Thursday, July 26, 2007

The wrong Mexican

It's so early in the day, yet I've twice already been gob-smacked into amazed silence.

In gob-smackdown #1, I was sitting on a bench at the dog park with another woman. A third woman came over and said "this dog" was a bad dog, a trouble maker, etc. I assumed she was talking about her own dog in the hyperbolic way some dog-owners do, but it slowly because less and less plausible as her dogs walked away and she continued to talk about "this dog." It turns out she was talking about the dog of the woman next to me, the dog who was now sitting next to us. I had seen nothing anti-social in this dog's behavior. The scolder simply felt it was a good idea to come over and diss the dog to the owner. Nothing she said was even constructive, which is the usual dog park social-vice: unsolicited advice. This was just unsolicited insults.

The gob-smack the second (homage à Buffy, "lesson the first") was courtesy of my downstairs neighbor, an 80 year old white show-biz guy. He was standing at the back gate to our complex, holding the gate open whistling at someone I couldn't see. He continued the whistling as I approached. I offered to hold the gate for him if he needed to talk with someone. He accepted and went to the corner, where I saw he was trying to get the attention of the young Mexican gardeners across the street. I didn't watch closely, but soon he was headed back to me. As he approached, he said it was "the wrong Mexican." He went on to explain that he had more clothes than he could possibly use due to the excessive wardrobing that happened in show business and he often offered them to the gardeners who work in our complex. The wrong Mexican. The phrase is evocative of a particular world-view in which all Mexicans are gardeners and all gardeners are Mexican. Where this is the extent of their identity. Where they want to wear old show-biz guy clothes.

Googling "the wrong Mexican" yields two sets of grimly humorous results. The majority of results cite the movie "The Machete" the tagline of which is: "They just fucked with the wrong Mexican." The other humorous result is the suggestion by google that I change my search to "the working Mexican."

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