Daddy Del Diablo
Dear Readers: Daddy Del Diablo sent the above query to both the Mexican and Dan Savage, author of the pinche hilarious column Savage Love. Dan suggested I answer the question in his column, and he answer it in mine. Without further ado, the Mexican turns over the burro to his favorite joto:
"None of the women I fucked under duress during my closeted adolescence were Mexicans, sadly, so I don't have much personal experience with Mexican chicks. I was, however, lucky enough to sleep with some very hot Mexican dudes while I worked in a restaurant during high school. These Mexican guys did not ask me to call them papi--well, not so far as I could tell. There were language barriers, you see, as the Mexican guys I knew briefly and loved sodom-ly had come to our country to do jobs and teenagers that Americans were unwilling to do. But all the Mexican guys I messed around with seemed to favor the same pet name--maybe they were all from the same region of Mexico?--and I came to enjoy hearing growled into in my ear. Forgive my spelling here, Gustavo, but my pet name sounded like 'merry-cone.' Does that mean something in Spanish?
"Anyway, DDD, I imagine that Mexican chicks yell for their papi during sex for the same reason all those busboys--not being a bigot, as they really were busboys--liked to call me 'merry-cone.' It turned 'em on."
Gracias, Dan. Read my response in Dan's columna this week in this issue. And remember to send any sexy preguntas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, back to your favorite Mexican ...
Dear Mexican: When you strike out four times in a game in baseball, why is it called a golden sombrero?
¡Viva Los Dawyers!
Dear Wab: The why of your question is easy. A hat trick in hockey jargon is when someone scores three goals in a game, so some baseball joker over the years decided to invert the colloquialism to honor a player's embarrassing four-strikeout day at the plate. The choice of words follows logic: The next step beyond a mere hat is a sombrero, and the "golden" is tacked on for ironic purposes.
But the more interesting part of your question, ¡Viva!: Who created the term, and when did it first occur? The 1999 Dickson Baseball Dictionary cites the earliest use of "golden sombrero" in the 1989 autobiography of former Chicago Cubs manager Don Baylor. But a June 16, 1987, Associated Press dispatch quotes then-Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose as saying, "We had two guys who got the 'Golden Sombrero' tonight. You know what the Golden Sombrero is, don't you? It's the hat trick plus one." Rose's quip suggests that "golden sombrero" was already popular in big-league clubhouses during the 1980s, but probably no earlier than that--the 1989 edition of the Dickson Baseball Dictionary doesn't list it, while the 1999 paperback version does.
FYI: The Mexican initially leaned toward classifying "golden sombrero" as yet more proof of baseball bigotry against Mexicans, since the sport abounds in negative Mexican-themed terms: Others include a Mexican standoff (used for matchups where nothing ultimately happens) and the Mendoza line, named after Mexican big-league shortstop Mario Mendoza and referring to the mediocre .200 batting average all batters wants to avoid. Ultimately, I decided against the race card: Really, is there a bigger hat out there than the Mexican sombrero? Maybe the cornette associated with the Daughters of Charity, but those nuns stopped using them around the time Sally Field hit the wall. Thus, the sombrero.