Hay trampas que el hombre evita
pero estas modernas, no . . .
coplas de don simón
This book took far too long to write.1 Like all tardy authors, I have a lit-
any of irrelevant excuses for the delay. One of those excuses involved
a move from a small town in Ohio to a small town in Colorado. While
the professional and personal reasons behind the move are indeed ir-
relevant, the move itself produced unexpected insights into the ongoing
sentimental education of working- class Mexican men. For instance, my
neighborhood park now hosts an informal gathering of working- class
Mexican immigrant men, ages anywhere from early twenties to late six-
ties, who hang out most seasonable afternoons, talking and joking with
each other in a slang- inflected Spanish reminiscent of Pitacio and Chema:
plenty of “güeys,” although more “brodes” than “manarios,” evidence none-
theless that they share their Porfirian counterparts’ enthusiasm for play-
ing around with En glish words.
My contemporary guide to this latest incarnation of working- class
male sociability and socialization comes in the form of a five- hour after-
noon radio show on La Tricolor Denver 96.5 fm, El Show de Erazno y la
Chokolata— “el show más chido por las tardes” [the coolest show in the
afternoons]— which is broadcast everyday all over the western and south-
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