BY GUSTAVO ARELLANO
SPECIAL YEAR-END EDICIÓN
Apologize for the shortened column this week, but there are tamales to make…
Dear Readers: Gracias, thank you, gracias for another successful year. The Mexican now appears in 32 newspapers across the country, with a weekly circulation of just over two million! As more readers join the Reconquista, many ask the same preguntas about the column’s methodology, philosophy, and generous use of the term pinche puto pendejo baboso. Following is a mini-F.A.Q. to address those concerns; next week, this column returns to its usual pendejadas.
Are you really Mexican?
Does a tamale contain masa?
Why do you use satire? Why can’t you just be serious?
Consult the works of Swift, Twain, Colbert and Sadgiyev for my answer.
Why haven’t you answered my question? You’re too much of a pussy to publish it, huh?
Patience, gentle readers: patience. My backlog of unanswered questions is over 200 pages long, all of them unique, and queries still invade my mailbox daily. I’ll get around to every question, but unless you’re an illegal immigrant, everyone must wait in line.
You didn’t answer last week’s question properly.
The Mexican answers with facts and attempted humor. If you don’t like it, go to Home Depot and pay a Mexican five bucks to fashion the respuesta you may desire.
How can I get you to answer my question faster?
Be original (may the next people who ask what part of “illegal” don’t Mexicans understand or why do Mexicans like Morrissey so much see their favorite radio station transform into a Mexican regional outlet). Ask questions that crack me up, whether out of cleverness or blatant stupidity. Preferred subjects for the Mexican: etymology, stereotype-debunking, and showing how much of a pendejo Lou Dobbs is.
Why do you claim to speak for all Mexicans?
It’s ¡Ask A Mexican!, not ¡Ask the Virgin of Guadalupe! Next question.
What’s a “wab,” and why do you use that word?
A wab is what wetbacks call wetbacks in Orange County, California; I use it to remind people even Mexicans can hate Mexicans. Also, to remind everyone that Orange County is the Mexican-hating capital of America.
Why do you make fun of Guatemalans?
The English had the Irish; the Italians had the Poles; everyone now makes fun of Mexicans. If we want to assimilate, we must pick on those below us — that’s the American way, no?
Gracias again, readers—this column is what it is because of ustedes. I leave you with the winning entry for the Mexican consulate picture contest I advertised throughout last year — why wasn’t it you, flojo? If the person below isn’t from your hometown, be the first to send the Mexican a picture of yourself in front of the local Mexican consulate, and win a free autographed book! Prospero New Year, chavos y chavas!
Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters will be edited for clarity, cabrones. And include a hilarious pseudonym, por favor, or we’ll make one up for you!
Gustavo Arellano is an investigative reporter on staff at the OC Weekly in Orange County, California. His “¡Ask a Mexican!” column began in 2004 and today is syndicated in 32 publications nationwide. He is also the author of a book by the same name. An extensive interview with Arellano can be found in the EW archives online for Nov. 29, 2007. Arellano can be contacted at TheMexican@AskAMexican.net