Why Do Mexicans Steal Cactus Leaves?

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And can gabachos love the Mexican culture but hate the Mexican?

DEAR MEXICAN: I read your column in TheVillage Voice and am hoping you can help me. I think I have a Mexican problem. In short, I have a home in sunny California on a property with an abundance of agave cactus and century plants growing along the street. Every year for the past 20 years, five to 10 cactus leaves (3 to 4 feet in length) are cut from the base of the plants that are closest to the street. This occurs several times a year prior to holidays, Christmas and others. The huge plants with slashed leaves are a visual blight. I have posted numerous respectful signs such as “No Hunting Cactus Leaves—Private Property,” but to no avail. I believe this is a Mexican matter as there are many Mexicans living and working in the surrounding area. On one occasion, I observed a Mexican casing the plants and told him of the problem and how the police had been notified and were monitoring the area. He was gone before I could say, adiós, and the leaf cutting stopped for about six months. Recently, the practice has been reinstated. Agave is used for tequila and lately has become popular as a sweetener for baked goods. It’s also good for floral décor and barbecue. ¿Qué puedo hacer?

Cactus Culero

 

DEAR GABACHO: Of course it’s a Mexican problem. While gabachos like yourself use such plants as ornamentals, Mexicans have long revered the agave (which, a propósito, isn’t a cactus) for its many uses—you named some, but others include making teas and creating ropes out of the fibers and even needles from the sharp points at the end of the leaves. And don’t forget that each leaf, if properly cared for, will sprout in into its own plant. Sorry to say, but you really can’t do much to stop the thievery—Mexicans pick all crops and plants before them (even if on private property) as a matter of habit given that’s been our American-requested mandate in this country from Día One.

 

DEAR MEXICAN: Americans liking tacos, salsa, Salma Hayek’s chest, Mexican beaches and tans does not translate into Americans wanting undocumented Mexicans crossing our borders to work here, bringing in disease/drugs/crime and receiving welfare benefits. Are you high on peyote, man? Who in their right mind would want to live under Mexican law and culture? Mexico is a mess and not because of the gabachos—please, señor! You and your jealous amigos are the hypocrites because Mexico is a top-heavy wealthy country that has no human rights, no freedom of the press, no access to the courts, no due process, no welfare programs or shelters for the poor, suffering people I saw on the streets of Mexico City! WHY aren’t you and your amigos bashing Mexico and its government for the disgraceful treatment of its people? WHY are you bashing the U.S., which offers Mexicans immigrants, legal or illegal, a better life through our BETTER SYSTEM, better education, welfare benefits, free education and free social services? Again: Just because we enjoy tequila and fajitas does not mean we want to be Mexican or live under corrupt Mexican culture or get ripped off daily financially by having our tax money going to Mexicans’ welfare benefits! Comprende? Capice? Or do ya need a translator for this?

Wasting Away In Margaritaville

 

DEAR GABACHO: No one has ever said a gabacho love for Mexican products translates into a gabacho want for more Mexicans—actually, quite the opposite. From the first Ramona-themed picnics to today’s luxe loncheras, gabachos have tried their darnedest to remove Mexicans from the equation of consuming Mexican culture, and they have done an amazing job at it—just look at chili, then move on to your bar’s Drinko for Cinco celebration. It’s a concept academics call appropriation, but the rest of us call hipocresía—ya need a translator for that?

 

GOOD MEXICANS OF THE WEEK! Dr. William Nericcio, English professor at San Diego State University, is the Mexican’s Mexican—a brilliant, scabrous modern-day Socrates without the pederasty. His expertise has appeared in this columna before, and I’m proud to report Nericcio has finally redesigned his Tex(t)-Mex Galleryblog, on which the profe takes his semiotics-obsessed scalpel to dissect news affecting Mexicans in this country with his academic-chúntarodesmadre. Read for yourself at textmex.blogspot.com.

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him onTwitter or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

 

 
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12 comments
mamaci
mamaci

Where is the answer as to why Mexicans steal cactus leaves (nopalitos)?Because we love BBQ nopalitos, nopalitos salad or nopalitos cooked with anything--eggs, pork, steak, swrip, etc. All these when they are still tender; the big-old ones have to much fiber and are hard to eat. Furthermore, nopalitos are super nutritious and have many healing properties.

