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News » Ask a Mexican

Canadians, Mother-In-Law & Surnames



Dear Mexican: As a Mexican-American, I’ve lived in St. Louis for about 17 years and have seen a substantial influx of my brethren. Nevertheless, I’m for border security— against the no-good, godless Canadians. Why is America not closing the Canadian border? Those bunch of hockey playin’, maple syrupeatin’ hijos de putas should take responsibility for the atrocities they have committed against God-fearin’ American folks, such as Avril Lavigne or Alanis Morrisette. I expect that the Canadian-American War may begin at any moment, and I can hardly wait to bitch slap a non-O-pronouncin’ mawf—ka.
—El Commandante de Cinco Estrellas de los Chulos del Mundo

Dear Five-Star Commander of the World’s Handsome Men: I will not stand by idly while you denigrate an entire race. How can anyone hate Canadians? Simple people who let Mexicans steal their precious Wave, thereby eliminating one of the few contributions they’ve made to world culture besides hockey, comedians and Lennox Lewis? Besides those snowheads always ask the Mexican questions about his hermanos despite the relative dearth of wabs in Canada. Our northern border is largely unprotected because there are no Mexicans on the other side. My Canadian peers: ignore this pinche puto pendejo baboso. The Mexican nation worships ustedes like the gabacho gods you are. All hail to the hoja de arce!

Dear Mexican: I’ve been together with my Mexican boyfriend for over three years. At the beginning, I had problems getting along with my mother-in-law, and now that I’ll get to meet the mother of my mother-in-law, it seems things might get rougher. I try my best but it never seems good enough. What should I do?
— Saludos Desde Quebec, Canada!

Dear Facebook Friend: I’ve answered this question before. One major point I forgot to explicar only because it’s so obvious is that in Mexican culture, the mother is queen, and la abuelita is empress: even more regal, more difficult, and more terrifying. Tell her she looks like Maria Félix but don’t mention the old-age home or the prodigal son who’s only going to show up when she dies to claim his part of an abandoned casa.

Dear Mexican: Around our store in Little Saigon, it’s a running gag that “Nguyen” is the Vietnamese “Smith” and “Tran” is the Vietnamese “Jones.” Which got me thinking: Which of these four common Spanish last names—Rodriguez, Lopez, Hernandez, and Gomez—would count as the Mexican “Jones”?
—Canadian Whose Name is not Smith

Dear Hoser Gabacho who Works with Chinitos: The 2000 United States census counts Jones as the fifth-most popular surname in the United States, its wabby corollary would be the fifth-most common Hispanic name, Lopez. That name follows Garcia, Rodriguez, Martinez and Hernandez. But that means Tran is the Vietnamese Johnson, and Hoang its Jones.

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