Monday, April 18, 2011

My Mexican Roadtrip

          I can't say I've always been the fondest of the Mexicans. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE salsa, I really do! But I underwent a series of bad experiences in New York City working at a sandwich/pizza place that was overrun with Mexicans. It's like the time I found a mouse in my apartment. The first one was cute but after that it gets overwhelming. So I was very surprised to find myself recently boxed inside of a car with three of them headed on a 40 hour journey from Dallas to New York City for Spring Break (To be clear, I mean 3 Mexicans not 3 blind mice). Here's how the shit went down.

       For Spring Break, I decided to venture to my favorite place on Earth, The Big Apple which is ironically overrun with both mice and Hispanics. Only a few days before I was ready to book my bus ticket, my friend Pilar, whom is also my co-worker, told me that she was planning on driving with her friend Henrietta all the way to New York. This was perfect! I wanted to save money anyhow. Of course I did not for a moment ponder about the repercussions that would result in being trapped inside of a vehicle for 2 days with the cast of the George Lopez show. I immediately was on board. The last day of the work week came, I was so excited! Pilar and I ventured to her home where we would meet Henrietta and we would leave at 6pm. I had never met Pilar's family before nor had I ever been inside of a Mexican home. Most of the one's I knew lived in the back of the semi-truck they illegally travelled to the States in. I was pleasantly surprised that as soon as I walked through the doors that Pilar's family was not of the "meals on wheels" variety. The home was orderly, everything in its place, with a festive Latino color combination. This was fantastic! This Mexican house was just like any other house except with an orange kitchen. Just when I thought we had surpassed the Hispanic stereotypes, I was quickly reeled back into the land of piñatas. Pilar began introducing me to her family. I met her Father Consuelos, her Brother also named Consuelos, her Sister Lucia, and her Mother Carmina. What an adorable little cluster of dark-haired Mexicans. This little family was so cute! A little difficult to tell them apart, but absolutely adorable! But it didn't stop there! Then there were the cousins: Eduardo, Felicia, Juanita, Enrique, Esmerelda, Ricardo, Fidelia, Carlos, Laurencia, Salvador, Emilio, Guadalupe, Solidad, Javier, Pablo, Maria, Gustavo, Tobias, Natividad, Rodrigo, Kasandra, Felipe, Dolores, Pedro, Larunda, Mario, Luigi, and Placenta. "Is there some sort of family reunion happening?" was my first thought. I came to find out that they ALL lived in that one house! I thought the Indians were good at consolidating. Apparently los Mexicanos have a one up in the economy department! All of a sudden it was a like a Mexican circus, with little Hispanic midgets just popping out from everywhere. It was like a clown car! Mexicans were appearing out from under the couch, through the windows, from behind the refrigerator! I was completely overwhelmed! It was Ricky Martin overload! I grabbed Pilar and we ran out of the house. I didn't even hesitate long enough to steal an avocado.

          We waited for some time for Henrietta to arrive. I was not aware of the fact that like Black people, the Hispanics also operate on colored people time which is often referred to as "CPT". I came to learn that it did NOT stand for "celestial pigeon tutorial" the hard way. We were set to leave at 6, but we did not leave until merely 2 hours later! Clearly these people operate on sundial just like their African-American counterparts. We packed up the trunk and got into the car. Henrietta decided to drive the 1st leg of the trip, Pilar sat in the passenger side. I opened up the back door on the passenger's side and found a lovely little surprise; a pinata sized Mexican! Yes, that's right. There was a CHILD in the car. This supposedly was Henrietta's son. Pilar DID tell me about this but I suppose I had blocked it out of my memory like the time I went down the waterslides and I stopped at the bottom but my bathing suit kept on going. There he was, the cutest little pinata asleep in the backseat. As adorable as he was, I wasn't quite sure how to handle a 6 year old taquito as my neighbour for 40 hours but I decided at that moment to be as positive as possible. More importantly I felt that as long as I remained very still that I would not wake up little Hispanola. I gingerly sashayed my tukkus into the car in order not to awake Piñata. I continued to notice another piece of strangeness keeping in theme of the trip thus far. This car was pimped out! From the outside it looked like my Grandmother's living room on wheels. Curiously it also smelled like my Grandmother's living room once I was seated inside. However, it was very odd that there were 6 televisions propped up in every nook and cranny possible inside the vehicle. I'm not sure what would possess someone to feel the need to watch "Homeward Bound" six times over but clearly this is in the "ethnic overload" category right between golden teeth and 600 dollar tennis shoes. I remember one time, this man of the African-American variety came up to me when I was in New York at a subway station. As he asked me for a few dollars I couldn't help but notice that out of his mouth contained a full set of beaming golden teeth that almost blinded me had I looked directly at them. You can't ask someone for money when you have golden teeth! That's craziness! You can't afford a subway ticket but you can go to the dentist and get him to glue the entire Elizabeth Taylor collection in your own mouth! Really? I digress. Henrietta started the car, and off we were, on our way to New York!

