In honor of Cinco do Seis, I present these:
* Mexico declared its independence from Spain on September 16th, 1810. This should not be confused with the first Cinco de Mayo of May 5th 1862, which marked Mexico’s victory over the French Army. Every day is Cinco de Mayo somewhere in the world.
* In absolute numbers, Mexico has more native Spanish-speakers than anywhere else in the world. Percentage-wise, the winner is any given Home Depot parking lot.
* The Chihuahua dog breed was developed in 1850 in Mexico. Purebred Chihuahuas are quite rare and VERY expensive. If you can’t afford one, a shaved rat is pretty much the same thing.
* In the 16th century, Mexicans used poinsettia leaves for medicinal purposes, including to help control fevers. In modern times, they mostly use hospitals in Los Angeles.
* The national sport of Mexico is bull-fighting – where a pretty man prances around while cruelly butchering an innocent animal. Sorta like American Idol, except with bulls instead of pop music.
* Mexico is made up of 31 states. 38 if Obama is counting.
* The three colors of Mexico’s flag hold deep symbolism: green is for hope and victory, red is for the blood shed by the nation’s heroes, and white is for the nation’s vibrant cocaine export industry.
* Mexico City is the second-largest city in the world, with a population of 25 million, all of whom share a single car and apartment.
* The border between Mexico and the United States is thought to be second-longest in the world – after the border between the United States and Canada – although no one can say for sure, since it’s been completely obscured by footprints.
* All of which, mysteriously, point north, leading scientists to speculate that Mexicans are made out of some sort of magnetic material.
* Because Mexico is located in an area known as the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” the region is rife with millions of small, active volcanoes. These are harvested annually and sold under the name Habañero.
* Tequila, the liquor for which Mexico is famous, is made from the native blue agave plant. It’s named after the city where it originated, and not – as American overindulgers often claim – a Mexicanized pronunciation of “to kill ya”.
* 90% of Mexicans are Roman Catholic, which is why they tend to see the Virgin Mary in their tortillas instead of Barack Obama like normal people.
* Mexico has seven hundred and seven species of reptiles. Which one is in that taco is anyone’s guess.
* Chocolate was invented in Mexico as a sacred drink for the Aztecs. The original recipe contained no milk or sugar, leaving it a dark, bitter, unpleasant mess which few could stomach without retching. Think of it as Michelle Obama in a cup.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shave me up a Chihuahua.