Dear Wab: You can thank la Guadalupana that you have just one idiot teen primo; I have muchos (¡Hola, Omar y José Alfredo!). And, as you correctly surmise, we're not alone. A 2004 study by the Washington, D.C.-based Population Resource Center found that there were 94.5 births per 1,000 Mexican girls between the ages of 15 and 19 in the United States, more than double the national average of 43 births per 1,000 women for the same age group. Latina magazine calls this an "epidemic"; Mexicans call it the lottery. Illegal immigrant relatives can use the American-born kid as the first step on the path to citizenship; legalized Mexicans reap the benefits of government programs for poor parents and tax breaks so that raising their kids costs next to nada. But before you join the Minutemen to stop this fleecing of American taxpayers, gabachos, consider: With your birthrates falling precipitously, every newborn Mexican ensures that you and your parents can leech off Social Security for a couple of years longer and by the time those Mexican kids reach 65, they'll be caca out of luck.
Dear Mexican: I am a gabacho who is dating a spicy little señorita. We're going to Mexico so I can meet her father and his side of the family. I'm a rather alto y flaco fellow, and I wasn't blessed with the dark complexion Mexicans enjoy. I speak some Spanish, but what else can I do to try not to stand out so much in her motherland? I'm already working on growing a mustache, but I don't think that will be enough. I don't have a panza, no sombrero, and authentic Mexican comida is probably going to tear me up. Suggestions?
Gabacho Flaco en Iowa
Dear Skinny Gabacho in Iowa: In friendlier times, Mexicans would've greeted your arrival with a hero's welcome, the kind of they celebration they rolled out for Pope John Paul II, John Steinbeck or The Three Amigos. You could've strolled through the villages with the haughtiness of a god, raining gold upon peasants and bedding a couple of virgins along the way. See, you and your gabacho amigos are Mexico's lifeblood. Your thirst for cheap immigrant labor, oil and thrills accounts for nearly $40 billion in revenue for Mexico's top three industries immigrant remittances, oil exports and tourism, respectively and more than a third of Mexico's GNP. Without your largess, Mexico would be a Guatemalan backwater. But Mexicans never hear a gracias (an amnesty program would be nice) for holding up our end of the relationship; no, we get barbed-wire fences. Fine. Mi casa no longer es tú casa. We don't dare cut off economic ties with the United States, so we instead take our revenge in Mexico and its American protectorates by treating gabachos with contempt: a bribe here, extra kids in the schools there, a constant stream of imprecations ("pinche puto pendejo baboso") muttered under our collective breath. There's nothing you can do to avoid the hate, Skinny Iowan, so bear with it and don't act surprised when your señorita's family asks if you can smuggle them into el Norte.
Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at [email protected]. And those of you who do submit questions: include a hilarious pseudonym, por favor, or we'll make one up for you!