Ask a Mexican

Why are Mexican hot dogs called Doyer Dogs?

Dear Mexican: I went to a Los Angeles Dodgers game today and noticed that they now have Doyer Dogs, which are disgusting and covered in nacho cheese, jalapeños and chili. Not that it doesn't have potential, but this is Dodger Stadium, not a food truck. But my question: Do you think that it's more offensive to Latinos (specifically the Latino population of Southern California/Los Angeles) to advertise "Doyer Dogs" instead of just calling them Mexican Hot Dogs? At the game today, I thought that the Dodgers should do a better job of embracing the Latino community as real fans instead of Doyer Fans. I don't think this is a popular opinion, but after today's game, I feel like much of the notion about the "bad crowd" at Dodger Stadium is just a majority of white people in Los Angeles being uncomfortable in public around large groups of Latinos. I think some white people, who are not part of a particularly multi-cultural/ethnic community, might be uncomfortable taking their family to someplace like Dodger Stadium, where they might be in open seating with people who don't look like them. You think there's any validity in this?

Son of Steve Garvey

Dear Pocho: Far more offensive than any perceived etymological affront are the Dodgers' field performance this season and your all-over-the-place question, which is as erratic as Tommy Lasorda after hearing a question about Dave Kingman. There's nothing offensive about calling Mexican-themed hot dogs Doyer Dogs: It's a nod to how Mexican immigrants pronounced "Dodger," and to their children, who grew up loving that pronunciation because it showed that their parents were trying to assimilate into this country. But there is no hope in said Doyer Dog; if the Dodgers were really smart, they'd realize that Mexicans like their hot dogs wrapped in bacon, topped with carne asada, and drizzled with mayo, mustard and Tapatío hot sauce, not pinche chili and nacho cheese. You're right about some gabachos being skittish about attending Dodger games because of ethnic fear, but it ain't the pochos or wabs they don't like: it's the cholos, who are loud throughout the game. (Little-known secret: A lot of the pochos and wabs who are die-hard Doyers fans don't like those cholos, either.)

CONFIDENTIAL TO: The youngster in Ms. Fiedler's class at Kepner Middle School in Denver who stole my book. You've got a cool teacher! She read my book to your class, and you obviously liked my libro so much that you wanted your own copy — that's cool! But taking it from your maestra without her permission? Not cool. If you would've asked her, I'm sure she would've let you borrow it for as long as you want. I don't want to get you in too much trouble — I stole a Beatles CD when I was your age, and I know how school administrators love to administer draconian justice on young Chicanos for any reason. You don't need a mark on your young life, especially over my book.

But I need you to man up: Stealing stuff puts our raza down and is disrespectful to Ms. Fiedler. So tell you what: Return my book to her and confess your sin to her. She'll punish you the way she sees fit, she'll let me know when that's done, and I'll send you an autographed copy of my libro for learning your lesson and for taking responsibility. ¿Sale vale? I know you'll do the right thing, son — now, make your Mexican proud!

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Gustavo Arellano
Contact: Gustavo Arellano