Let Them Eat Pastel

Gigante markets its market

The press conference starts, but not before Waters tells Pringle and Lopez to stand side by side for the duration. They suffer as we all do. The conference is a bore, a formality in which a succession of talking heads approaches the microphone to preach the gospel of anti-racism, open borders, diversity, free markets, globalism and cheap prices. David and Lopez accuse the city of racism (Lopez refers to the Stipkovich Memorandum as "market ethnic cleansing"), but Pringle—a Republican, remember—eludes the charge nimbly when reporters question him. "I won't use the same words [as Lopez]," he says, "but I feel the same sentiment."

Frias concludes the snoozefest by announcing that Gigante's CEO will fly in from Mexico to address the Anaheim City Council on Aug. 20. And when he comes, he will teach them that local liquor-license regulations are no match for the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But the conference ends, and I'm unchanged, unrepentant, bereft. Even when the cake comes, a monstrous pastel de tres leches topped with cream, kiwis, pineapples and strawberries spelling out "Gigante." The press and preachers descend on it, swallowing cake like they did Gigante's claims of injustice. Pringle shovels a generously sized empanada into his mouth. Waters is suddenly everyone's mother, urging attendees to take food home. And they do, pocketing the produce. A union worker cradles two mangos the size of babies; Lopez stuffs his suit pockets with chocolate suckers.

Waters approaches me, politely offering a slice of cake, which I equally politely refuse. She insists. I finally relent and take the chance to ask her about the media's response to her story of Little Gigante and the Racists of Anaheim.

"I don't have to do a lot of explaining to them—except to you," she tells me. "Everyone gets it except the Weekly."

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