          Henrietta and Pilar had really outdone themselves in the music department. Between the two of them, they had a plethora of cd's! Yes I said cds. I still don't understand this whole IPod, YourPod, IPad, MaxiPad bullshit and apparently the Mexicans are just as far behind as I am, they're using cd's still too! As Pilar slid the first cd in, I immediately prepared myself for some lovely miniature Mexican banjos to fill the entire vehicle in solitude. Once again, my stereotypical ignorance was contradicted. Rather than a series of compilation discs entitled "The Best of Mariachi", I was greeted with music, again of the African American variety, the ghetto African American variety to be more specific. I cannot stress enough how incredibly horrific, inappropriate, and wildly delightful this music was. For the ENTIRE duration of the trip my ears were filled with the likes of Mystikal, TuPac, P. Diddy, Lil' Kim and other "urban" whores and pimps alike! I was completely appalled yet slightly thrilled I did not have to endure to the anguishing pain of Mariachi. You have to pick your battles. However, in my state of shock and horror at the sheer lyrics I was hearing, I was blithely unaware of the fact that my chiqito Mexican partner in crime next to me was asleep! He wasn't just dozed off. Piñata was out cold! Did I mention that the hip hop music was being played at a decimal that would deafen anyone within earshot. In fact, I'm pretty sure deaf people within a 5 mile radius could repeat back most of the lyrics. I didn't complain about it because of the fact that I wasn't the one driving, I figured, to each his own.... But what really concerned my was Piñata! This little Mexican would be scarred for life! But there he was, paying no notice to the fact the car was actually vibrating from the bass accelerator! I wish I were that heavy of a sleeper. I suppose that's what Grey Goose is for....

         Although tardy, I must applaud Henrietta and Pilar for their diligent planning of our road trip. They didn't just stick GPS in and follow it. They had a plan! Our first destination was Oklahoma, home of the Okies! There, we visited one of Pilar's good friends, we'll call him Chihuahua. Chihuahua lives on campus at Oklahoma University. What's more interesting about him, besides being alive, is that he is half "Taco" and half "Always late for the movies". Apparently those whom are Black and Hispanic are often referred to as Blatino. This thrills me to no end on account of my recent obsession with hybrid words. We four crusaders entered his apartment, Piñata still asleep in Henrietta's arms we sat down. Once inside of Blatino's house, I discovered that this was prime opportunity to bust out my bevy of wine coolers. Obviously, I wanted to refrain from inside the car to avoid incarceration. More importantly it would have clearly come across much more classy of me to be pouring my 2 dollar wine cooler into someone else's expensive glassware. As I drank my green mystery liquid, we sat and watched a lovely film entitled "The Town". This is a movie where people who rob banks where nun costumes. Add that on the checklist on things to permanently scar a 6 year old Mexican. I just kept praying that little Piñata would not wake up. Lord Jesus (the "J" is silent in Mexican by the way) answered my prepares, the little Mexican nugget stayed in his coma for the entire duration of the movie. As we headed back into the car I started to wonder if Henrietta had perhaps slipped her son a little Rufi earlier. I had my suspicions but the mystery green liquid wine cooler situation had me feeling like I was about to be date raped. So I followed suit of the tiny Mexican, and went to sleep myself.

           The next morning I woke up in Hell, otherwise referred to as Nashville, Tennessee. Henrietta was driving again and was quite excited! The reason why she was so thrilled is because she really wanted to have an authentic experience in this southern state. She was desperate to have barbecue! Really? Barbecue? I'm not sure if she was aware of the fact that it was 10:30 in the morning but I was too afraid to ask. I was surprised that Mexicans even liked that kind of food on account of the equipment one would need to use to cook barbecue. I just didn't think that Mexicans would enjoy operating machinery larger than them.  I guess you really do learn something new each day. Thank you Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Shakira that we were out of the luck in the finding of such a hideous establishment. We ended up going to Subway instead. This would mark probably the 74th time I have been yet again disappointed by the fact that I did not Jared! As we made our way through the state we had to make a sudden stop. The "car" (I use this term loosely) was making some strange noise. Henrietta pulled over and took a look at the car intestines (that's the official terminology) and discovered some square shaped thingy-ma-bobber was frozen. "Maybe it's supposed to be frozen", I said. Apparently I was mistaken. Henrietta immediately gave a call to her uncle, Jean Carlo Jose Solidad Avocado Ramirez. At this point I was yet to have the privelage of hearing Henrietta venture into the land of the Mexican language. I was in for quite a treat! Again, I'm not sure what she had secretly slipped into her son's milk (who at this point was STILL sleeping might I add) but I had a feeling from listening to her speak in Hispanic that she must have taken the antithesis of whatever she had slipped him. Antithesis, by the way is a word I once heard homosexual-advocate Sean Hannity use, it means opposite! The point is, Henrietta was speaking at a tempo that could only be followed accurately by a crack addict. My head was spinning after heaves dropping into that conversation. For the record, at that point my dizziness was not to be blamed on the green wine coolers I had the night before because at that point my drunkenness had definitely worn off and more importantly, there's no bigger buzz kill than the talk of Nashville barbecue. Although, it would have been impossible for me to follow Henrietta's conversation, I was re-assured at some point that everything would be fine so we were on our way. I made a second prayer to Jesus in this moment. I figured I might need her for my safety! Maybe I should've prayed to Shakira too....

