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Ask a Mexican!

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Dear Mexican: Why do wabs, regardless of age and body size, always have one hand rubbing their bellies under their shirts? Is this something that is inherent in all wabs? Because they all do it, especially the "fresh from the border" ones. I don't get it. I'm a pocho, and I've never seen other pochos do it. Are wabs finger-banging their belly buttons or what? They all look so fucking stupid doing this. Just go to Home Depot and watch them!

—Pocho with Albóndigas Grandes

Dear Pocho: What's with the panza hate? In previous eras, girth was a sign of bounty and promise—I'm thinking Santa Claus, William Howard Taft and the Earth Mother. That's still the case in Mexico: next to a broom-thick mustache and a gray Ford truck, a glorious, well-rounded stomach is our ultimate proof of machismo. A panza's layers of fat fuel our insatiable work ethic; its orbital shape is a testament to the wives we keep in kitchens at home. Gabachos might work out, but taut muscles cannot compete with the centripetal force of a panza. Kids flock to it; crowds stare in jealousy when a magnificent specimen passes by. So when we rub our panzas, we pat the larded treasure that brings us success, popularity and prosperity—recall how Buddhists massage Siddhartha's plump belly for luck. And, in an amazing coincidence, Theravada Buddhists celebrate a mid-July holiday called Khao Pansa, where the faithful live in monasteries for three months and conclude with a gluttonous festival of food—all in the name of expanding that sweet, sweet panza.

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net. Become his fan on Facebook. follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

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