Hoochie Mama: The Other White Meat (Mad Dog Rodriguez Trilogy)

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9780684869742: Hoochie Mama: The Other White Meat (Mad Dog Rodriguez Trilogy)

In this knuckle-cracking finale to the "Trilogy of Tomatoes," Erika Lopez refuses to wipe her nose, curtsey, and exit gracefully. "Hoochie Mama: The Other White Meat" is another eclectic novel that belongs somewhere between the coffee table and the bathroom, but this time we're a little older, yellowing like freezer-burned chicken, and dabbing on just a touch of rouge before hobbling down to the street corner to scream at the computer programmers who've skipped into San Francisco and peed all over the toilet seats out of excitement.

You see, fresh from prison, Tomato "Mad Dog" Rodriguez returns to find her once-bohemian Mission neighborhood overrun by Latte People trading stocks on cell phones while careening down sidewalks in their Ford Explorers. Rents have multiplied to the square root of horror, forcing the families, elderly artists, and hippies -- those who didn't already get run over on the sidewalks -- to flee in droves, leaving behind only those willing to serve noisy coffees and change the deadly Firestone tires.

"If we spill your non-fat decaf lattes on our skin, do we not burn?" In spite of its resentful minimum-wage tone, this book is not only for the person who feels herself to be part of the cleaning staff for this rip-roaring American party of overachievers with perfect credit ratings. For some in the middle of their own urban hell, this may be like having your head jammed in a toilet and flushed over and over again. But others, with medical coverage and a morbid curiosity about what it's like to be a renter pillaging the sofa for change as if it were a lucky fountain, will find sharing this glimpse of the underachieving class as fascinating as staring atroadkill, then sniffing it.

But whether you view Mrs. Lopez's latest literary caterwaul as high entertainment of the outrageous sort, or as part political polemic, part act of subversion, you are sure to be entertained. For her part, she sees it as a creepy warning for renters to beware. "Run and hide," she warns. Remember when the Martians landed and when it was almost too late, we found out that their supposedly philanthropic book, "On Serving Man," was really a cookbook?

It's a fun romp through the seal-clubbing world of gentrification, with a girl who's run over a cat, kidnapped her lover, forged her roommate's checks, slept with married Canadians, ordered Columbia records under dead neighbors' names, tried on numerous occasions to murder Chihuahuas...and still is easily the nicest person in the whole story.

So y'all gather 'round the heating duct -- assuming your deregulated electricity hasn't been shut off -- turn out the lights, and hold flashlights under your chins...then read this tale to each other well into the wee hours of the night before your rent is due...[insert scream here].

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Lopez, Erika
Published by Simon & Schuster 2001-04-18 (2001)
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