Dear Readers: Here's a look back at some of the best questions of the year.
Dear Mexican: Thirteen years old, and I'm jacking off, not knowing I left the bathroom door ajar. Just as I blasted onto the shower curtain, my mom walked in. Aghast, she shouted, "¡Cochino, te vas hacer ciego y se te va enchocar el pito!" ("You pig! You're going to go blind, and your dick will get crooked!") Scared the hell out of me, and I stopped choking the chicken for at least a month. Is the threat of going blind from jerking off purely a Mexican belief, or is it universal? Gracias a Diós por laser eye surgery.
Dear Crooked Dick: All American boys have pickle-pulling hangups, but Mexican chavos suffer doubly, gracias to two anti-masturbation schools of thought: the Puritan view that monkey-spanking is dirty because it leads to pleasure, and the Catholic insistence that wanking is a mortal sin because it doesn't lead to life. For a history of the former, the Mexican recommends Thomas W. Laqueur's fine 2003 book Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation, an academic tome with many interesting tidbits — for instance, did you know the Protestant war against beating your meat didn't begin in earnest until the 1712 publication of Onania: or the Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution, and All Its Frightful Consequences in Both SEXES, Considered, With Spiritual and Physical Advice to Those Who Have Already Injur'd Themselves by This Abominable Practice? Catholic theologians, on the other hand, have maintained for millennia that masturbation is evil incarnate: Augustine of Hippo railed against it, St. Thomas Aquinas claimed in his epic Summa Theologica that dancing the one-fisted tango is worse than rape because rape can at least lead to pregnancy, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes rubbing your rocket as "an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."
But thanks for sharing your plight, Pito Chueco: It's further proof that Mexicans assimilate into this great land. The dual dogmas of Protestantism and Catholicism, America and Mexico, old and new countries truly screw with a horny brown boy's mind. The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality says "self-pleasuring is still one of the most anxiety-provoking of all sexual issues" for Mexicans, and I can attest to that. I continue to promise God that the last time really was the last time, that I defile myself because I'm a sinner. And then I do it again. Gracias a Diós for His eternal forgiveness.
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Dear Mexican: Being in law enforcement, I've had to handle many radio runs. I think Mexicans are some of the hardest-working people in Mexi-America, but why is it that when Mexicans drink, they often stab or hit a brother or cousin? Why not a stranger to shake off some of that tension?
Hateful Hermanos Harmful
Dear Triple H Gabacho: The Mexican family and drinking is as volatile a mix as the Irish family and Jameson, but stats don't support your anecdotal evidence. The 2005 study Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances, by the United States Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics, found that "whites and blacks were more likely than Hispanics or persons of other races to be victimized by family violence" between 1998 and 2002, the most recent period investigated by the DOJ. As I've written before in this column, "alcohol" and "logic" repel each other like "border" and "enforcement." Apologies for the reiteration, gentle readers, but sometimes the most obvious answers are those that are pirated.