Ask Cap’n Greg

Sep 1, 2011 by Ask Cap'n Greg

I don’t think you folks will ever run out of questions. In fact, I’m thinking of opening an information booth down on the Malecon. Instead of money, maybe I’d charge one can of Tecate Light for each answer. Trouble is, it wouldn’t be long before my wife would be asking, “What made you think you had to drink all that beer?” Anyway, here’s another bunch.

Q: Why do some cars in Rocky Point have water jugs tied to the top of their hoods?

A: Those may look like water jugs, but they are actually radiator reservoirs. Salt air does serious damage to metal, and car radiators rust out like everything else. When fluid drips out of the radiator, the jug sends enough water to it through a hose so the engine won’t overheat too bad. That set-up is mostly for in-town driving. So if you see a car with a hood-mounted water jug between Rocky Point and the border, the driver is either a taco short of a Mexican Lunch Special, or he’s expecting a significant miracle from Our Lady of the Highway.

Q: When I come to a Rocky Point intersection with a stop light or stop sign, I stop. Are there other people besides emergency vehicles who have an “It’s Okay to Run the Stop Sign” pass?

A: You’d think so, wouldn’t you? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, do NOT assume other people — including those driving taxis, bicycles, dump trucks, ATCs, dune buggies, baby carriages, steamrollers, lowriders, or pickups trailering boats — will EVER come to a complete stop at a stop sign. If you are in doubt (which should be 100% of the time) sit there and wait until the traffic clears the intersection before you move ahead. The jerk behind you who is honking his horn will either get over it, or pull around you to run the stop sign.

Q: My favorite recipe calls for Philadelphia cream cheese, which I bought at Super Ley in Rocky Point. The package was the same as in the States, except for the Spanish words, but it wasn’t the same taste. What’s up with that?

A: Processed foods sold under the same brand name use the same recipes, but not always chemically identical ingredients. For example, the sugar used in the States may be from sugar beets, while the sugar used somewhere else may be from sugar cane. So a product like Coke, that’s formulated and bottled in every country of the world, will taste slightly different wherever you happen to be. I personally find the Mexican version of Coke tastes slightly sweeter, but with enough rum added, you can’t tell the difference.

Q: Why do the fish vendors on the Malecon wiggle shrimp at me as I drive by, when I know the things are already dead?

A: The vendors are demonstrating their deep knowledge of shrimp physiology. They know exactly where to press the shrimp’s body to make the tail move. This movement is intended to show prospective buyers that the creature was alive and well not that long ago, and is still considered fresh. You should be glad they’re not selling chickens.

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