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Celestino Carnalla

Celestino Carnalla wasn’t born until 30 years after this lesson, but he does have a great hat.

I’m sure all y’all attentive ninjas know the backstory, but as Mexico’s ambassador to this general area around my desk, let me give you a 30 second history lesson about how Cinco de Mayo (5 de May) is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day.

Back in 1862, North America was going nuts. The U.S. was fighting itself in a big blowout civil war. Mexico had kicked Spain’s colonizing ass clean out but had racked up some war debts.

French frog debt collectors came storming in with the plan of just taking Mexico for France. In the march between the disembarking port of Vera Cruz and storming Mexico City, some badass Mexicans in Puebla hulked out with machetes and old-ass guns and smashed the fancy-weaponed French army though outnumbered two to one. I imagine their battle cry was something like, “I’ve got your interest payment right here!” with a lot of crotch grabbing, but that may be historical embellishment. Regardless, that was 5 May, 1862.

This apparently stopped France’s aid supplies from reaching the dirty Southern U.S. bastards who were fighting for their right to own humans, and we can all suppose this is the direct and only reason the Yankee Union North won. The North later sent soldiers and supplies of gratitude to help in Mexico’s Frog flogging.

Unfortunately the battle at Puebla only delayed the French in their takeover of Mexico. After all that independence fighting, they ended up a colony again with France’s pick of ruler, Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria, who just sounds like a pompous ass. Five years later he was executed, and Mexico never had any trouble ever again. Well except maybe that revolution in 1910 and a few assassinations and drug cartels…

Curiously, Cinco de Mayo isn’t a huge deal in Mexico (mostly just in the town of Puebla). Here in God’s America, where we’ll take any excuse to get a margarita made in our mouth at Señor Tadpole’s, it’s a much bigger thing.

Well I think we’ve all learned something. If not, there are many web sites out there with more names and dates and less swearing. And if anyone needs me today, I absolutely will be drinking tequila in a sombrero. Salud!