Monday, January 08, 2007

Pesos for pizza

One of the more idiotic blogosphere debates currently underway centers on a small Dallas pizza chain, Pizza Patron, which caters to an Hispanic clientele, announcing that it would accept pesos for its pizza.
Some right-wing schmucks, like Matt Drudge, are using this as another example of some invisible conspiracy that would turn three independent countries – U.S., Canada and Mexico – into some sort of North American Union, as is the case in Europe. They think this is the beginning of the end of Western civilization because a business, of which people like Drudge have no BUSINESS judging other people’s business, wants to sell more pizzas.
Here in the most Republican county in Texas (as red as a fire engine), there exists a Pizza Patron, on the predominantly Hispanic east side of Plano (Park and Avenue K across from Poor Richard's Cafe).
If a business wants to trade eggs or farm animals, or barter for its product, who should care? Why should anyone say a damn thing? If that company wants to go through the hassles of converting pesos into dollars, so be it. WHO CARES?
This, sadly, will play into the racist anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic, anti-anything crowd who simply want to “white”wash everything and go back to the ‘60s (1860s that is).
As a boy growing up in Detroit, Mich., we dealt with “funny money” all the time – but it was Canadian currency in question. You constantly had to examine your pocket change to see what was what in terms of coinage. It was more of a problem with pennies, dimes and quarters that were similar size to American money.
Back then, in the 1960s, businesses exchanged them on an even rate, but you could not really use them in vending machines, phone booths or other coin-operated machines. The Canadian dollars were too distinctive – with pictures of Queen Elizabeth II – and following the old British method of size difference according to worth (the larger the denomination, the larger the bill).
Nowadays, the Canadian dollar is worth much less than the U.S. dollar so conversion is in order. Besides, Canadian shops WANT American dollars when you trade in places like Windsor or Sarnia, across the Michigan border.
(Excellent trivia: Detroit is the only place in the continental U.S. that is NORTH of Canada).
As noted, Pizza Patron is free to do what it wants to sell more pizzas. Anyone believing otherwise is not in favor of free enterprise.
And isn’t what this nation firmly believes? Or does it only apply to white businesses?

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