OAXACA, Mexico - For 60 years hombre's (men) south of the border have been competing for the right to be the one to eat the Tequila gusano (worm) which is found at the bottom of a bottle of Mezcal Tequila.
The worm comes from the larva found in the blue agave/maguey plants which are grown mostly around the cities of Oaxaca, Mexico; Tegucigalpa, Nicaragua; and Hebbronville, Texas.
The gusano is actually considered a delicacy, sort of like caviar, Rocky Mountain Oysters, and squid sushi.
In 1950, a man in Mexico City Panchito Chili Con Carne hit upon a marketing idea where he would put a Mezcal worm in every bottle of Tequila. It was done mostly as a novelty which the macho drinkers really jumped on.
Men would have drinking contests to see who would get the 'honor' of being "El Hombre" to get to eat "El Gusano."
So therefore, the more Mezcal worms that a man had eaten the more of a man he was. The lovely senoritas looked upon this as the height of machismo.
Kids ooed and awed, fathers and uncles beamed with pride and grandmothers simply shook their heads and said "ustedes muchachos estan bien locos." (You guys are really crazy).
The Tequila worms are rich in protein, vitamin B-12, cayenne, potassium, vichyssoise, pumpernickel, and male hormones.
I recall during my college days we would go across the Rio Grande into Nuevo Laredo and there was a bar called El Gusano Cantina and every Saturday night the owner Paco "El Taco" De La Sopapilla would have gusano eating contests.
The winner would get free nachos for the evening, 125 pesos [$10 U.S.] and he would get a free ticket which allowed him to have his pick of any one of the 100 'ladies of the evening' from El Papagallo, the largest whorehouse in the city's red light district known as Boys Town, aka Yankee Stadium.
The prostitute that would usually get picked was Carmelita Pico De Gallo. Carrie as everyone called her, knew more sexual positions than all of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders put together.
The woman had movie star looks and a set of amazing chichi's (hooters) that could make Heidi Montag cry and feel like she was flat chested.
Carrie never wore underwear and did not have one single tattoo anywhere on her lusciously delicious body. She used to say in somewhat broken English, "Hey wad for do I want to git me a tattoo dat wheel only cubber up my fantabulous looking body huh?"
Miss Pico De Gallo said that she had gone to bed with several Houston Astros, one San Antonio Spur, two Dallas Mavericks, nine Dallas Cowboys, a state senator, and a midget clown with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
SIDENOTE: The Guadalajara professional soccer team has just changed their name from Los Diablos Malos (The Mean Devils) to Los Gusanos Tequileros (The Tequila Worms).
CREDITS: The story was inspired by fellow esteemed writer and good friend Captain Morse of South Carolina. I would also like to thank Senor Panchito Chili Con Carne for sending me the two cases of the finest Tequila produced in Mexico, The Salma Hayek Golden Loins Commemorative Limited Five Star Edition Tequila. Also thanks to Carmelita Pico De Gallo who kindly remembered a skinny little college kid who used to visit her and say things like "Wow!" "Gosh!" and "If I didn't know any better Miss Pico De Gallo, I'd swear you had three hands." And finally I wish to thank my charming wife of 37 years who just yesterday told me in her sweet, lovely, southern voice, "Abel if you ever mention that Pico De Gallo bitch to me again, I swear that I will never cook your favorite dish again, (enchiladas)."