My name is Ashauri, and I live in Mexico — a country that, despite being plagued by violence and injustice, is known throughout the world for its beautiful landscapes, its rich history, and, perhaps above all else, for its legendary drunks.

They call liquor a truth serum, and I’ve always felt that our drunks are a window into the sentimental psyches of the Mexican people. As Octavio Paz once pointed out in his essay El laberinto de la Soledad, it must mean something that a country as troubled as ours has so many epically fun parties. Parties are a space where el mexicano can let loose; an unbridled release of our desires and feelings; a chance to let the mask drop and be real.

That’s why the Mexican drunk can be the best or worst thing to ever happen to a party. I’ve always loved it when we make international news for being wasted, like the Mexican who attempted to put out the eternal flame beneath the Arc de Triomph by peeing on it, or more recently, the guy who dove off a cruise ship in Brazil as a joke and was never heard from again.

Mexico is a nation of parties, where getting drunk is basically a cultural obligation. Maybe (probably) this has contributed to many of the issues we face today, but nonetheless, beholding the genius that unfolds when you put a drunk Mexican on-camera is one of the deepest and most bizarre pleasures we have.

And on that note, I leave you our first installment of the most influential and legendary Mexican drunks on YouTube. In this installment, we’ll be looking at the year it all began: 2007.

1

Ni Merga

We begin in the year 2007. The world has already experienced various Latin American YouTube phenomenons, like “Delfín hasta el fin”, and the video I consider the genesis of all Mexican humor on YouTube: “La caída de Edgar.”

A video surfaces called “Qué pasó muchacho,” in which we meet a very wasted guy arguing with several policemen over two liter jugs of beer, which we call “caguamas” in Mexico. In some states here, you can’t sell alcohol after a certain hour, which has obviously led to illegal after-hours booze establishments called “Ventanitas.” The argument begins when the cops try to confiscate our young protagonist Pedro’s illegally purchased caguamas. I should mention that this video, like many on this list, was originally broadcast by a Televisa news segment called “El show de la barandilla,” in which reporters team up with DF cops literally just to ridicule drunk people.

ni mergas

“Ni mergas,” the central phrase of the video, is in and of itself genius. It’s a combination of “Ni madres” and “Ni vergas,” which I think we can all agree mean the exact same thing. (“Verga” means penis in Mexico, but it’s also used to reject people – i.e. “mandar alguien a la verga” is similar to telling them to fuck off).

After his drunk clip went viral, Pedro had his 15 minutes of fame; he appeared on various TV programs and was recognized on the street as the “Ni Mergas” guy. But he didn’t make a single dime off this notoriety, which he is quick to point out in this bizarre interview in which the interviewer is, for unclear reasons, dressed like a clown. And, of course, someone made a dance remix of the clip.

The important thing about Pedrito, is that he became the first drunk to really go viral in Mexico, and, in a sense, spawned this “genre” of YouTube entertainment (in the way that little kids who are good at dancing, or cross-species animal friendships are “genres” on YouTube).

You can still hear his now notorious catchphrases at parties, since they perfectly capture the spirit of the wasted Mexican, like: “Te haces pa’ allá o te hago pa’ allá” or “no me estés gritando en la pinche verga.” Personally, I’ve found myself telling many a person “Ni merga” after I’ve had a few, as well many other phrases we’ll explore in this list.

2

El Dios Eolo

Two months after Ni Merga went viral, a new video appeared called “borrachos que dan risa,” in which we see three drunk men detained by Mexican authorities. The first of these men is clearly wasted, but tries to deny it completely; when the authorities allege that he ran a light while driving, he slurs that he was driving “tranquilamente.” But perhaps the most striking person in the video is the mustachioed man we see next. Clad in an open shirt and sombrero, he looks at the camera with an intense, unblinking stare, declaring he can shut it off with the power of his gaze alone. His name is “Dios Eolo,” – at least, according to the show that broadcast this interview – and he goes on to explain that he “polea[s]” only with bad people, not good people. (He’s clearly too drunk to say “pelea” correctly). When asked if the interviewer is a bad person, Dios Eolo replies “¿Usted? Usted es bueno, también él, también ella, la niña.”

Watching the video, it’s clear that this man has two powers: the first and most important, is moving things with his mind, which he demonstrates when he threatens to turn the camera off with his gaze. I’m guessing this is why he’s called “Dios Eolo,” which I’ve always suspected is a reference to the God of Winds Eolo in the Greek classic The Odyssey.