Since the time that the Japaneses found out their cancer, diabetis, hight blood pressure, etc, properties, they import them from Mexico and process them. Then, they sell them back to the world int he form of prescription drugs.

Voilà why Mexican steal cactus leaves and the TUNAS, which are the fruit of this cactus plant and are as nutritious as the cactus leaves. Warning about the TUNAS: Do not eat more than 3 or your will have hard time pooping! I eat 6 to 10 but I blend them first, strain the seeds, and drink the nutritious, delicious and refreshing juice. Jammmy!

One more thing, if you refer to agave leaves as cactus leaves, you have it wrong. Nopalitos or nopales are cactus leaves and agave is another thing. Unless we have a huge plantation of agave plants, we cannot do anything with a leave or some leaves. Now if the plant you are talking about is a Aloe Vera Plant (Sávila), that one is used to cure almost anything, and yes we would cut one leave or more if we need them.

Next time, ask to a real Mexican!

Not My Government
Not My Government

When you catch a thief stealing from you, kicking their ass on the spot has worked the best for me. Its very satisfying, plus they don't come into my garden anymore and they become friendly afterward... respectful. For this to work you have to punish them right away. If you settle it later they don't make the connection that you are beating the shit out of them on account of what they did to you, then later you have to square off with a bunch of lowlifes looking for revenge; you'll need a shovel. The only ethnic population this approach doesn't work on is Ashkenazi. The Ashkenazi are checked best by large scale public humiliation.

G. Campos
G. Campos

You sound like a pussy trying to act hard on the computer. You aren't fooling anyone joto! Get a life!

  antonjio
antonjio

I am not sure what kind of agave cactus you have, but here are two options:1) soft agave cactus: used as a pain killer in muscles, tienes que calentarlo, y usar la epidermis de la planta, no tomarlo !!!2) hard agave cactus: useful to cook mexican style barbacoa, para envolver la carne de borrego en un horno dentro de la tierra. you have no idea the flavour you get form that stuff

Joejujo
Joejujo

Cactus Culero what he means by "you cant stop the thievery" is basically if you live around mexicants; they steal....always...everything they possibly can!trust me, i live in Texas with "mucho mojados", they steal...A LOTJust another endearing part of their "CULTURE"

Joejujo
Joejujo

Translation is Gustav-hoe cant answer it, he has no answers for the people who are originally mexican nationals being exposed as trash.He knows Margaritaville is right.period.

Obama
Obama

Chili is from Texas, and after we beat you down and took it mojado.

Raul
Raul

Nericcio's work is pretty damn good. Our college brought him down all the way to El Rio Grande Valle in September. Or was it October? Nice guy as well. After his exhibit, my friend and I joined up with him and some professors and we all got mad drunk at our downtown entertainment district. Fun times!!!

Mmorante
Mmorante

Dear Pregunta al Mexicano... About the mssing cactus leves.You forget that they are edible annd are considered very buenos with scrambled eggs, or didn't you know about this?Back in the thirtys my brother and sister danced the Jarabe a very authentic one at that , any way they were asked to dance at Bing Crosby;s home i\near San Diego .They were ased to stay for dinner. There were some cactus apples on the table for the decor. But my mothersaid they were very edible. so she pickd one of the table and peeed and ate one Which every one at the table dug in and ate them. Theya are very juicy and sweet.I guess Mr. Pachuco you sisn'know this,

Juanito
Juanito

To Wasting Away in Margaritaville, fajitas aren't Mexican. They're one of those "Mexican" foods, like those freakishly large nachos with sour cream and chives. They don't come from the motherland, but man! Are they delicious!

definitelyeatinb
definitelyeatinb

I'm a little miffed you didn't get further into Margaritaville with your answer... skirting the bulk of his argument only makes his assertions seems more credible, but then you went all horticulturalist with your cactus/agave question. Please Mexican, what gives?

Bill T.
Bill T.

Yah, what's so hard to understand that I only want los Trabjeros picking plants at starvation wages that only bebefits me. I don't want them harvesting anything that might be of benefit to them and their families! I have decorative $5 bills strung along my front fence and despite the many signs posted advising that they are on private property they keep disappearing, what's with that? I think it's those pesky Guatamatecos again, or maybe the Nicaraguenos (sp?). Is it okay to tease other people from the isthmus or are we required to restrict it to people from Guatemala?

 
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