Dear Mexican: It seems that whenever Chicano professors want to show off their mexicanidad, they wear a guayabera. In fact, I saw a picture of you in the Los Angeles Times donning the shirt, along with Dickies pants and Converse All Stars. How trite and bourgeois! You go to a cafe or bar in any university town in Mexico, and the students will think you're totally naco. I stopped wearing the guayabera when a friend said I looked like a waiter in a Mexican restaurant. Do certain clothes determine your Mexican-ness?
Dear Wab: Abso-pinche-lutely. "The bigger the sombrero, the wabbier the man," is a commandment all Mexicans learn from the Virgin of Guadalupe. But seriously, Mexican clothes correspond to social and economic status: Sweaty T-shirt indicates laborer, calf-length skirts means a proper Mexican woman, and if a cobbler used the hide of an endangered reptile to fashion your cowboy boots, you're probably a drug dealer or a Texan. The guayabera (a loose-fitting pleated shirt common in the Mexican coastal state of Veracrz and other tropical regions of Latin America) also announces something about its owner: the güey is hot and wants to look sharp. Why the hate, Sexy? Remember what Andy Warhol said: "Nothing is more bourgeois than to be afraid to look bourgeois." Who cares if people mistake you for a waiter if you sport a guayabera? Just spit in their soup. And who cares if Mexican university students call me, you or any guayabera wearer a naco (Mexico City slang for a bumpkin)? They can't be that smart if they're still in Mexico.
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Dear Mexican: My girls and I work at a Mexican restaurant, and the Mexican cooks are so infatuated with the Mexican Sandwich. Is this a cultural practice for all horny amigos?
From the Curious Center of the Mexican Sandwich
Dear Gabacha: This column has discussed many of the Mexican male's courting rituals, from lecherous whistles to stares that can bore through underwire bras and the ever-romantic slap on the ass. But few gestures are more revered among Mexican men than the torta -- what you call the Mexican Sandwich. Two hombres grab an unsuspecting mujer -- preferably a gabacha -- and proceed to bump and grind her à la Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan's "Night at the Roxbury" skit on Saturday Night Live. Instant torta! Sexual harassment? Por supuesto -- damn straight. But don't call HR just yet, ladies. Consider this: Being in the center of a torta is a profoundly powerful experience, and the best sexual harassment you'll ever experience. The Mexicans involved will only bandy you around like a pinball -- ask them to stop and they will. If you want the torta to reach the next level -- say, a squirt of mayonnaise -- the decision is yours, chula. And if you don't enjoy tortas? Chuy gets a one-way bus ride to Mexico.
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