Dear Mexican: In Garfield strips in the funny pages that appeared earlier this year, Garfield is wearing a sombrero and taking siestas. While cute and all, isn’t the sort of thing that we have been striving to stop? What was Jim Davis thinking? Maybe he needs a refresher course in not making pendejadas. —Odio Odie
Dear Wab: Garfield is still around? Have editors finally exiled it to the viejitos comic-strip page alongside Gasoline Alley and Mary Worth? Or is it stuck among ghoulish strips that’ll never die like Peanuts and The Family Circus? I hadn’t read Garfield in years until your prompt, and I gotta admit—I laughed at the sombrero. Cheap, unfulfilling laughs like only the fat cat can provide, but rizas. Garfield puts salsa on the sombrero’s brim? Jajaja! Garfield gives a mouse a sombrero because he makes cheese quesadillas? Heehee! And Garfield, if I remember correctly does nothing but eat and sleep, so to accuse him of taking siestas for anti-Mexican purposes no es bueno. Us Mexicans need to make peace with the sombrero, need to realize that, outside the cornette associated with the Daughters of Charity and the Green Bay Packer cheesehead, it’s the funniest hat around and its use by gabachos doesn’t always signify Mexican-bashing (combine it with a mustache, and you have a diferente story …). Eternal vigilance is the price of a conscious Mexican in this country, Odie Hater, but don’t make out Davis to be another Joe Wilson. Oh, and final piece of advice? For your comic-strip needs, the Mexican recommends to his gentle readers La Cucaracha and 9 Chickweed Lane.
My great-great-grand-uncle was Colonel William Barrett Travis, the one who commanded the defense of American settlers at the Alamo and one of the first casualties. I’ve been told by a Mexican friend of mine that I should be ashamed of this, but all my life I’ve been proud of it. What do you think? —Descendant Of a 1635 Immigrant
Dear Gabacho: What do I know? I’m just an unassimilated Mexican who still doesn’t get why millions of Americans continue to celebrate their traitorous Confederate ancestors. Similarly, I don’t understand why you’d be proud of a slave owner in your family tree—you don’t see many Mexican boasting of the conquistador blood in their raíces, after all. And that whole Alamo deal? Don’t get it. Maybe it’s just a Texas thing, but what was that whole cosa about? Gabachos who came to Texas at the invitation of the Mexican government promising to become Mexicans, then reneged on their vow and were surprised when their rulers tried to crush the resulting secession movement? Sure, General Santa Anna was a tyrannical pendejo, and there’s always something to admire about last stands (see the Battle of Puebla), but the Texas War for Independence was the opening volley in Manifest Destiny. Why, this whole Alamo episode and its resulting discontents sounds just like the 1830s version of the present-day Mexican invasion to me!
Congrats to: Astronauts Danny Olivas and José Hernández, for recently eating burritos in space, and especially to Hernández, who spoke out in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants. From the deserts of Sonora to the Bering Sea, to now outer space, the Reconquista not only is real, it’s cosmic.