:: Thursday, May 04, 2006 ::
Thursday Thirteen: Quatro de Mayo Edition
Friday is Cinco de Mayo, that day of the year when folks of Mexican heritage get to celebrate their culture because on that date in 1862 a band of outnumbered, ill-equipped Mexican soldiers defeated the French. (And the French military hasn't had much luck since.)

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I give you my list of thirteen wonderful things Mexico and the Mexican people have contributed to our world:

  • Mexican food. Who doesn't love Mexican food? It's cheap and filling, and even if you can't find great Mexican food here in Missouri (outside of Kansas City), you can still find good Mexican food on occasion, and that makes one appreciate the really good Mexican food.

  • Sopapillas. This Mexican dessert deserves its own special recognition. Crispy, puffy, dusted with cinnamon and sugar and laden with honey -- yummy!

  • "La Cucaracha", a song ostensibly about a lowly cockroach that I learned portions of as a child. Who knew it was really a song about the evil weed?

  • That guy who first said, "Badges? We ain't got no badges..." in the classic movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. The quote has taken on a life of its own since Alfonso Bedoya first uttered those memorable words.

  • Lee Trevino. Before Tiger Woods introduced golf to multiculturalism, Lee was there.

  • Ritchie Valens. Ritchie was the first Chicano rock star, best known for his rendition of the traditional Mexican folk song "La Bamba", a song anyone who doesn't know a lick of Spanish can still sort of sing along to (as in "La la la la la Bamba..."). He was also one of the biggest rockers of the late '50s. Valens' legend was sealed when he died in that airplane crash at the age of 17.

  • "La Bamba". See above.

  • Fernando Valenzuela. The legendary Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher was born Nov. 1, 1960, which is the same date of my birth. For that reason alone, he makes the list -- that, and the fact that he was a great pitcher with a not-so-great physique. He was fun to watch on the pitcher's mound. (But not so fun to watch at the end of his career when he tried to pitch for the Cardinals.)

  • Pinatas. What can be more fun than blindfolding a kid, spinning the kid until he or she is stumbling from dizziness, then giving that kid a stick and turning the kid loose around a bunch of other kids to swing wildly at the pinata? Plus, once the chosen kid breaks the pinata, all the other kids steal the candy before the kid with the stick can pull off the blindfold. But the kid with the stick still has one advantage: the stick.

  • Rudy Carrasco. Rudy is my favorite Mexican-American blogger, and quite an accomplished one at that. He's even met with President Bush at the White House. How impressive is that?

  • Carlos Mencia. This politically incorrect stand-up comedian's show on Comedy Central is the funniest one on the network these days. Heck, it's the funniest one on all of TV. He's actually Honduran, but that's close enough, geographically, to make this list. Plus, he's funnier than George Lopez.

  • Dos Equis, my favorite Mexican-made beer.

  • Salma Hayek. Aye, chihuahua.

Did I miss any? Leave a comment in the box.

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:: Andrew 07:34 + ::

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