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Cinco de Mayo marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the Napoleonic French at the Battle of Puebla. Although the Mexican army was eventually defeated, the "Batalla de Puebla" has come to be a symbol of Mexican patriotism.

Napoleon III believed that Mexico would be a splendid place for a second home (maybe somewhere near one of those delightful CLUBMEDs on the coast) and decided to invade it with his rather formidable army.

Unfortunately, you can't walk to Mexico City from Paris (not even in sensible shoes). So, Napoleon's impressive and very well dressed army had to rely on the famous French Navy and its Admiral, Pierre Gilligan (never heard him? There is a reason. He is most famous for dropping Napoleon and his troops off in Egypt, never to return, when all they really wanted was a three hour cruise around Corsica. Their cries of "Oh, Gilligan, you've done it again!" still echo across the Mediterranian).

So, while sailing to Mexico with Admiral Gilligan, the water started getting rough, the tiny ships were tossed, if not for the bountiful brie and wine, the voyage would have been lost (or words to that effect).

Anyway, the French arrived off the coast of Mexico, quite seasick (although dashingly attired) from all the tossing (if you'll pardon the pun). The Mexicans, who called the French naughty words like Mayonnaise Face and worse things, were waiting for them with their secret weapon -- tacos, chimichangas, fried plantains, and a nice little pico de gallo sauce, you know, the one with the fresh cilantro and bell peppers...

The French, at the sight of all that Mexican food, immediately rushed to the seaward side of their tiny ships and lost their lunch yet again over the railing. This, of course, had the unexpected result of capsizing the entire French fleet, much to the delight of the Mexicans, who shouted happily: "Sinko de Mayos! Sinko de Mayos!" (or words to that effect...).

This has been corrupted over the years, by editors of loose morals and vowel troubles, into the popular "Cinco de Mayo" but now YOU, at least, really know the truth...

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