The second power possessed by Dios Eolo is the ability to instantly detect who is good and who is evil. That’s how he’s able to immediately perceive that several people we never see on-camera (the interviewer, some other guy, and a young girl) are actually good people. Side note: what is a niña doing there? Who is she, and is she actually good?

One of the things that I love most about this video is that it reveals a genuinely Mexican love of kindness. To me, saying “Yo poleo con la gente que es mala, no con la que es buena” is a heartrending demonstration that we live in a country filled with gente mala – a perception a lot of the world has of us – but even amongst our drunks, we have people willing to fight against the bad guys.

Since going viral, Dios Eolo has become somewhat of a mythic personality in Mexican pop culture; there are hundreds of tributes to him, and there’s even a store that sells t-shirts with his classic phrase on it:

mexican drunks

The famous vlogger “Werevertumorro” also did an imitation of him.

I can say this is one of my favorite videos on this list – it’s not only a great example of how magical thinking is still an important part of Mexican mentality, but it also transmits a message of peace and love. Unlike other drunks on this list, el Dios Eolo isn’t lying — in his heart and in his dazed mind he really does have super powers, and he polea(s) por el bien.

3

El hijo del papá

In 2002, a man named Guillermo López Langarica was arrested for drunk driving, and his testimony was recorded by the cameras of noticiero televisa. Five years later, his interview was included in “Borrachos que dan risa” above, and became an internet phenomenon for various reasons.

The first is his approach to his civic duties. When the interviewer asks him if he was driving drunk, Guillermo replies “¿Y qué? No he chocado.” This reasoning is quintessentially Mexican: it’s doesn’t matter whether you’ve broken the law, as long as you haven’t made it obvious by crashing or causing some sort of disaster. In Mexico, practically everyone breaks the law in some way, so for us that’s not what matters. What matters is getting caught.

The second thing of note, is that when the interviewer points out that Guillermo could have crashed by driving so inebriated, Guillermo shoots back his now-immortal response: “¿y mis cincuenta mil pesos qué?,” claiming that the police have stolen $50,000 in $500 bills from him. This accusation, so random, improbable and hilarious, also hints at the Mexican tradition of self-victimization. The rationale is that by accusing someone of wronging you, it somehow diminishes whatever wrong you’ve done. Simple subtraction, really.

The best part of this video is when they ask him about his work (to try and understand why he’d have such a large quantity of money on his person), and Guillermo explains that he works for Promotora Mexicana Gaytan, calle 6-6-30-6-71-3-3-3-3. He not only clearly gives the incorrect address, he also identifies himself as “El hijo del papá” — a redundancy that beyond being a drunk thing, is also just a Mexican tendency. Consider redundant phrases like: “Súbete arriba,” or “Métete adentro,” or the police classic: “oríllese a la orilla.”

Once Guillermo realizes saying “Soy el hijo del papá” isn’t enough, he clarifies that his father, Miguel Ángel Gaytán Uribe, is the owner of the promotora and also president of la CANACA. This mysterious acronym has zero name recognition — it doesn’t belong to any well-known business — but it’s possible that it was his drunken attempt at saying “CONACCA,” which stands for la Confederación Nacional de Agrupaciones de comerciantes de centros de abasto. When asked what the now infamous CANACA is, Guillermo says it’s the Centrales de Abasto de la Republica Mexicana, a series of words which in no way relates to the acronym he’d given. Finally, when the interviewer points out that Guillermo could have killed someone on the road by driving so drunk, he returns to the self-victimizing routine: “¿Y a mí?,” he laments, while lifting his pant leg to show the reporter and the camera that he has been tied up “como puerco.”

Guillermo may well be the most influential person in the “borrachos que dan risa” video, given that practically everything he says in it gets referenced all the time in memes, parodies, and at parties, where he’s known as “El hijo del papá” or el “CANACA.”

Canaca2

Ironically, a year after this video went viral, Guillermo was killed by a drunk driver while he was completely sober. When the police arrived at the scene of the accident, the woman driving claimed she hadn’t hit him, but rather that “someone put the body under car.” Thanks to this, Guillermo once again became a news item. His fans attacked and harassed the woman who killed him, and turned him into a legend. Many have claimed to see his spirit walking the streets of Guadalajara, wearing his characteristic Atlas t-shirt, leading him to get nicknamed “San Canaca.”

