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Ask a Mexican

Special Summer Edition

By Gustavo Arellano
Posted // June 8,2010 - Dear Mexican: For a summer, I lived with a half-Mexican, half-Irish kid whose mom (the Mexican side) went lesbian after his birth. This family taught me to drink tequila and got me laid for the first time by white women. I am part-Native American and Jewish. Am I officially Mexican for this? If so, am I the most oppressed person in America? —Looking for My Place in Line

Dear Injun Heeb: No, for the first part, if by “oppressed,” you meant “pendejo,” then yes on the latter!

Dear Mexican: Mexican seafood cocktails look like the perfect summer lunch for a girly girl like me—cool, light, high in protein, low in carbs—but every time I go to a real Mexican place (the kind where Mexicans are actually customers and not cooks), the only people eating them are Corona-slamming, 250-pound bruisers in trucker caps and wife-beaters. I’ve never seen a woman eat one of those amazing-looking seafood cocktails. Why? My main question for you is this: Would it be a major faux pas/potential threat to someone’s masculinity for me to order one of these? —La Chinita

Dear Chinita: No, seafood consumption in Mexico is enjoyed by men and women alike, but the place you’re referring to is a specific genre in Mexican restaurants in los Estados Unidos: the mariscos joint, where women usually exist only as servers with too-low blouses and too-high skirts, and the men are there to slurp down food and knock back beers while ogling said servers at all times. Women are allowed as customers, and you won’t get too many stares if you enjoy dinner here, but such a mariscos place is the domain of men, just like certain types of restaurants in other immigrant communities (Vietnamese coffee shops, Middle Eastern hookah lounges) play the same role. But stay away from seafood for a while—or at least make sure that shrimp you eat comes from the Pacific and not the pinche Golfo

Dear Mexican: Why do Mexicans swim in the ocean with their clothes on? I mean, denim?! —Vicente Fox’s Mustache

Dear Pochos: This is by far the most-asked question in Ask a Mexican! history. So, to todos ustedes, I have my own question: Are you all brown-and-chubby chasers? Like gabachos, an alarming number of Mexicans are out of shape. According to a 2003 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 24 percent of Mexico’s population is overweight. That’s the second-highest obesity rate in the world, following—wait for it—los Estados Unidos! (The Mexican’s present-day note: A 2008 study found the same results. I’d cite the exact survey, but here comes la migra—gotta run!) Unlike gabachos, Mexicans respect the public when it comes to flashing our flabby chichis, pompis and cerveza guts—so when we’re out near the pool or by the beach, we cover up. It ain’t Catholicism, machismo, or an homage to our swim across the Rio Grande: It’s just good manners.

Ask the Mexican at,,,, find him on, Twitter, or write via snail mail at: Gustavo Arellano, P.O. Box 1433, Anaheim, CA 92815-1433!

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