October 20, 2006

¡ASK A MEXICAN!

Why do Mexicans put on their Sunday best to shop at Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, etc.?
Brown Beauty

Why do Mexican women dress up to go to the swap meet?
Chica Chicana

Why do Mexican women wear stiletto heels to the swap meet?
Flat-Heeled Mexican

Dear Pochas: You gotta love our moms and aunts, ¿qué no? Despite living in abject conditions, never having enough money to purchase vaccines for the kids—let alone save up for a Prada this or Manolo that—Mexican women always primp themselves for something as simple as buying tortillas. It’s a remnant of rancho life, where market day is more a social event than an exercise in the unfettered exchange of commodities. Free from their homes, women catch up on life with their comadres while warily eying their sexually repressed daughters, horny hijos and drunken husbands gamboling around el mercado. So, since almost everyone in town will see you, of course you’ll wear the nicest outfit available. It’s classy, it’s sexy and it’s a thousand times better than the plague of middle-aged gabachas shopping in sweat suits, spaghetti-strap tank tops, fanny packs, Volcom baseball caps, low-rise jeans and other clothing items pulled from their slutty daughter’s closet.

Can you tell me the meaning of the word “agua-cate”? All I know about this delicious fruit is that it originated on this continent.
Guacamole Man

Dear Gabacho: “Aguacate” is the Spanish word for avocado, but its Nahuatl meaning is more rustic: balls. According to Ana María de Benítez’s 1974 classic, Pre-Hispanic Cooking, “The name agua-cate (avocado) comes from Ahuaca Cuahuitl, ahuacatl meaning testicle and cuahuitl meaning tree, hence: tree of testicles.” A Freudian might argue, then, that guacamole is castration gone gourmet. Women prepare it so they can symbolically crush the macho huevos that keep them repressed; Mexican hombres scarf it down in the belief that they’ll become manlier. And the popularity of guacamole amongst gabachos—the California Avocado Commission estimates that consumers purchase 40 million pounds of their cash crop during Super Bowl weekend alone—is actually an American plot to de-ball the Mexican nation. Then again, an avocado might just be an avocado: a wrinkly—and sure, testicular—fruit.

Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at garellano@ocweekly.com. And those of you who do submit questions: include a hilarious pseudonym, por favor, or we’ll make one up for you!

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