ĦAsk a Mexican!

Dear Mexican,

I have a major crush on a worker with the Mexican Consulateaqu enTucson. But I fear that, like two star-crossed lovers, we're destined for doom. I'm agabachayaktivist and against governments in general. He represents the PAN or PRD or PRI or whatever Mexican political party happens to have more influence at the moment. That's why I don't think he'd ever give me the time of day. How can I find my way into his inherently corrupt heart?

—La Chula

Dear Cutie Gabacha,

Don't worry about it if you're hot—a chica caliente could hang with the Minutemen, and Mexican men would still pile on her like a contractor at Home Depot. But you have a shot even if you're a few braces short of Ugly Betty. Guys and gals looking for some Mex sex: Get involved with Latino organizations working to legalize the aliens amongst us. There are precious few gabachos in the movimiento, and I'm sure many Mexican activists are more than willing to exchange ass play in the name of amnesty—even the fellas.

Dear Mexican,

What's the deal with stupid upscale Mexican restaurants? Here in South Florida, they're popping up like corn smut. And pretty soon, the yuppies down here are going to get the idea that it's a sign ofclass to have your guacamole made to order at your table by some grinning hourly employee! I know there's supposed to be an upper-crust Mexico City foodie scene that these restaurants all claim to be "inspired by." But come on! After you pay $15 for a fancy-ass margarita and then watch a waiter mash up your avocados, you're still going to end up eating the same old enchiladas or chicken mole. Trust a bunch ofgabacho money-grubbers to turn peasant food into the Next Big Thing. What's with the bougie pretense?

—Former Phoenician

Dear Half-Wab,

Why are you sore? Did someone mistake you for a waiter? Besides, what's wrong with Mexican food being the Next Big Thing? You're fine with our cuisine being treated like Mexicans? It's about time Mexican regional specialties such as mole, poc chuc and aguachile receive serious culinary treatment from the nation's restaurateurs. Sure, it's a bit grating to see American chefs such as Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless make millions by appropriating centuries-old recipes, but they also expose Mexican cuisine to an audience much larger than your neighborhood taqueria. So let gabachos have their overpriced agave nectar and añejo tequila—eventually, they'll patronize the real pinchedeal. And then we get to rip them off. Dear Mexican,

I want to congratulate you and ask for a favor. PLEASE don't use the stereotype of the overweight dirty revolutionary to represent your column; it diminishes your work. If you don't agree with me, at least ask your readers what they think.

El Profe de Yuma

Dear Profe,

Don't hurt my feelings—that's a drawing of my papi, give or take a couple of pounds and whiskers. Besides, I publish that portrait for a purpose. Yes, he's an ugly stereotype, but that happy wab is the Mexican that's been in the mind of gabachos for more than 150 years. Images like him have assumed an extraordinary, undeserved power to offend. By publishing the bandito archetype again and again, this Mexican hopes to lessen its sting and turn it into what it really is—a portrait of my father, no more, no less.

But I'll take you up on the challenge, Profe. All right, readers: What do ustedes think of this column's logo? More important: What should I name him?

 
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