It started with a tostada. Next came flautas. Before long Manuel Antonio was filling up his PT Cruiser with refried beans he bought at Western Beef.
“Times are rough ese,” Antonio explained from the hovel he squatted in eighteen miles outside El Paso. “And my car really digs refried beans man!”
Antonio runs his PT Cruiser now entirely on cans of refried beans he coats in a thin layer of salsa verde. He’s also tried guacamole, which works tolerably enough, although once his engine melted down.
“Don’t put guacamole in your engine without throwing in tortilla chips,” Antonio advised. “They go together ese!” I promised him I understood completely as I was a regular patron at Dos Caminos.
When I told this story to Ricardo Martinez, a shipping clerk at an auto parts factory in San Antonio, he nodded in recognition. “Worked for me too,” Martinez said. “Drove cross country with Goya Products. Kidney beans. Pinto. Even threw green olives with pimientos in there.
Terry Adams, a mechanic at Meineke, informed me you should never put anything in your engine other than petrol. Beans were dangerous. Green olives with pimiento were even worse. These could clog up the fuel injector, leading to complete thermal breakdown.
I explained all this to Martinez who seemed undeterred. “I no care what mechanic says,” Martinez replied. “Gas is 7.50$ a gallon!”
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