Ask a Mexican on Lowrider Culture and Scratch Tickets

Why do Mexicans with lowriders have murals on their hoods and trunks/tailgates? And how come they always have waterfalls and half-naked chicks as part of the mural?
The Crazy Filipino

First off, gracias for not telling the old tired lowrider joke that goes like this: Why do Mexicans ride lowriders? So they can cruise and pick strawberries at the same time. Or: Why do Mexicans drive cars with small steering wheels? So they can drive while wearing handcuffs. All jokes aside, the use of murals on lowriders is further proof of Mexican assimilation into this country. The art, of course, come from Mexico's proud muralist tradition, which you see in Mexican neighborhoods across America. Their placement on cars comes from kustom kulture, born in Southern California and freely mixing with Mexican traditions from the 1950s onward. Half-naked chicks? Like you have to ask! And, frankly, Mexicans cannot stand to see any flat surface unadorned, whether it's with a mural, graffiti, quinceañera pictures, Virgins of Guadalupe, or the occasional college diploma.

What's the deal with Mexicans and scratch-off lottery tickets? Is it the lure of the instant gratification of immediately getting back the $2 return on their $10 investment, or is it because they're afraid that immigration  might be waiting outside the  office when they try to cash their Lotto ticket? Honestly, it's been years since I've seen anyone but Mexicans buying those sorry excuses for a gambling opportunity.
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The only comprehensive survey involving the racial and ethnic demographics of lottery players is an annual survey compiled by the University of Houston's Hobby Center for Public Policy. In its 2010 report, it found that while the percentage of "Hispanics" who played scratch-off lotto tickets didn't vary significantly from gabachos (55.6 percent of Mexis surveyed played, while a whopping 72.2 percent of negritos did the same), the median amount of dollars spent per month by Mexis was much higher than everyone else: $8.50, as opposed to five bucks for gabachos y negritos alike. The Hobby Center's study, unfortunately, didn't offer any explanation for the discrepancy, although other lottery researchers have determined that Mexis prefer scratch-off tickets because of their low cost and the easy availability in convenience stores. Wish I had a rejoinder to that, so instead I'll offer another lowrider joke: What did the lowrider say when the house fell on him? Get off me, homes!

Confidential to: The Albuquerque idiot who has called libraries and bookstores where I've been doing signings demanding that they cancel my event because my column is supposedly racist. Pendejo: If the Anti-Defamation League laughed you off, you think anyone else is going to take you seriously? The only people who want this column gone are Know-Nothings and neo-Nazis. Become a productive member of society: Buy many copies of my books and donate them to the underground libraries being set up by the Librotraficante (, who gladly traffics in my libros and those of other seditious writers. And then go get a blowjob.

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Tony Diaz
Tony Diaz

Long live freedom of Speech!!! Thanks for donating copies of TACO USA to the Librotraficante Under Ground Libraries. We are all stoked that you will be reading at the San Antonio Librotraficante Under Ground Library at the Southwest Workers Union. That is going to be a great event. Soon there will be nationwide book tours at LT UG Libraries where books and Freedom of Speech will always have a home. Book party! Book party! Book party!


Hate to break it to you, but many times your column is racist.

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