Remember all the immigration-related hullabaloo back in 2007, when Pizza Patrón, a Dallas-based chain that caters to the Latino market, announced it would allow people to buy pizzas with Mexican pesos?
Every pasty, testosterone-poisoned white sheriff in Arizona started stamping their jackbooted feet and making Yosemite Sam-type noises; FOX News had a field day. You'd have thought the Reconquista
had come to the southern United States in the form of a flat disk of cheese, sauce and meat . . . all because some no-account pizza chain decided to accept pesos.
Too bad it doesn't actually accept pesos.
After fellow Forker Niyaz Pirani and I headed back north across the border a couple of weeks ago
, I found myself with a bunch of pesos burning a hole in my pocket. Normally, I'd just put them in my wallet and keep them for another trip south, but I was hungry. I was curious to see how it would work to buy something for pesos in the United States, so I headed for OC's only Pizza Patrón shop (122 E. 17th St., Santa Ana), and I ordered a "lista combinación
" (pepperoni pizza, soda and something called "quesostix"). I pulled out my 200$ bills with Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz on them, ready to accept my change in American money and walk out with my food.
The pesos in question
It never got that far. The cashier pulled out a laminated plastic sheet with models of peso bills on them and told me she couldn't take my money, which a manager confirmed. They're perfectly valid pesos--I got them out of a Banorte machine on Paseo de los Héroes two weeks ago, and they're the latest series--but apparently whatever bizarre machinations that stores uses to convert pesos, it doesn't like Serie J 200-peso bills.
The staff declined my pesos, I declined their pizza, and we parted ways. It's a cute marketing scheme . . . if only it were actually true.
FOX News cabezas hablantes and easily angered rednecks, rest easy: The American economy is safe from brightly colored foreign bills once again.