Gordon Keith: Cinco de Mayo reflections

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by GORDON KEITH

WFAA Contributor

Posted on May 7, 2010 at 12:49 AM

Updated Friday, May 7 at 11:09 AM

Wednesday was Cinco de Mayo, and today (for my friends at least) is Pepto de Mayo.

That's because many of my friends knocked off work early to hit a Mexican restaurant and drink too much beer and eat too many fajitas.

When I asked them why they are doing this, they usually say they are celebrating Mexican Independence Day. Problem is, Mexican Independence Day is September 16.

Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates a Mexican military victory over the French in 1862. The French invaded Mexico because Mexico did what I did to Countrywide: Stopped making payments on a loan.

Did you know in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is virtually unobserved in all but one region? So why have Americans embraced it the way we have?

I think the main reason is that we like to drink. I swear we will co-opt any occasion to simply get our drink on.

I know some schools use Cinco de Mayo to celebrate Mexican heritage and Mexican culture, and that is great; but why aren't we doing that on Mexican Independence Day? I think it is because that's too close to another drinking occasion, Labor Day.

We drink on St. Patrick's Day.

We drink on Independence Day.

And the most uncomfortable one for me is Memorial Day, when many people solemnly honor our war dead with two kegs and a cover band. Just doesn't seem right.

So I propose a new holiday: Drinking Day.

A day when we all take off of work and honor those who so graciously gave up their own drinking so that there's more beer for us.

In the meantime, if you drink on Cinco de Mayo, at least know what you're drinking about!

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