A Coconut’s Guide to Getting (and/or Keeping) His/Her Street Cred

There are many subtle categories on the Latino continuum, and we here at the eljumpingbean offices recognize that eljumpingbean is the face, voice, and mind of all shades along this complex and profoundly nuanced range. (We have a unanimously signed petition proving this.) So what’d we do for you underserved Coconuts? Those of you who grew up in the suburbs and at some point began to sigh audibly when another Gutierrez or Torres showed up in your junior high class? Those who stop at Pepe’s and Taco Bell to occasionally touch base with your heritage? You have to compete in a cut-throat economy, in a business world where you have to dance the razor’s edge between “handling yours” and sidestepping the off chance you might ratchet up the anxiety of your coworkers/employers/employees.

Well, you are a unique animal, Coconut. Fear not, though. We brought in a consultant to provide valuable advice to those of you who desire to be respected in the mean streets of the inner city (the barr-i-o) and the demanding workforce.

~“N’shit” – Throw it in after a statement, particularly one laden with words you learned in school (or from a book, or from someone who read a book once, or from a book jacket). Keep your mind sharp and your tongue sharper.

  • "It was downright iridescent…umm… N’shit."
  • " We pursued litigation only when they failed to comply…N’shit”
  • "The poet was at the forefront of transcendental thought … N’shit.”

A good snarl never hurt anyone...

~Bring something commonly thought to be foul at least once a week for lunch: lengua, menudo, cesos (or something with an equivalent yuck-factor.)

~Tuck your Better Homes and Gardens inside a Lowrider Magazine cover.

~Shank the guy who asks the questions at the end of the meeting and makes it run long.

Wear a guayabera (with or without sandals) for casual Friday (Let the chest hair fly. Ladies, we're talking to you too.” (Don’t worry about the direct or “All Employees” memo about inappropriate attire that you know is indiscreetly directed at you and you alone. It won’t arrive, and if it does, bluff a racial insensitivity lawsuit. Watch the fold.)

Say things like “That’s not how we handled it in prison.” (Even if you’re referring to something like collating.)

~When you go to Whole Foods, act like you’re lost and hungry. “What’s this hummus crap? I guess I'm starving, so I'll try it.”

~Show up at the flea market once in a while. What? You’re too good for that shit? Snob.

~Two words: Neck tattoo

~Act like you don't have the faintest idea what pesto is

We hope we have been of service.

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