Dear Mexican: It seems that whenever Chicano professors want to show off their mexicanidad, they wear a guayabera. In fact, I saw a picture of you in the Los Angeles Times donning the shirt, along with Dickies pants and Converse All Stars. How trite and bourgeois! You go to a café or bar in any university town in Mexico, and the students will think you’re totally naco. I stopped wearing the guayabera when a friend said I looked like a waiter in a Mexican restaurant. Do certain clothes determine your Mexicaness?
Dear Wab: Abso-pinche-lutely. “The bigger the sombrero, the wabbier the man,” is a commandment all Mexicans learn from the Virgin of Guadalupe. But seriously, Mexican clothes correspond to social and economic status—sweaty T-shirt indicates laborer, calf-length skirts means a proper Mexican woman, and if a cobbler used the hide of an endangered reptile to fashion your cowboy boots, you’re probably a drug dealer or a Texan. The guayabera (a loose-fitting, pleated shirt common in the Mexican coastal state of Veracruz and other tropical regions of Latin America) also announces something about its owner: the güey is hot and wants to look sharp. Why the hate, Sexy? Remember what Any Warhol said: “Nothing is more bourgeois than to be afraid to look bourgeois.” Who cares if people mistake you for a waiter if you sport a guayabera? Just spit in their soup. And who cares if Mexican university students call me, you or any guayabera wearer a naco (Mexico City slang for a bumpkin)? They can’t be that smart if they’re still in Mexico.
My girls and I work at a Mexican restaurant, and the Mexican cooks are so infatuated with the Mexican Sandwich. Is this a cultural practice for all horny amigos?
–From the Curious Center of the Mexican Sandwich
Dear Gabacha: This column has discussed many of the Mexican male’s courting rituals, from lecherous whistles to stares that can bore through underwire bras and the ever-romantic slap on the ass. But few gestures are more revered amongst Mexican men than the torta, what you call the Mexican Sandwich. Two hombres grab an unsuspecting mujer—preferably a gabacha—and proceed to bump and grind her ala Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan’s “Night at the Roxbury” skit on Saturday Night Live. Instant torta! Sexual harassment? Por supuesto—damn straight. But don’t call HR just yet, ladies. Consider this: being in the center of a torta is a profoundly powerful experience, and the best sexual harassment you’ll ever experience. The Mexicans involved will only bandy you around like a pinball—ask them to stop, and they will. If you want the torta to reach the next level—say, a squirt of mayonnaise—the decision is yours, chula. And if you don’t enjoy tortas? Chuy gets a one-way bus ride to Mexico.
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