Dear Mexican: Please allow me a little latitude. I'm a resident of Northeast Dallas, a wonderfully diverse neighborhood near the heart of downtown Dallas. I've lived here for many years and wouldn't even CONSIDER moving north, south, east or west. However, I have one issue I'd like to address: What's the deal with Mexicans' propensity for stopping their car in the middle of a busy street? I witness this almost every week, usually on Ross Avenue during afternoon rush hour. I (and hundreds of other motorists) will be clipping along at 30 to 35 mph in the northbound lanes when all of a sudden, cars will swerve, horns will honk, and traffic will suddenly grind to a screeching halt. What could it be? A lost puppy dog crossing the street? A little old lady who's collapsed from heatstroke while trying to cross the street? A partially open duffle bag containing thousands of dollars, bills flying all over the road?
NO! Without fail, it's a Mexican who: 1) Saw a friend walking down the street and stopped to exchange pleasantries. 2) A Mexican who stopped to drop off or pick up a wife, husband or friend. 3) A Mexican who accidentally passed his or her intended location, but instead of "making the block," decides instead to stop, and in some cases even BACK UP in order to reach the intended destination. I LOVE Mexicans. You all are some of the friendliest, most easygoing, family-oriented, hard-working people I've ever known. But put some of you behind the wheel of a car, and all bets are off. Help a gringo out here. What's the deal?
— Stuck on Ross
Dear Gabacho: Ever heard of the Chinese fire drill? When you stop at a red light, everyone gets out of the car, circles it, and gets back in? I didn't either until I got some gabacho friends last year; gabas are weird, ¿qué no? Anyhoo, call the scenario you described the Mexican fire drill. You also forgot that Mexicans will stop in the middle of the street — traffic be damned — if they're waiting for a friend who's getting ready, if they have to go inside a place to pick something up, or if there's a particularly good banda jam on the stereo and they want the whole barrio to listen. As por el why? After a lifetime of crossing borders, running away from la migra and hustling from job to job, sometimes it's just great to relax and be still — and if that annoys gabachos, even better!
Dear Mexican: My name is Burjs and I'm a gay male. And I'm obsessed with Mexican men. I love you guys so fucking much. Your "machismo" attitude, the ways you guys walk, talk and look, to the way you make love. But I guess the thing I love the most — and it's not true of all — is your tempers. I wonder why Mexican men are mean and aggressive towards effeminate males such as myself. I'm not complaining, because I love it from you guys. Am I crazy because I like my Mexican lovers to sexually and physically abuse me? By the way, I'm a black bottom.
— Provócame, Papi
Dear Provoke Me, Daddy: Don't romanticize our machismo. If you get off on getting demeaned, that's your deal. But far too many hombres who don't fit the Vicente Fernández archetype of hypersexual hetero male have had to deal with too many calls of maricón and joto by other Mexican men throughout their lives to make it something cute. Such aggression, though, proves the answer to the age-old question: What's the difference between a straight and a gay Mexican? Two Tecates.
Ask the Mexican at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be his fan on Facebook. follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!
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