4

Tengo miedo

One night in Ciudad Juarez, in October of 2007, a man named Juan Pablo Carrazco drives home after having three whiskeys at dinner with a friend — just enough to give him the courage to speed on the road. He’s stopped at a drunk driving checkpoint, and officials ask him to come aboard their patrol car, which begins to drive aimlessly around the city. I should note that in Mexico, police corruption is pretty common, and so is the fear that police might extort, kidnap or even disappear you, as evidenced by the recent disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students. That’s why being in a police car that drives around aimlessly is more than enough reason for any Mexican to feel highly afraid.

That same night, on a local news channel, Juan Pablo makes an appearance on-camera, surrounded by police. He is highly agitated, saying “tengo miedo” over and over. The police try to explain that they only need him to take a breathalyzer test, but he refuses, and continues repeating variations of “tengo miedo” and “Y qué bueno que están los medios de comunicación, porque tengo miedo” and “Tengo miedo en este momento.” When they finally convince Juan Pablo to take the test, he passes and is permitted to go home.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 3.08.58 PM

When I saw this video for the first time, I thought it was hilarious to see a preppy looking man in glasses surrounded by police, being afraid, and repeating how afraid he was over and over. But as I reflect on the climate in Mexico at that time, I can say that it really was a fearful time, as it is now. Calderón’s drug war had kicked off a year prior, and many northern cities were grappling with a lot of violence and death. So it’s natural that a video like this happened at a time when, above all else, Mexico was afraid.

After the video went viral, Juan Pablo gave a few interviews, appeared on TV, and even declared he was going to launch a website called www.tengomiedo.com.mx, where people could share their fears.

Nothing ever came of it.

5

No choqué. Me chocaron

Dulce Sarahi Villareal is a Monterrey Communications student who got into a car accident in 2007. In her post-crash interview, broadcast on Televisa, she is both confused and haughty as she launches into a slurred nonsensical account of the crash: “Bueno, nos intercepto por… en medio.. y pues, de ahí no pudimos salir, y así.” When the reporter asks her what she crashed into, Dulce utters the response that will make her an internet phenomenon for years to come: “Yo no choqué, me chocaron.” She is asked who precisely hit her, and her exasperated reply is “¡Pues un carro!,” as though it were the most obvious thing in the world.

The interesting thing about this video is that despite Dulce’s extreme drunkenness, she is still super charming. Her claim that she didn’t crash but rather was crashed into is emblematic of a childish attitude that many of us retain throughout our lives — almost as if to say “I didn’t do anything to deserve this, life did it to me.”

Imitating Dulce quickly became a thing among the girls of my generation, kind of like the “no me toquen, ando chida” joke of 2014. I once asked a girlfriend if she was drunk, and her response was “Yo no choqué, me chocaron.” People have also adapted the phrase to any circumstance that suits them — i.e. “I didn’t fail, they failed me,” or “Yo no me emborraché, me emborracharon.”

A year later, Dulce was once again detained for disorderly conduct in public. In the news broadcast of the event, Dulce can be seen doing karate kicks in the direction of the cameramen, and being far more careful and reserved in how she responds to reporters’ questions, though she’s clearly pretty amused about the amount of media attention she’s getting.

Then, in 2009, Dulce was detained yet again, this time for stealing some caguamas from a 7-Eleven with a guy she’d just met at a party. Of course, Televisa was there to capture the scene. It aired on Lolita Ayala’s show, an old school journalist who took an indignant, “respect yourself” kind of approach to the whole thing.

This was the last time that Dulce appeared wasted on-camera, and it was a pretty grand finale, since the people who come off as truly ridiculous are the reporters. Beyond Dulce’s clear troubles with alcohol, it’s the media’s sensationalist and invasive approach to covering public drunkenness that creates a whole circus around a girl who, at the end of the day, is just acting up a bit.

In Mexico, getting arrested for being a drunk ass mess in the streets is not too uncommon. In certain circle’s it’s actually regarded as a hilarious badge of honor. I personally have never been arrested for drunkenness, but like a buen mexicano, I’ve always wanted to be.

dulce sarahi

Breaking the law is pretty commonplace here: running lights and stop signs, driving drunk, drinking and peeing in the street, stealing alcohol if someone won’t sell it to you, these are things that you or someone you know has done. Maybe that’s why these videos are so popular, because they represent the small crimes that so many have committed after they’ve had a few too many.

Soon we’ll continue with the next installment of this list, in which we’ll take a look at “EL FUA,” “El Ferras,” and many other legendary drunks who have influenced Mexican pop culture.

Advertisement