Ask a Mexican!

Dear Mexican: My question is simple: Can you confirm that there are doctors, lawyers and other professionals living in Mexico? I'm a Mexican-American woman living in Chicago who had a HEATED discussion about that topic. My friend, a teacher, was of the opinion that there really aren't any. She believes that the only wealthy Mexicans are drug lords. There seems to be a lot of ignorance and confusion about this topic. Please enlighten her and those who think like her.

Incensed in Chicago

Dear Brazer: Por supuesto there are doctors, lawyers, accountants, scientists and other professionals in Mexico. Who do you think sews up the narcos after a gun battle, fights off American extradition efforts, launders money and devises nuevas ways to smuggle?

Why do all Mexican restaurant workers cram the napkin dispensers so full that you can't possibly remove a napkin without a pair of pliers?

Messy Eater

Dear Gabacho: It's called "refilling a napkin dispenser."

When I speak to other Mexicans about higher education and its importance, they always interrupt me to place an emphasis on associate's degrees. I've wanted to slap a primo/prima/amigo silly. Why the low standard? I've asked educators about this before and was told it was a low achievement standard that was placed on Mexican-American students in the 1960s and 1970s, mainly by high school counselors. True?

Párate and Deliver

Dear Wab: Instead of giving your primo/prima/amigo a cachetada, why don't you help them transfer to a four-year university? Heaven knows America needs more of its Mexicans at institutes of higher learning; on top of our abysmal high school graduation rates, not enough of us go on to get a college diploma.

The 2008 U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic Supplement found that only 28 percent of Latinos who finished high school went on to earn at least a bachelor's degree—and the percentage for Mexis is undoubtedly smaller. (The survey didn't break down figures by Latin-American nationality.) Why the low standard? Ignorance, silly; it's not just limited to Know Nothings!

Oh, and I don't think there was a widespread gabacho counselor conspiracy in the 1960s to funnel Mexicans of that generation into community college. Most encouraged their charges to not bother with education, period.

Why are Mexicans so ... laid back?

Crazy and Lazy

Dear Gabacho: Mañana, mañana. Que será, será. Mexicans sleeping under a cactus. All iconic American commentaries on our inherent relaxed nature.

La verdad is, Mexicans are more neurotic than Woody Allen's onscreen persona—and if you don't believe me, you try living life avoiding la migra, or knowing that if white teens in a Pennsylvania hick-town murder you, they'll get off with simple assault.

I recently worked security at a concert here in Albuquerque. As I was checking IDs and letting people into the beer area, I noticed that almost all of the Mexican guys held on to their wives'/girlfriends'/lady friends' IDs: The guys hold them, show them and then put them back into their own wallet. What's up with that? I asked a co-worker about this, and she told me it's a power thing. So what's the deal?

Curious Gringo

Dear Gabacho: Could be a power-trip macho thing, but the chica probably didn't want to carry a purse and would rather let her man carry the ID than stick it between her chichis.

Sometimes, Mexicans aren't rocket science.

Ask the Mexican at or; find him on Facebook or Twitter; or write via snail mail at: Gustavo Arellano, P.O. Box 1433, Anaheim, CA 92815-1433!

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