and solidarity of the oppressed in this country, when your brothers and sisters turned out in thousands to block traffic, and quietly and resolutely marched. Use your column wisely. I read it every week. Remind everyone that those in silence, who showed up to walk, were a force, something to be reckoned with and shouldn’t stop. Walk EVERY month! The last time they did, these marches were THE topic of conversation on every pundit’s lips on the evening news. It takes quiet persistence to show Amerikkka your real power nonviolently, something we are not used to, and garners respect from even those who should be ashamed. Use your voice to shout out the call to arms for frequent shows of solidarity. EVERY MONTH. Be a gadfly. You are in a good place to be heard. 
— El Izquierdista 

Dear Readers: You heard the lefty gabacho. On this coming Mexican Independence Day, instead of marching to your local taco company for margaritas and sombreros, march for amnesty for illegals. Or undocumented college students. Or to the bookstore to buy my libros. Or at least protest the television networks for ignoring Mexican-themed shows in favor of their umpteenth The Office rip-off. Point is, get on Obama’s case and tell him to forget golfing at Martha’s Vineyard and start fighting the Know Nothings. 

Ask the Mexican at [email protected],, facebook/garellano, find him on, Twitter, or write via snail mail at: Gustavo Arellano, P.O. Box 1433, Anaheim, CA 92815-1433!

MEET THE MEXICAN! The Mexican is coming to San Anto: Gustavo Arellano will give two free talks/book signings at San Antonio College September 30. Mark your calendar: Noon-1 p.m., student center mall area, during the annual Antojitos Festival; 7 p.m. in McAllister Auditorium. And watch this column for details.

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