The Schmear Chronicles


The Ten Cinco De Mayo-mmandments

Thou shalt have no other liquor before tequila

Like most American appropriated holidays, Cinco de Mayo as celebrated in the U.S. is a far cry from its origins. Ay carumba.

Originally, the date is observed in Mexico to commemorate its army’s unforeseen victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla. For those who live in Mexico, the day is mostly ceremonial and paid tribute to through solemn customs like military parades.

For the good ol’ US of A it essentially means sombreros, tacos and a monsoon of margaritas. In fact, many Americans confuse the holiday with Mexico’s Independence Day (which happens to be on September 16th which is super not May 5th) and is the most significant day in Mexico.

However, despite the importance of historical accuracy and ideally, the preservation of other countries’ cultural traditions, no one can deny that the excuse to eat one’s weight in quesadillas (a food that is alien in Mexico) is just downright enjoyable.

And considering this year the date falls on a Friday, making it not only the kick off to the weekend but also coinciding with Shabbat, we’re feeling extra spicy about it.

We give you, the Ten Cinco de Mayo Commandments:

1. Thou shalt have no other alcohol before tequila.

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage to drink a lot of tequila.

Not only is tequila the official liquor of Mexico, it is the only alcohol that is an upper (all other alcohols technically function as depressants). So if you’ve ever wondered after taking a bunch of tequila shots if it’s a coincidence that you feel like a unicorn gliding on clouds made of glitter — it isn’t.

2. Thou shalt not mistake other hats for sombreros.

Should you be participating but find yourself donning a cowboy hat, this is a false prophet meant to deceive and ultimately disgrace you. Press on and discover the path of righteousness.

Perhaps it is stereotypical and a bit gauche (fine it’s totally without meaning) to don a sombrero on Cinco De Mayo, but they’re going to be everywhere, and you may as well rock the right fashion. If you find yourself in a bowler hat, beret or one of those pinwheel caps … you’re doing something wrong.

3. Thou shalt not consume your chips and salsa in vain.

For many, the taste of tortilla chips and salsa is most holy. To deprive another of this most precious gift as a result of mindless gluttony is to dishonor others as well as oneself.

Pretty much the best thing about dining at a Mexican restaurant is the complimentary chips and salsa (don’t even get me started on the free refills). But just because they come easy that is no reason to take these delectable snacks for granted. Savor each chip, dip and crunch and you shall be considered good.

4. Remember guacamole, to keep it holy.

Only every 364 days may we revel in this fiesta that comes but once a year. Make it good with spicy food, tart drink and many mistakes.

5. Honor your Mexican friends, that your off-base, superficial interpretation of this most sacred day not offend them irreparably.

Enjoy, indulge, and make merry, but stray from attempting Mexican accents or making any obtuse reference to donkeys — for it will be you in the end who is the ass.

6. Thou shalt not murder for margaritas.

(This one seems self-explanatory).

7. Thou shalt not pour a Corona upside down into an enormous frozen margarita.

(This one too seems self-explanatory).

8. Thou shalt not steal tequila.

Wait not until the shop keep has turn his or her back and start loading thine sleeves with miniature bottles of Jose Cuervo. This is most distasteful and will most likely result in shameful captivity.

It’s Cinco De Mayo. You will probably be getting free shots throughout the night. Relax.

9. Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s fajitas.

Should thy nose detect a delicious scent wafting from thy neighbor’s den, resist kicking down the front door and pillaging his or her dinner. Show good faith and more than likely you will gain a generous invitation to share in the savory delights.

It’s late, your stomach is growing, you’re on a budget, you smell awesome food coming from next door. We’ve all been there. We recommend either blasting music so that your neighbor is forced to come outside to ask you to turn it down, paving the way for you to suavely invite yourself inside. Or you can always show up with a six pack of Corona and a big smile.

10. Thou shalt not apply a fake moustache.

This is by far the ultimate form of buffoonery. Stray from this commandment and no one can save you.

... Just no.

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