Ask a Mexican!

BUY TACO USA! Gentle cabrones: My much-promised Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America has finally hit bookstores! Place your order with your favorite local bookstore, your finer online retailers, your craftier piratas, but place it: My libro editor has already promised to deport me from the publishing industry if we don’t sell enough copies! And stay tuned for book-signing info!

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Dear Mexican,

Why do Mexicans with lowriders have murals on their hoods and trunks/tailgates? And how come they always have waterfalls and half-naked chicks as part of the mural?The Crazy FilipinoDear Chinito,

First off, gracias for not telling the old tired lowrider joke that goes like this: Why do Mexicans ride lowriders? So they can cruise and pick strawberries at the same time. Or: Why do Mexicans drive cars with small steering wheels? So they can drive while wearing handcuffs. All jokes aside, the use of murals on lowriders is further proof of Mexican assimilation into this country. The art, of course, come from Mexico’s proud muralist tradition, which you see in Mexican neighborhoods across America. Their placement on cars comes from kustom kulture, born in Southern California and freely mixing with Mexican traditions from the 1950s onward. Half-naked chicks? Like you have to ask! And, frankly, Mexicans cannot stand to see any flat surface unadorned, whether with a mural, graffiti, quinceañera pictures, Virgins of Guadalupe, or the occasional college diploma.What’s the deal with Mexicans and scratch-off lottery tickets? Is it the lure of the instant gratification of immediately getting back the $2 return on their $10 investment, or is it because they’re afraid that immigration might be waiting outside the office when they try to cash their Lotto ticket? Honestly, it’s been years since I’ve seen anyone but Mexicans buying those sorry excuses for a gambling opportunity.Learn Other TemptationsDear Gabacho,

The only comprehensive survey involving the racial and ethnic demographics of lottery players is an annual survey compiled by the University of Houston’s Hobby Center for Public Policy. In its 2010 report, it found that while the percentage of “Hispanics” who played scratch-off lotto tickets didn’t vary significantly from gabachos (55.6 percent of Mexis surveyed played, while a whopping 72.2 percent of negritos did the same), the median amount of dollars spent per month by Mexis was much higher than everyone else: $8.50, as opposed to five bucks for gabachos y negritos alike. The Hobby Center’s study unfortunately didn’t offer any explanation for the discrepancy, although other lottery researchers have determined that Mexis prefer scratch-off tickets because of their low cost and easy availability in convenience stores. Wish I had a rejoinder to that, so instead I’ll offer another lowrider joke: What did the lowrider say when the house fell on him? Get off me, homes!CONFIDENTIAL TO: The Albuquerque idiot who has called libraries and bookstores where I’ve been doing signings demanding that they cancel my event because my column is supposedly racist. Pendejo: if the Anti-Defamation League laughed you off, you think anyone else is going to take you seriously? The only people who want this column gone are Know-Nothings and neo-Nazis. Become a productive member of society: Buy many copies of my books and donate them to the underground libraries being set up by the Librotraficante (www.librotraficante.com), which gladly traffics in my libros and those of other seditious writers. And then go get a blow job.

garellano@seattleweekly.com

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