!ASK A MEXICAN! 

"What's the Mexican motivation to use leaf blowers?"

Dear Mexican: Have you seen the e-mail flying around, allegedly from country-rock star Charlie Daniels? What's your reaction?
The Mexicans Went Down to Georgia

Dear Gabacho: I love it. For ustedes readers who don't know what we're talking about: In April 2006, one-hit has-been Charlie Daniels posted an essay on his Web site titled "Mexican Stand-Off" expressing disgust with the pro-amnesty marches that gripped the country last spring. "I don't need sensitivity lessons, in fact I don't have anything against Mexicans," Daniels wrote. "I just have something against criminals and anybody who comes into this country illegally is a criminal and if you don't believe it try coming into America from a foreign country without a passport and see how far you get."

The essay became an Internet sensation despite its run-on sentences, and anti-immigrant activists have forwarded and reposted Daniels' screed ever since. Fans cite its unapologetically jingoistic tone, and that's why "Mexican Stand-Off" is such a guilty pleasure for this Mexican. In his essay, Daniels exhibits all that's wonderful about this country's modern Know-Nothings. He's scared shitless, obsessed with America's perceived loss of courage, freely interchanges "Mexican," "Hispanic," and "illegal immigrant," and hilariously uninformed — Daniels claims Mexicans will riot like French Muslims once jobs run out, when he knows fully well our government would use gabacho tax money to put the Mexican-Hispanic-illegal immigrants on welfare first. On top of this, Daniel writes with a good ol' boy bravura that would be precious if he hadn't made a fortune off the shtick. More, I say! If this fiddlin' pendejo is the best hero anti-immigrant wackjobs can find, then America deserves to become Aztlán.

I was recently helping a friend search for a lost pet and everywhere we turned, there were wabs making a hellish din with a leaf blower. We watched one guy spend 45 minutes blowing a stamp-size yard and a single-lane driveway; I could've raked the space twice in that time with a pocket comb. My friend was curious about the Mexican motivation to use leaf blowers. I quoted my old co-worker Miguel, whose response to the question "How you doing?" was always, "Happy as a Mexican with a leaf blower." I also theorized that the leaf blower is a status symbol for a supervisor who has been promoted off the lawnmower, or maybe it was just a macho thing to piss the gringos off. Your take?
Wide Awake at Eight Fucking Thirty-Five on Saturday Morning

Dear Gabacho: I agree — leaf blowers are noisy, inefficient, and pollute the air. But I haven't gathered leaves for years, ever since I hired two Mexicans to do the job. I tried to ask them why they use leaf blowers, but the roar of their machines drowned me out. My lawn was clean after that, so I dropped the issue. You should, too: Mexicans use leaf blowers because they get the job done — status has nothing to do with it. Pissing off gabachos is just an added bonus for these wabs, especially since many cities and counties across los Estados Unidos ban their use in a not-so-subtle attempt to hassle Mexican workers. And for those gabachos who can't stand leaf-blowing Mexicans ruining their morning repast: ever thought of undercutting them and offering your neighbor to do the job for gratis?

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT! The Mexican appears in book form in two weeks! Preorder your copy at any fine local bookstore hoy!

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