Our Birthday, and Item #1

•July 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

First off, let me start by saying that I’m happy to be creating a site like this. As a geeky Mexican, I’ve always been intrigued by the humor blog scene. I’d always say to myself that one day, I’d finally sit my ass down and create something, and put my best effort into it regardless of readership or popularity.

Since I’m more of a cynic than anything else, I figure that the best way to make this blog funny (while also slightly contributing to society) is to catalogue the various obvious and not-so-obvious loves of my people, the Mexicans. It is a known fact that every race gets a little kick from reading about the things another race does or enjoys; white people may laugh at the fact that we enjoy tortillas quite a bit, but that can easily be turned around when we point out their fondness for meatloaf and beef stroganoff.

Considering that it’s 7:35am at the moment and sleep sounds rather appealing, I will forgo any other formalities and simply say that talking about food has brought me to our first item here on Stuff Mexicans Dig:

1. Cookouts

Fights are common at Mexican cookouts due to the availabilty of booze and putas.

Fights are common at Mexican cookouts due to the availabilty of booze and putas.

The cookout is the quintessential Mexican gathering, second only to (and usually preceded by) funerals and quinceaƱeras. Invitation is usually by word of mouth and the occasional phone call, exempting those members of the family who get incredibly drunk and make asses of themselves (though they will always somehow find their way to the cookout anyway).

The cookout will usually be held by whoever has the biggest house/yard, an imperative item since the amount of people coming is almost always exponentially large. It can be said that a Mexican cookout is an impromptu family reunion; people as unknown as your seventh cousin Turi or your occasionally homeless Tio Alberto may well show up.

One would assume that with such a large amount of guests, purchasing food and drink for the gathering would be anything but impossible. This assumption, however, couldn’t be farther from the truth. As future articles will explain, Mexicans have an ever-present fondness for the simpler things in life: beer, arracheras, and a stereo with fucked up bass playing a Ramon Ayala CD ad nauseum. This love for the basic necessities allows one to plan a cookout with $50 and a whim. Even the side dishes, important as they are, are cheap and easily preparable; without fail, each one of your aunts will bring potato salad, macaroni salad, and some strange concoction with Jell-O, marshmallows, pineapple and whipped cream that will taste delicious no matter how much it resembles a scene from a bukkake film gone horribly, horribly wrong.

If Mexican men were cars, this would be their cheap, leaded gasoline.

If Mexican men were cars, this would be their cheap, leaded gasoline.

A good Mexican cookout will operate in three phases. In the first phase, everyone is just starting to arrive. This is the time for awkward greetings and the meeting of family members who you either didn’t know you had or didn’t want to ever see again; this is the time for skeevy uncles, moocher cousins, and the “sister who lives with her boyfriend and who is always pregnant and who gets beaten up when the boyfriend gets drunk but she doesn’t want to leave because at least he takes her to Red Lobster sometimes unlike the other guy who used to…”. For the younger members of the family, the first part of the cookout is the most uncomfortable, as this is when you first have to share your toys and space with the other kids (who feel the exact same way about sharing with you when you come over).

Next comes the second phase, when the bulk of the family arrives. This phase usually comes between one and three hours after the beginning of the cookout; most experts believe that it is because Mexicans operate on what is known as “Mexican Time”, a system of time measurement that is riddled with inaccuracies, guessing, and plain lack of concern. Other members of the family may have been late due to unavoidable events such as waking up late, buying/preparing the food they were going to bring right at the last minute, or taking the meanest shit they have taken since last year. Whatever the reason, it takes a while for everyone to arrive and settle down into the third phase.

In the final phase of the cookout, everyone who was coming has already made it. The beer flows freely and the tacos are ripe for the eating; most likely, the sun has been down for a few hours and your tia Luz is shaking her cellulitic ass to whatever Daddy Yankee CD your little sister put in the stereo. It is at this time that fights are most likely to start; any man who looks at your tia dancing will immediately be told by the woman he’s there with to “go get that nasty shit if that’s what you want, motherfucker”. Nobody will give them a second glance as they fight, though, because this happens at least four times a week between them and has been going on ever since they got married at 17.

After the food is mostly eaten and everyone is drunk and petered out, the guests eventually dissipate. Before that, though, they are sure to take as much food as they can reasonably get away with home with them, a phenomenon expounded upon by comedian George Lopez with the phrases “save me some/bring me a plate”. Families round up their kids from around the yard and inside the house and pile into their respective trucks and vans, flooding the yard in a cascade of headlights and Tejano music as they pull onto the street and away. If you have planned your cookout well, this is where the best part usually comes in; when I was younger, I used to have my cousins stay over for a video game, soda/beer based all-nighter, made even better by the fact that my exhausted parents would crash as soon as all the food was in from outside. Now that sleepovers aren’t my perfect idea of a good night, the end of a cookout lets me shower, heat up what amounts to a buffet plate of food, and crack open a beer in front of my beloved computer monitors. Truly, the end of a cookout is a little bit like finally reaching orgasm: all the work eventually ends up in something perfectly satisfying.

Truly, as a Mexican, I dig it.