Sunday, May 04, 2008

Cuatro de mayo

This photo is from an historic re-enactment of how the French got distracted the day before the big battle on cinco de mayo.

After my experiences in Mexico I had come to believe that the holiday was entirely fabricated by Budweiser to sell beer, but apparently some Mexicans actually take it seriously. Not anyone in the north though. Not at least as far as I could tell and I did a lot of research on the subject.

My first Cinco de Mayo in Mexico was just one of those twists of fate. A friend and I happened to be driving by Mexicali and somehow through our stupor realized that it was Cinco de Mayo. Why not, we said and crossed the border to join the festivities. Unfortunately, there were no festivities. Everyone we asked claimed not to know anything about any "holiday" on Cinco de Mayo. Nonplussed, we celebrated nevertheless. We got a room, went out to a bar, drank a case of those little Dos Equis bottles on ice with some friendly ladies, then drank a liter of tequila, some shots of Dom Pedro, smoked some pretty good weed, chased some black tar, ate some Xanax, bought a couple prostitutes (apiece), and I think I remember something about a donkey, but can't be sure. Anyway, the short of it is that we celebrated like French soldiers in Amsterdam, for research purposes you know. And our extensive research demonstrated how the French lost that particular battle. The following morning, a bunch of Mexican school kids picked on us and there was nothing we could do to stop it. The authorities just laughed.

For many years thereafter my friend and I traveled to northern Mexico on the fifth of May, or thereabouts. Eventually the Mexican beer companies picked up on the idea and tried to lure tourists to the border towns, but beyond the 20 kilometer limit, no one had ever heard of it. Still, I feel that more research is needed.