Dear Mexican: Do your countrymen still worship Santana? Or is Santana looked at like The Who in England, and Crosby, Stills and Nash in America—old relics from the good ol’ Woodstock days?
Abraxas to the Maxas!
Dear Gabacho: Mexicans actually never worshipped Carlos Santana, who was born in Jalisco and grew up in Tijuana before moving to San Francisco and becoming the Quetzalcoatl of rock. Oh, we’ve always respected him—after all, Santana is a mexicano who hit it big by fusing Latin rhythms with acid rock—but he long ago left the earthly realm of nationalism to hang out with his guardian angel, Metatron, making him the true manifestation of la raza cósmica.
Mexicans respect all of that, but they like their male Mexican musicians the way hombres like their sex: loud, sweaty and done in under four minutes—OK, three.
My husband, who is very proud of his Mexican heritage, was born and raised in Santa Ana; his parents were also born and raised in Santa Ana. He grew up with a more traditional Mexican upbringing then I did. Long story short, he bought this T-shirt with Pancho Villa on it that has the phrase, “Gringo I Want You,” in big, bold letters on the back of it, with Pancho Villa pointing. Now, when he bought this T-shirt, I told him, “Honey, are you sure you should be wearing that t-shirt? Someone might take offense to it.” He told me, “No! No one would even notice what it says.”
Well, last night, we were at our local drug store picking up some prescriptions. Some big biker dude who had just rode up and parked his big hog on the sidewalk came up to us and started yelling loudly at my husband in a Midwestern accent, “Hey, you M’fer, I’m a gringo. I don’t like that shirt you’re wearing; you better take that shirt off.” My husband at first thought the guy was just joking, but the biker continued, and everyone was looking at him. I figured the guy was drunk; I was so mad I wanted to kick his bike over when we walked back our car, but I said nothing until we got in the car—when I did the “I told you so” to my husband.
So my question to you, Mexican, is: What should we have done? Cause a scene? Stand for our rights to wear what ever the hell we want to wear? Or just ignore the biker dude and walk out of the store, which is what we chose to do? This was a big M’fer, and my husband is a small-framed 50-year-old diabetic viejito. Back in the day, he would’ve knocked the SOB to the floor. My view: Even though I did the “I told you so” thing to my husband, I believe my viejito should have the right to wear the T-shirt. But I feel the biker dude was entitled to be offended, too. The question in my mind was: Does this idiot even know the history of Pancho Villa? Probably not, and it was just an act of ignorance, or the M’fer really was drunk.
Last night, my viejito slept in that T-shirt and refuses to take it off now; I’m proud of him.
Angie la OC Pocha
Dear Pocha: Short story long! Long answer short: Reward his bravery by wearing Pancho Villa chonis.
Ask the Mexican at email@example.com; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!