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Cinco de Mayo Celebration

APRIL 30, 2007

Saturday is Cinco de Mayo – the day that Mexicans, Americans, Mexican-Americans, and most importantly beer companies celebrate the huge ass whuppin’ Mexican Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza and his ragtag army laid on the French Foreign Legion nearly 200 years ago at the Battle of Puebla. Viva Zaragoza! The French were getting all up in our business anyway, trying to un-unite our states by supplying the Confederacy with guns and delicious, smooth, creamy French butter. Glorious as it sounds, the Battle of Puebla didn’t do much other than piss off Napoleon III, who followed up a year later with a surge of 29,000 more troops. They quickly marched into Mexico City and installed an Austrian prince named Maximilian as emperor. Max basically sat on his throne and dangled spit in Mexico’s face for four more years. Point is, sometimes when you lose you really win. Then again, sometimes when you win you really lose. Four years later Maximilian was executed by firing squad at the orders of exiled Mexican president Benito Juárez. Strike up the mariachis. Still, why do Americans celebrate a holiday that isn’t even a federal holiday in Mexico? Here’s why: The French don’t drink beer. Why? Beer is for winners. Sure, victories are sometimes celebrated with champagne (1998 World Cup), but the champagne isn’t for drinking, it’s for pouring over your teammates’ heads. First you spray down your locker room with champagne and Gatorade, then you go out with your buddies and “have a beer,” which is the Americanese term for binge drinking. The French might drink a little beer, maybe with something light like fish, or poultry, or frog legs in a nice cream sauce, but they hitched their chariots to wine a long, long time ago. They might live longer and thinner, but you’ll never see French people experiencing the joy of a keg stand, beer bong, or a lime wedge forced into the neck of a beer bottle. Sad really. They could probably figure it out (Aggies have), but like the Foreign Legion, their hearts aren’t in it. The bottom line on Cinco de Mayo is that Mexican-Americans needed their own beer holiday, and since beer drinkers don’t tend toward historical research, the beer companies chose Cinco de Mayo as a decent enough excuse to pimp cerveza. Not to mention it has nice assonance. The Irish-Americans have St. Paddy’s Day (snake charming?), the German-Americans have Octoberfest (nice weather?), the Italian-Americans have Columbus Day (apparently the New World fell off the back of a truck), and the French-Americans have Mardi Gras (which is half beer holiday and half fluorescent rum drink holiday, really, but the French are quirky like that). Why shouldn’t Mexican-Americans enjoy their own beer holiday? And if, after stacking their empty Tecate cans into impressive scale replicas of Teotihuacán and Quetzalcoatl, Mexican-Americans feel a blurry sense of ethnic pride, shouldn’t we thank the beer companies that reminded us about the holiday? One way to do just that is to spend Saturday in a bar drinking beer. To that end, Emo’s has an all-day lineup of Tex and Mex bands including Vatos Locos, Roger’s Porn Collection, Ese, Suicidal Failure, Hell’s Engine, 13th Victim, Spitting Bullets, Dickins, Panther Zora, Undertone, Los Hispanos UK, Sober Daze, Los de Verdad ,and King’s of Crime. They’re also having $2.50 margaritas all night long, but you don’t want to rob Peter (Coors) to pay Paul, do you?

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