Thursday, November 20, 2008


Marie and I were sipping tequila at a bar in Nuevo Laredo. This bar was being operated by Jesse, who was the son of the old man who started it and who was our friend. The old man had died and Jesse had taken charge. A woman came in and sat down at the bar with us. She had a bag of groceries. Jesse spoke to her and she pulled out a gourd. He asked her to contribute it and she agreed. So Jesse peeled the gourd and sliced it and sprinkled salt over it and then poured tequila over it. Then he filled our glasses for free, offered the sliced gourd on a platter and poured the woman a drink. The gourd tasted bland except for the salt and tequila. So we held an afternoon party with Jesse. I asked Jesse the name of the gourd and he grinned and said "potatoes". I asked the woman the name and she said "Hic a ma". Then she wrote it down and it started with a J instead of an H. Since then I have seen this gourd being sold in the produce section at some of the supermarkets. It is commonplace along the border. Just think about hiccups to start with and then add a and ma. It is sold cheap and makes a great appetizer for an afternoon cocktail party.

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