Why Does My Mexican Neighbor Dig Through The Trash?


Dear Mexican: I’m

so perplexed by my Mexican neighbor. For one, he already has four girls, and I

just saw his wife—and looks like she’s pregnant AGAIN! What really bothers me

is that I live in an affordable housing unit. The rent is cheap and based on

our income. He has a new Ford F150 truck and his wife drives an older model

BMW. Well, what bugs the hell out of me is that he digs in the apartment

complex trashcans every freakin’ day. I live in a

large complex where there are about six trash bins. Every morning, before he

takes his girls to school, he digs in all of them for recyclables.

I wonder if I’m just jealous,

because he must make like $300 a week on all the stuff he recycles, but it

really bugs me. If he’s so freakin’ poor and digging

in the trash for an occupation, why must he still continue to bring more

children into the world? The city I live in has a No Scavenging Law. I really

want to report him, but I feel guilty. I feel like I should let him keep

digging in the trash, since he has a family to feed. Also, I guess I’m nosey

too, ‘cause I wonder if they work? I don’t think they do, and I wonder

if they’re abusing welfare? And I wonder how many

freakin’ girls he’s going to have before he gives up

his dream on having a son.

Okay, well, I hope you can

help me with this issue. Am I evil? Should I care less? Help. —Pocha Cabrona in Chino

Dear Pocha:

You’re not evil, chula:

just pendeja.

You—an assimilated Mexican-America—still have to live

in affordable housing? So much for breaking the stereotypes

of Mexicans as lazy peons. Meanwhile, that wab

that bugs you so much is hustling, digging through garbage for a couple of

extra bucks—it’s obviously working out good, since he’s living a better life

than your floja

ass. Who cares if he wants to have more kids? That’s his decision, not yours.

Maybe you’d be better off in life if you picked through trash—but I’m sure you

think that’s beneath you. Meanwhile, you’re wondering if your Mexican neighbor

is on welfare when YOU are on the government queso. My immigrant parents, who

always scrimped and saved and bought massive trucks and SUVs because no

honorable hombre should ever leave

home without one, never took a dime—that

is beneath them, since that’s such an American thing to do. If ever there were

a case for Mexicans to not allow their children to assimilate, you’d be the

poster niña,


I got asked to participate in a Internet radio

show where I, as an alleged (mostly by me) Mexican comedian, will be asked

questions like, “Why are Mexicans so funny?” Since I’m as Mexican as a Del Taco

stand, I defer to you for some insight and wisdom that I can share to the

show’s four audience members. –Tommy Milagro

Dear Wab: Have you

talked to our pocho

cousins? A veritable Comstock lode of material for ridicule there!

PREORDER TACO USA! Gentle cabrones: My much-promised Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, will finally hit bookstores April

10, but that doesn’t mean you can’t already order it (yes, grammar snobs: I

just used a double-negative, but Mexican Spanish loves double-negatives the way

we do cute second cousins). Place your order with your favorite local

bookstore, your finer online retailers, your craftier piratas, but place it: my libro editor has

already promised to deport me from the publishing industry if we don’t sell

enough copies! And stay tuned for book signing info!

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