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Becoming a Mexican is an attractive alternative for citizens of the United States. Many Americans have noticed that Mexican visitors have it especially easy. And the transformation is trivially simple.
Reasons to want to become a Mexican
You may have heard Mexicans speak Spanish and thought that, if only you were Mexican too, you could understand what they are saying and perhaps participate. You may have eaten rich Mexican food and wanted to experience that way of life more completely (without the aches and pains of actually picking the tomatoes and lettuce). You may simply be tired of being an American, watching soap operas, and paying rent.
Advantages of being a Mexican
Once you become a Mexican, normal life in the United States becomes much easier than for the American. A variety of programs is available to ensure soft living. "Section 8 housing" is comfortable and will never keep you far away from the sounds of Mexican music, and it has nothing to do with that scary Section 8 that the military uses.
As a Mexican you will have an instant right to an EBT card. This is the former food stamps program with additional hugs and smiles. If you don't happen to want food, you can use your EBT in the ATM. Cash, as they say, is cash, and you can use it to buy genital piercings, tattoos, and the cab fare to drive you to the supermarket and have the cabbie wait for you to shop.
Any encounter with the government can be as slow as you want it to be; you can simply claim not to speak English and pass the time until the translator arrives.
Your social life will be great. There is a protest a week in which you, other Mexicans, possibly some real Mexicans, and dozens of community activists, go to the state capital and chant to be given even more freebies.
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Should you clash with the authorities, you will have even more advantages. Just hide your driver's license (or matricula consular) and the entire legal system will treat your lack of "documentation" as something someone else did to you. Again, your court hearing won't come up until they can find another translator. And, when they schedule your trial — Just don't show up!
Being a Mexican in Mexico
A very special advantage of being a Mexican is that you will have a whole country of your own. It's called Mexico. After becoming a Mexican, you might want to visit Mexico. You will presumably fit right in.
You may have heard that things are less expensive in Mexico. This is because no one has to pay to bring the stuff across to the United States.
- Food is less expensive, because you rarely have to pay to refrigerate it. Sauce is fine just left out on the table for days.
- Cleaning supplies are less expensive because there are so many of them and few use costly fragrances to mask that ammonia smell that tells you it's working.
- Phones and computers are less expensive; and buying the current decade's technology is really overrated.
- Housing is less expensive, though police patrol requires a little extra cash.
- Health care is totally free! and so, presumably, is the value of your time when you spend an entire day in a waiting room.
Simple steps to becoming a Mexican
Looking like a Mexican
- Step 1 — Get darker
The first change broaches a delicate topic: You will need to have brown skin. This will take you 4 to 5 weeks, if you're lucky and the sun is out. If not, book a tanning booth. Tan spray will not work. Mexicans can tell the difference.
- Step 2 — Get scruffy
Take all your shaving utensils and throw them away. Whether waiting for a bus, waiting in the parking lot of Home Depot for a ride to a day of working under the table, or waiting for a jitney to sneak you across the border, you will stick out like a sore thumb if you are clean shaven.
- Step 3 — Do you need all those teeth?
Gaps between your teeth are the perfect way to fit in. Get in the habit of opening cans or bottles of beer with your teeth (even if they are twist-offs) like a real Mexican. The safest way to open a bottle is to do it slowly using the back teeth, but doing it quickly using the front teeth in a bar can sometimes convey a message of defiance as well.
- Step 4 — Dress the part
It is now time to work on your Mexican wardrobe. Here is what you need:
- A sombrero. This is the hat like they wore in the hit movie Three Amigos. Get the hat with the most sequins that you can find. This conveys high social status. A sombrero protects you from the high, hot sun, and usually conceals your face from security cameras.
- A sarape. If you cannot find one in the stores, you can simply use the rug from the entryway and cut a neck hole in the exact center of it.
- A T-shirt. Two will probably be enough, as you can wear one even in the unlikely event that you are washing the other one. Goodwill is a good place to pick these up. Your T-shirts must have lettering in English. It is one of life's mysteries that every car in America was assembled in Mexico but every shirt in Mexico is advertising something American. T-shirts given away as a door prize at a baseball game produce the perfect ambiance.
- Jeans. Unless your retailer stocks "pre-worn" jeans, you should again think Goodwill. Even the pre-worn jeans don't yet have holes at the buttocks and knees, so that spells work you will have to do.
