Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: Mexicans and Gabachos Are One and the Same

Dear Mexican: Why do Mexicans and gabachos resemble each other so much? Both are very conservative about sex, marriage and family. Both are very Christian, either Catholic or Protestant. Both keep similar attitudes toward immigrants. Both are very patriotic or nationalistic. Both deal with the same social issues, like high rates of sexual and domestic abuse, alcoholism and homosexuality. In both countries, there's strong feminism as a reaction against decades of machismo and discrimination toward women. And then there's the striking similarity between Texan cowboys and rancheros. Since Mexicans and gabachos look so different in American society, how can this be possible?
The Guatemalan

Dear Chapín: Your Yucateco Mayan cousins have a saying, "In Lak'ech," which translates into Spanish as "Tú eres mi otro yo," which you can Beatle-ize into "I am you and you are me" (look it up!). More than just new-age pendejadas, the Mayas knew not only that opposites attract, but also that they're frequently dos sides of the same coin — yin and yang, cabrón! You compared gabachos and Mexicans pero good; scholars have given the same treatment to the Aztec and the Spanish conquistadors. They were both religious empires that played tribes off each other to make it easier to beat them; that liked to kill and enslave their enemies; that practiced cannibalism; and that practiced syncretism at all times. (The Mexican Virgin of Guadalupe was famously a replacement for the Aztec goddesses Tonantzín and Coatlicue, but the original Spanish Virgin of Guadalupe herself was a so-called Black Madonna, the term used for a Marian apparition that just so happened to pop up in areas with pagan significance.) Even you pinche chapines have a duality with us Mexis...or not, because we're a trillion times better than ustedes. Point is, gabachos and Mexis will get along much better once we both accept that we're both part of the Estados Jodidos.

Dear Mexican: Why the fuck do Mexicans love to warm up their cars every morning? Cars only have to be warmed up if they have carburetors, and carburetors haven't been part of cars since the 1980s! Think of it this way: while idling, your car is getting zero miles per gallon. Don't let the engine run at idle for any longer than necessary. After starting the car in the morning, begin driving right away; don't let it sit and warm up for several minutes. An engine actually warms up faster while driving. With most gasoline engines, it's more efficient to turn off the engine rather than idle for 30 seconds or longer. Think about going into a fast-food restaurant rather than waiting in a long line for the drive-through window.
Fuel-Injection Phil

Dear Gabacho: The only cars that matter are cars with carburetors. Fuel injection is for fresas. Think of it this way: Mexicans learn to drive from their dads, and their dads learned how to drive during the 1970s and before, when carburetors were king. Mexican dads don't evolve outside of accepting Asian and gabacha daughters-in-law and tolerating the gay members in their families instead of assaulting them as in decades past. It follows, then, that Mexicans even in the present day will turn on the car and let it warm up for a couple of minutes, damn the fuel economy. Traditions for us last long after they're useful: Fer chrissakes, we still put bull stickers on our trucks!

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Gustavo Arellano
Contact: Gustavo Arellano