Saturday, February 04, 2012

dog days of dining

The great mascota civil war has once again broken out in my little fishing village by the sea.

For some reason, something happens each year to upset one of the visiting tourists when some blue-haired lady finds pleasure in bringing her little Muffy Maltese to dinner at one of our eateries.  Dog and companion look lovingly into the other’s eyes and often share bites of the pollo mole off the same fork.

The offended party gets a bit overstimulated and starts venting on the local message board (because these are the type of discussions we can never have directly with one another) comparing the scene to Chapter 17 of Revelation.  Or, at least, of the end of culinary hygiene.  Terms like “dining with livestock” are launched like ICBMs. 

To be answered with a barrage of “NOB fascism” and “go back where you came from.”  (Though that last one always causes a good deal of confusion.  Not unlike those lewd comments that are more confusing for their physical impossibility than their reflection of a rather stunted social maturity.)

I usually do not get involved in this annual round of fun and games.  Not only because the tone of the conversation has devolved to school yard insults (and everyone else has used all of my name-calling phrases) by the time I notice the thread.  The big reason is simple: I don’t have a dog in this fight.

I once did, of course.  The good Professor Jiggs.  Or, at least, the late Professor Jiggs.

When I first moved to Mexico, I often brought The Professor with me when I dined out.  I almost always picked an outside table and PJ settled underneath to sleep.

Back then, I never gave much thought to taking him along.  It was more like taking an elderly, dying relative to dinner.  And no one ever said a thing.

Of course, I was beguiled by my own ideology.  Even though Mexico is politically about as far from libertarianism as a soul can be, the philosophy seems to be lived out each day in Mexican society.  At least, on the beach.

It finally occurred to me one day to ask the owner of the restaurant I patronized if he objected to Jiggs’s presence.  At first, he was reluctant to answer.  In true non-confrontational Mexican style, he said: “I would prefer you didn’t.”

Over the years, as I have come to know him better, his reluctance has disappeared.  He now refers to dogs in his restaurant as the equivalent of bringing in a goat.

So, why doesn’t he say anything?  For the same reason he says nothing when smokers light up.  He needs the income from tourists.  And, for him, dogs do not top the list of tourist eccentricities.  Some of his stories are hilarious.

I will not enter the doggy fray.  The tourists can fight their own Antietams with one another.  I am happy in my own private Switzerland.


Felipe Zapata said...

Mexico is not libertarian? I beg to differ. I think it is, quite so.

Steve Cotton said...

 Politically, I would say it is contrarian.  The government passes law, and the people then ignore them.

Felipe Zapata said...

Oh, twiddlesticks! The result is the same. You get to do pretty much whatever the devil you want to do. Libertarian heaven.
Of course, the other guy does whatever he wants to do too, and therein is the rub.

Steve Cotton said...

 The joy is that is pretty much works.  But that comes from my peak on Olympus.

Tancho said...

I would rather have a dog under the table anytime over screaming running around snot nosed kids that put their dirty fingers all up and down the tables, not even counting the shrills and squealing which they display while their parents look with approval......
I think I will agree with Felipe on the issue, even thought the mass of law may be there, it is hardly enforced.

jennifer rose said...

I've always considered Mexico a libertarian paradise. And little Morgen the Perfectly Behaved Doberman loves to go to restaurants!  

Steve Cotton said...

My gripes are very few -- even though restaurant troubadours still get on my nerves.

Steve Cotton said...

 I would be interested to see Morgen at work in an eatery.

John Calypso said...

Not to gang up - but - have to go with Felipe on this one - Mexico is a FREE for ALL zone!

jennifer rose said...

She behaves perfectly at eateries, just sitting beside me or under the table. Even if she doesn't display them at home, she has perfect public manners. And to Cafe Europa in Centro she went this morning.

Kim G said...

I think  this is the perfect time to put a new Korean-Mexican dish on the menu.

Tacos al Pastor Alemán

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we'd take the above dish over insects any day.

Steve Cotton said...

 In the end, I guess it is the same.  And I love it.

Steve Cotton said...

 How about a big plate for me?

Steve Cotton said...

 But, of course, for me, the dogless boy, it is a moot point.