           We continued bouncing along state by state, city by city, visiting one douchebag of a town after the next. It's amazing to me that one, so much of America looks like the product of Mormom-induced incest, and two, there are people in this world that are perfectly fine with having only one tooth. It really makes you realize that so many of us are ungrateful bastards walking around with a number of teeth in to the two digit category completely unappreciative of the fact that we have been divinely favored. In one redneck city, I would assume this was in Virginia, we came across one of what felt like thousands of gas stations we attended to re-fuel the Grandma-mobile and drain out our bladders. Once leaving the poop receptical, I came across a very special item in my browsing of the "food aisle" (again, I use this term loosely). This magical little discovery is called "Pickle-in-a-Pouch!". I am disappointed to say that I did not come up with this title. Yet, I'm also delighted to tell you that this title is what they actually call it! It says it right on the package. And of course this item is just as it sounds, a pickle in a pouch. Normally, when I come across a manifestation of crazy, a very descriptive commentary enters my brain. However, in this instance, rather than an analysis bestowing my brain cavity, a series of questions began to plague me. "Why is that pickle in a pouch?", "How did it get there?", "What would possess a redneck to purchase much less consume such a clearly insanitary and hideous product?" and finally "Did I forget to wipe?". I was beyond perplexed! Did I mention that there is a picture of a little pickle mascot on the pouch! It's a dancing pickle wearing a hat! It's beyond fantastic. I refrained from purchasing it even as a souvenir to avoid the possibility of me actually eating it in a desperate moment. A non-stop playlist of Negro music inside of a Grandma car trapped with three Mexicans is enough to make someone do God knows what!

          I have to give credit to Henrietta and Pilar. Those two little Mexicans really stocked up those 5 hour energy's. Between taking shots of those handy little pick-me-ups and being awoken while driving by the blaring music with likes of Silkk The Shocker, they eventually lost their Hispanic Energizer Bunner stamina. After 2 days on the road,, non-stop, they HAD to take a break. Even the Mexicans have a sleep requirement. We stopped in D.C. which stands for the District of Columbia and not Destiny's Child. Pilar's cousin, Selena, lives there and we were to sleep on some couches for a few hours there. Selena is a very nice woman, or so I thought! A little into our conversation, she told me that she didn't like Canadian accents! I had to really hold the diarrhea in at that point. I couldn't believe my ears! I was so conflicted because as my hatred was building I had to be cordial for the fact that she was giving me, my Mexican chauffeurs, and little Piñata a place to sleep. The only solution was to break out bottle number two in my series of wine coolers; this one was red! I almost had a heart attack when Pilar woke me up the next morning. I'm a pretty light sleeper and I'm definitely a morning person. So it wasn't the early awakening that shocked me, it was the fact that both Henrietta and Pilar were on time! I was speechless. I immediately had to run to the bathroom. After a quick flush, I grabbed my empty wine cooler and was one my way to New York City!

          In the few remaining hours, little Piñata finally awoke from his coma. I was relieved that whatever his Mother had slipped him had worn off. My excitement lasted about 5 seconds which I came to find out that is also the amount of time I can handle a Mexican toddler coloring. This little Hispanic monkey for nearly 6 hours straight kept asking me about my opinion on his drawings. I felt impartial on criticism because of the fact that at his age I couldn't tell you which end of the crayon was up; even now, it still takes me a minute. The experience of going through outline after outline of famous cartoon characters, watching him color them and repeatedly ask me "What do think?" made me realize that whoever invented coloring books is the Devil....or Donald Trump. Just at the point when I was fully prepared to strangle myself with my empty wine cooler bottle, there it was; the cityscape of New York! It was so beautiful, not because I love the city, but because it represented my escape from Mexico.

            As wonderful of a trip I ultimately ended up having in New York City, nothing will be more memorable than the trip that I took to get there. Over a period of 40 hours, I became step-father for a 6  year old Mexican in a coma, I discovered non-refrigerated pickles saturated in green food coloring and I drank more wine coolers than Drew Barrymore at her 12 year old birthday party! It's the times of struggle that really show both you and others (and most importantly Jesus and Shakira) who you truly are. You will also never learn as much about your friends that you will when being stuck inside of a Grandma-car for 3 days. I learned that Mexicans are just Black people except in a smaller size minus the gold teeth. Ultimately, I grew from this experience. Although, it was difficult at times, I realize that it was one of the m ost significant times of my life to learn about myself as a person. As Jesus once said, "Importance lies not the destination but rather in the Mexican journey it takes to get your bi-racial ass there!


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