Saturday, May 19, 2007

Holiday Tamales

While I'm on the subject of culture bashing (sorry about that, People of the Perky, Partying Philippines) I may as well tell the story of Jorge the Pool Boy as told to me by Miss Kitty, my client. As some of you know, I am a caregiver to senior citizens in their homes. I love my work and although the pay sucks, I get to go to rich people's homes and hang out and cook for them or take them places. It can be a lot of fun.

Currently, I spend every Thursday Driving Miss Kitty. I go to this nice lady's house and load her and her wheelchair into my car and drive her all over the place for things like nail appointments, hair, shoe shopping, lunch, and then to Target. She has a thing about Target. And light bulbs. Every week on her list is written 'bug lights'. I always show her that she has 3 or 4 packages of bug lights in her supply cabinet, but she tells me that she might need more than that.

You never know. There could be a bug light shortage. Or all the bug lights could just suddenly burn out on the front and back porch, leaving her buggy and in total darkness. Even so, that's a total of two bug lights so the stockpiling of extra bug lights is something that her son frowns upon, and it is one of my duties to quietly cross 'bug lights' off the list of things from Target each week.

Rich people are funny like that. They can obsess over little unnecessary expenditures while being utterly oblivious of how expensive and grandiose the rest of their lives are conducted! For example, the lady I cared for up in Lincoln who lived alone in 4000 square feet of vaulted ceilinged splendour and drove the biggest honkin' gas guzzlin' SUV I've ever seen and yet couldn't bear to have a pine needle wind up in the regular garbage can instead of the Green Barrel. She was DETERMINED to save the Environment, one grass clipping at a time.

This week Miss Kitty told me about Jorge the Pool boy. Jorge was an undocumented alien from down in Old Mexico. His mother carried him on her back all the way from Guadalajara to Sacramento. I think he was about 16 at the time. Obviously the strength and grit that this lady exhibited was passed down to Jorge, because although undocumented until his dying day, he still managed to go to school, city college and obtain a driver's license all without EVER having a green card, an Identification Card of any kind or applying for citizenship.

We have this huge illegal alien problem in this country. We can no longer afford to support the tired, the poor and the huddled masses indefinitely. I think most Americans don't mind that they COME here, as that is how we ALL got here: from somewhere else; but it's the idea that OUR forefathers went ahead and buckled down and applied for citizenship and just paid their damn taxes. The illegals from South of the Border are flocking here in droves to take advantage of the free medical care but not contributing any tax dollars to support that medical care. So it's a touchy subject, especially here in California where lawns are so important. Lawns and Pools.

Because God Forbid we should not have a tidy lawn and a clean pool! So although people like Jorge are undocumented and downtrodden and possibly uncomfortable or even permanently damaged from having been carried upon someones back for thousands of miles across the border, we really do NEED them. For menial labour.

"How do they manage to get educations when they are undocumented?" pondered Miss Kitty.

"I don't know" say I, "Because I can't even buy a beer without showing my driver's license!"

"And Mexicans really like beer." ponders Miss Kitty. "So how do they buy it?"

"It's a mystery," say I.

"And Jorge even went to City College! How did he enroll for classes? How did he purchase his truck?"

Just then the loud gasoline engine noise from the leaf blower rounded the corner of the house and out the window we saw large dust clouds of leaf detritus whipping in the air.

"Oh, the lawn guys are here." says Miss Kitty. "I think they are all undocumented, too!"

We shake our heads because, what can we do about it? The lawn MUST be blown! What would the neighbor's say if the leaves were allowed to just gather and rot?

"One year for Thanksgiving, Jorge brought us some tamales his Mother had made." says Miss Kitty. "I felt so bad for him. I mean, they don't eat Turkey for Thanksgiving! Can you imagine that?"

Suddenly I understood it all. I saw the wasted years of endless tamale eating south of the border, the total lack of Holiday Food. No Turkey for Thanksgiving? No Standing Rib Roast for Christmas Dinner? No Lamb for Easter? No burgers and corn on the cob for the 4th of July? How bleak! Just day after day of tamales. No wine, no dessert, just tamales.

"Now, I happen to like Mexican food," says Miss Kitty, "But I don't want to eat Holiday Tamales!"

"Do you think we've misjudged them?" I ask Miss Kitty. "Instead of coming here for better opportunities, free health care, and menial labor jobs, do you think they are all really here for the TURKEY?"

Miss Kitty seemed to really, really like this thought. "Does this mean that the entire illegal alien crisis could be solved by merely SHIPPING TURKEY'S TO MEXICO?"

"Yes," I said, "and Jorge's Mother could carry them on her back!"


It's a FLIP-FLOP World said...

You are a HOOT!! If that would just solve this ever growing problem..Sandy

Anonymous said...

yeah, this made me laugh.