Trendysomething in SoMo
The paper maché train wreck of Cinco de Mayo: Picking the perfect piñata
On May 5, 1862, the nascent Mexican army warded off an invading French army at Puebla, which we celebrate today as Cinco de Mayo. For most Americans, the holiday is an excuse for mindless midweek margarita consumption. But for the ambitious party animal, there is a distinct set of processes to be followed to ensure a supremely sinful Cinco.
Step 1: Locate a primo piñata.
This morning, I boarded the light rail and headed to the amped-up Fiesta supermarket on Fannin and Wheeler. I typically access my piñatas at the Fiesta on Dunlavy, which fittingly offers piñatas with the likenesses of teen pop stars across their surfaces. The appeal of whacking a piñata portrayal of Miley Cyrus is simply irresistible. However, I reasoned I'd find the big boy (as opposed to little girl) ones at this mammoth Fiesta.
Ever the procrastinator, I've always dismissed the maxim, "The early bird gets the piñata." Yet, like finding a last minute date for Valentine's, locating an impromptu piñata on Cinco de Mayo can be a daunting task. I found myself squinting up towards the highest shelves of the produce department, where oddly enough, the piñatas are usually on display.
There was only one left: A sad, awkwardly shaped train with unbecoming cutouts and a displeasing tangerine and cobalt palette. If I were to pick a vehicle-inspired piñata, it would probably be a Smart Car, or perhaps a Hummer limo.
After a solid 20 minutes spent haggling with customer service representatives and sneaking into a storage room, I took what I could get and made my way to checkout.
As the light rail arrived at the Wheeler station, I was confronted with a barrage of passengers exiting and entering an usually crowded midday route. I awkwardly tottered side to side as I tried to see above my new purchase and gain a spot, until I heard a voice from the conductor on the loudspeaker.
"Will the gentleman with the piñata please exit the train," I was commanded. I stood on the threshold of the car as the doors closed on my fingers and I fitfully jerked myself out of the exiting train.
"Everyone is so jealous of the party I'm planning," I justified as I endured a 10-minute wait for the next train.
Step 2: Stuff your piñata.
For my last piñata, I stuffed Miley Cyrus with airplane-size bottles of Absolut and Tanqueray, along with Dove chocolates and various forms of birth control that had been left at my house over the years: Flavored condoms, a diaphragm here, a NuvaRing there.
Today, I decided to make things simple and just go for mini bottles of Jose Cuervo golden tequila and those cute key limes. I assumed that this would provide an easy transition to taking shots and getting the real fiesta started.
I skipped off to Spec's in midtown during my lunch break, knowing that I could avoid the rush hour mess that was sure to come. I found the liquor store surprisingly deserted, with no competition on the "Mexican Way" aisle. A glass revolver immediately grabbed my attention, but realizing the heft of the Hijos de Villa Tequila Gun and my impending long walk back to work, I maintained my goal of purchasing a nifty 10-pack of bottles.
Step 3: Invite everyone in your contacts.
There are times to make exclusive guest lists: Surprise birthday parties, charity gala after parties, celebrity funerals. But tonight's all about celebrating the triumph of Puebla, sloppy shots, blasting Tejano, and a train in the shape of a piñata — all in the company of every amigo listed in my cell phone.