- Sneakers. Any variety will do, but avoid shoelaces, which will seem like putting on airs.
- Step 5 — Smell the part
Mexico is a hot and sweaty place, where there is occasionally a little heavy lifting and a lot of awkwardness. Real Mexicans take the precaution of slathering on after-shave or cologne. This ensures that the smell that assaults people you may encounter is not a human smell, and you might be able to claim it is not you. If you have neither after-shave nor cologne, cleaning fluid will work, because the odor of ammonia serves the same purpose.
The next step is adapting your automobile. Watch any Cheech & Chong movie for the overview.
- Step 6 — Make it Catholic
The first step in the conversion process is that your dashboard must become a shrine. A crucifix hanging from the rear-view mirror is a nice first step, but ideally, there should be a complete baptismal font, in about the same place where Americans put their GPS. If you are attracted to the Eastern religions, several incense burners will not be out of place. Incense also masks the smell of burning plastic when you drive through the suburbs.
- Step 7 — Interior decoration
Go to the Notions department of a department store, buy a dozen different types of bric-a-brac, and glue it to every surface of your car's interior. Leave most of the windows uncovered, as these will be covered by the big state-of-Chihuahua permit to prove that your car isn't a chueco.
- Step 8 — Exterior finish
A shiny car will look out-of-place on the streets of Mexico. This can be remedied by a quick sanding, and sparing use of a sledgehammer.
- Step 9 — The alarm
Every Mexican's car has an alarm. This is important because a stolen car is never recovered. The best alarm is that eight-part electronic sound that is designed to get everyone's attention but in fact no one pays attention to because they hear it three times an hour. Adjust the alarm so that it fires whenever —
- An airplane flies over
- You tap the car in front of you when measuring your parking space, or
- Any of the local kids shoves your car just to trip the alarm and prank you.
Obviously, you can't be a Mexican with an American name. You will need a Mexican name. It has three parts:
- Your first name. Make it end in o (if you are male) or a (if you are female). If you don't know which you are, if you think you might want to switch between them, or if you are contemplating some other LGBT transformational phase, you might want to put the Mexico idea back on the shelf.
- Your father's last name. Simple enough.
- Your mother's maiden name. Americans treat this as a password, but Mexicans flaunt it.
You can use either (2) or (3) as your common last name. This may depend on whether the political party either parent belongs to is in power. You can also stick several more first names between (1) and (2).
The final step is to exchange your money. This is appropriate no matter whether you intend to be a Mexican in Mexico or in the United States:
- If you are in Mexico, you will need a supply of the local money before you can buy anything.
- If you are in the United States, you will need pockets full of foreign money with writing in a strange language to convince authorities, bystanders, and bartenders that you are unable to pay for your purchases, in that brief moment before Uncle Sugar steps up and agrees to pay for all of them with our money.
The monetary unit of Mexico is known as the pez. They are small compared to the dollar. They fit in convenient, cartoon-head dispensers, which you should buy while still in the United States.
The pez is a reliable "store of value," as it can be years before the Mexican government calls them all back in and issues new bills without all the confusing zeros.
You can visit a booth on either side of the border to covert all your dollars into pez. The booth will be out of stock of Mexican banknotes except a denomination from a couple years ago that is worth about two cents apiece. Your dates will then ask themselves: Did you just visit the money-changer, or are you simply happy to see me?
Now get where you're going
You are now essentially a Mexican!
If you want to be a Mexican in the United States, your next stop is the welfare office. Depending on the politics of the state, this may have a strange name, such as Transitional Assistance. Once you get there, the only phrase you need is:
- No hablo inglés.
Once the translator arrives, you will need one more phrase:
- I don' espeak Espanish.
At that point, no one will know what you speak — and you have no legal duty to tell them. They will start giving you free stuff.
If you want to be a Mexican in Mexico, you must cross the border. (Mexicans who were already in Mexico were probably already Mexicans, and are outside the scope of this article.) There are many forms to fill out, but the one vital piece of paper is the $100 bill, which you should be ready to provide in triplicate. Life in Mexico will be so idyllic that you need not worry about the procedure for getting back into the United States.
The first thing to do once inside Mexico is to make contact with your Mexican family. You will need their help for contacts, work, dates, food, and stuff like that. This is covered in the separate article HowTo:Get a Mexican family.
You have successfully become a Mexican! This calls for a Fiesta! Bring on the lard, jalapeños, and tequila!