Illustration by Mark DancyDear Mexican,
I worked in a department store in Orange County this past holiday season. Every day, without fail, whenever I heard a kid crying or screaming or saw a kid running in the store, it was always a Mexican kid. I saw kids shrieking like banshees with parents who pretended to be oblivious. And get this, I'm Mexican and would have gotten a patada (kick) upside the head from my parents for just talking loudly in the store when I was a kid! Chihuahua, when did the rule change?!
I work in retail/over-the-counter sales. I deal with people from all over the world. Everybody speaks to me in English no matter where in the world they are from, except Mexicans. Mexicans will walk up to me and speak in Spanish. Why is that? Why do Mexicans assume that everyone knows how to speak their language? Are they so smug that they think they are above learning our language like everyone else, or are they just too stupid to learn?
Frustrated in Huntington Beach
Dear Pocho y Gabacho,
Raul, I have to disagree with you—it ain't just mexicanos who let kids run around in stores nowadays as if a border was constantly in front of them, resisting the parental urge to smack some sense into them. Consider a 2002 ABC News poll that revealed that 65 percent of American adults approve of spanking kiddies, down from the 83 percent published in a similar 1986 Gallup poll. I tried to gather a focus group of the gabacho-est gabachos I could find for comment, but U.S. Representative Christopher Cox and Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle weren't available. But the fact remains that huarache-to-nalga discipline is going the way of Nativo Lopez. As for the second question, Frustrated, I have two words for you: Little Saigon.
Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at firstname.lastname@example.org. And those of you who do submit questions: give your name or a pseudonym, por favor, or I'll make one up for you!