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happy freaking cinco de mayo

artwork by bonnie, age 25

Yea, I know Cinco de Mayo is basically a manufactured holiday here in the states. It means nothing to us but oversized margaritas and sizzling fajitas. It's a day when stupid white people in your office say things like Viva la Revolucion! And it's a day when it's acceptable to drink Corona in public.

I wonder if they celebrate the Fourth of July in Mexico? Is the barrio filled with sounds of Lee Greenwood singing "God Bless the USA" while restaurants serve hot dogs and Budweiser and show NASCAR on the tv? I imagine not.

So, being the good, capitalist American I am, I took full advantage of the Cinco de Mayo festivities around here and met some friends for lunch under the pretense of celebrating Mexican independence. I'm a good neighbor like that. You're happy, I'm happy. So why not celebrate the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla?

And what better way to do that than to go to a corporate chain restaurant that serves food they think is authentic Mexican but is about one step up from Taco Bell. But hey, some of the menu items clearly use some Spanish words, so it must be the real thing.

So I met my friends at Cozymel's, which was all done up for the holiday with life size dioramas depicting the brave struggle of the Mexican army during the Batalla de Puebla.

No, no it wasn't. But there was a twelve foot tall inflatable Dos Equis bottle outside.

We got seated about ten minutes before the major influx of margarita-starved office workers barrelled through the door and we ordered quick so our food wouldn't get caught up in the rush of sizzling fajitas and chimichangas being ordered by the ever growing crowd.

And we waited. And waited. And waited. Four us at the table, two ordered salads, one ordered a quesidilla and I had ordered a shrimp and pasta thing. Not particularly hard meals to make.

After half an hour, with the noise level ramped up and the khaki pants brigade of office guys all stoked up on cheap beer and my patience wearing thin, we asked our waiter (Jesus, of course) where our food was.

It will be out in one minute. Just one minute, he says.

Ok. He brings my my third iced tea (no margaritas for me, I've sworn off tequila since I realized that tequila is the equivalent of that guy who smiles and winks at you all night just to get into your pants) and we wait some more. About five minutes later, he passes the table. I catch his eye.

It will be out in one minute. Just one minute, he says.

Bonnie has finished her bathtub sized margarita at this point. I'm so hungry I could punch someone. Five more minutes pass. We see the manager glance at our table and I give him the "where the fuck is my food" look so he comes running over and says - wait for it -

It will be out in one minute. Just one minute.

Finally, at the 45 minute mark, I see Jesus headed toward us with a tray. By this time, I'm going to be late for my chiropracter appointment, my sister and Bonnie have to get back to work and Barbara is licking the strawberries out of the bottom of her glass because she's starving. Jesus sets the tray down and I notice right away that something is not right. Three plates. Not four, but three. Mr. Manager is standing next to Jesus.

Manager: "They told you about the pasta, no?"
Me: No.
Manager: We are out of pasta.
Me: You mean to tell me that I've been waiting 45 minutes for something that was never coming out?
Manager: I'm sorry, we are out of pasta.
Me: Why did you wait 45 minutes to tell me that?
Manager: [insert unintelligble Spanglish here]
Me: Excuse me?
Manager: I'm sorry, so sorry. We are out of pasta.
Me: Maybe it would have been nice for you to tell me this, oh, 45 minutes ago when the order was placed?
Jesus: I'm so sorry, there is no more pasta.
Me: Those guys over there are eating pasta. And they got here half an hour after us.
Manager: I'm sorry...
Me: Forget it, I have to go anyhow.
Manager: Let me get you something else.
Me: I'm late, I have to leave now. I've used all my alloted time WAITING FOR MY MEAL.
Manager: Let me get you some food.
Me: No thank you.
Manager: Please allow me to..
Me: I. Am. Leaving.
Manager: I'll take the pasta off the bill.
Me: [stunned silence]

And this went on for ten minutes, with me trying to explain that I didn't have the time nor inclination to order anything else, that the other food on the table was ice cold, that I didn't want free dinners for the next time I came back because I wasn't coming back, that he had let down a whole platoon of dead Mexican soldiers who fought bravely just so he could poorly manage a Long Island Mexican chain restuarant on Cince de Mayo.

I stormed out of the place (ok, not so much stormed as walked briskly), past the people eating their sizzling fajitas, past the Mexican flagged draped across the bar, into the lobby with the cheesy salsa music blasting, out the doors and past the outdoor tables filled with college students drinking mini Coronas in the sun, past the inflatble beer and into the sanctity of my car, where I smiled wryly at the XM station playing Brujeria.

I went home, made a frozen pizza and tipped my can of grape soda to the Mexican army.

Brujeria - Raza Odiada (Pito Wilson)

Comments

Jesus H. Christ, Michelle!

I abandoned ASV when you killed the blog last year. What have I been missing?

You could've called...

since when is it bad form to drink Coronas in public?

I think it's a state law in California

Sec 13.7.2 of the California Drinking Code states quite clearly:

When walking down the streets of any Califonia street, an individual must have one Corona in one pocket and another Corona in their hand

The law is pretty clear michele

Any beer that requires a lime to make it palatable should be left to touristas.

I think it's a state law in California

Figures.

Any beer that requires a lime to make it palatable should be left to touristas

i agree

corona is shit

the real deal is King Cobra 40s with Manic Hispanic playing in the back while watching USA getting their ass kicked again playing Mexico in soccer on the tv

thats a real Cinco de Mayo

And I'm sorry to hear about the whole 'single again' thing.

Warm thoughts...

Thanks, Z, but that's water under the bridge. I am keeping the company of a certain turtle these days.

My compliments to the lucky terrapin.

All the best. Has the Van Halen jihad mellowed?

VIVA la PASTA!

If you had come to Chez Mel instead of Cozymel's, you'd have MUCH better service.

On May 5, I eat French out of spite.

Is Bonnie (Age 25) selling original copies of her artwork?

S'ok, Sol. Just eat Mexican on Bastille Day.

Hey Ed, I have many more where that came from!! Michele could post a few!

I agree with you ,and having lived in Laredo, Tx. I can tell you that they do celabrate all American holidays over there. For a country full of very poor people,they look for any way to get out of work. Seems to me that they would be wanting to work,and earn money,but all they want to do is party at the drop of a hat.

The fact that we like to celebrate the holidays of other countries just goes to show how open we are. It's a good thing.

I extend the same invite to you that I have others...

get thee to So. Cal and I'll take you to a fabulous family-run, Mexican restaurant (the original one in Los Angeles opened 1922)... El Cholo

Their seasonal green corn tamales are to die for!

Darlene is right.....

Having grown up in Los Angeles....the best Frontera-style mexican food can be found in So. Cal.

Cinco de Mayo celebrates a French defeat. Seems to me that any holiday that celebrates ANY French defeat is worth celebrating.

Corona needs a lime because it's, like, 17% corn syrup. Blech.

t's a day when stupid white people in your office say things like Viva la Revolucion! And it's a day when it's acceptable to drink Corona in public.

Or its a day to actually like the French and wave French flags :D

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