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“Entre Melon y Melambes…” G&T Goes Blogging While Intoxicated

Submitted by Mills-McCoin on August 1, 2011 – 6:01 pm3 Comments
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Some would say it’s the Mexican equivalent of  “So a horse walks into a bar,” but it’s more like the beginning of a joke that ends with “The Aristocrats.” There are more Melon y Melambes jokes out there than exist in all of the “knock-knock” joke books we found in our censored elementary school libraries before we discovered a box full of Stephen King novels outside by a neighbor’s mailbox. There are bands, songs, and conventions with this name. These jokes have existed well before you may have found a William Peter Blatty novel at a garage sale and started cutting yourself before you were old enough to go to Numbers.

They’re older than Aggie jokes, and even older than Polish jokes. I’m not sure if I know anyone of Polish descent, but there were a lot of “Pollock” joke books in my elementary school. If you’re interested in the history of humor, go back in the archives (an actual library), and I bet the “how many people/lightbulb” joke was invented by whatever faction that made Polish jokes a thing. Also, there were WASP jokes in the same book. Still don’t know who WASPs are. The internet believes they are insects, because internet search engines are insensitive to capital letters.

The “Things are bigger in Texas” mantra is bullshit. When you go further south into Mexico, you’ll learn that Vicente Fernandez is bigger than Sinatra, U2, and The Beatles combined in the US. Vicente has probably hired people to start companies just to construct and sell urinal cakes in the image of the Dos Equis guy.  Maybe you haven’t heard of Vicente, but you’ve seen his face every time you’ve walked into a Fiesta Mart. More so than Rachel Ray’s face in a Flagship Randalls.

Vicente Fernandez, a.k.a. “Chente” is no joke. I’m afraid to even write this.

Things are bigger in Mexico.

If Madonna, Britney Spears, and Justin Bieber agreed to flip a coin and fly together in a red and white Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft in the throes of a snowstorm which ended up in a deadly, fiery pile of flesh, blood, snow and steel, many people would be really sad.

Fans would make YouTube videos with a focus on their dripping mascara, and several pop bands would strive to get famous by doing tributes and so forth. It would be really bad. A terrible, horrible thing.

But the effects of this would be nothing… nothing…like Selena’s tragic murder at the age of 23 in 1995.    Thousands upon thousands of fans poured into the streets. Tom Brokaw referred to her as “The Mexican Madonna” without realizing Mexicans are mostly Catholic. Howard Stern came inches from losing his career by making insensitive remarks about the subject, and the backlash was so severe that he was forced to apologize on the radio, in Spanish. Jennifer Lopez made her fame by playing Selena in a movie. Even today, you can still spot Selena stickers on pickups, and you may see her image airbrushed onto shirts at local pulgas (flea markets). And this happened in Texas.

Mexicans are serious.

Segue.

Now that you know I’m over 30, “Entre Melon y Melambes” is a joke that starts with two guys that just walked into a _________. If you visit a taco truck, and you’re uncomfortable about a language barrier, just point at the person behind the window, pretend like you’re Alec Baldwin, and proudly state, “Entre Melon y Melambes…?” (Ahn tray mel-ohn ee mel ahm bess?) in a very loud, clear, slow and concise voice, with a questioning tone at the end of the sentence. The taquero/taquera will smile really big, then turn to their left and mutter something you don’t understand to the other person in the truck. It’s okay if they don’t give you a punchline, but you’ve just accomplished a major hurdle. At this point, they understand that you’re on solid ground. You’re not looking for lettuce and tomatoes. You’ve never stepped into Sawyer Park, and they believe it.

Resist the urge to point at a menu item on the front of the truck. They cannot see what you are pointing at, because they are on the inside of the truck. This is not Pei-Wei. Know that just the fact that you are here means that you are a taco troubadour now, a real motherfucker, and if you peer deep into their weary eyes, you will see sincere approval, if you’re looking for it.

- Guns and Tacos

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