war on piñatas

Houston Piñata Ban: Why Does Houston Ban Piñatas?

Kill them allEveryone loves a good piñata. You get a baseball bat and go smash, ha ha ha! And then everyone goes home with stuffed pockets of candy and razor blades. The kids love this nonsense. But lo, what has Precinct 4 of Houston done now? A “park policy adopted in Precinct 4, which stretches over a wide swath of the northwestern county, specifically forbids piñatas.” Is this strictly an “anti-littering” issue, or an anti-Mexicans issue? Because we see no scenario in which some jerks might smash piñatas and leave their mess everywhere.

Let’s let Tony Diaz explain his issue with the smashy candy donkey objects of birthday party lore:

Harris County officials say the prohibition is strictly an anti-littering measure, noting that the same policy also forbids other messy party favors like confetti eggs and silly string that park managers say are almost impossible to clean up. But Hispanic activists complained about signs posted in parks that specifically forbade piñatas. And Commissioner Jack Cagle decided to take the signs down while he reviews the policy.

“‘Pinantas Prohibited’ is not a synonym for ‘Do Not Litter,’ it’s a synonym for ‘No Mexicans Allowed,’” said Tony Diaz, the leader of a group called El Librotraficante. “It’s almost as if all the signs that talk about the speed limit were to say ‘20 mph for your low-riders.’”

Now that Tony Diaz mentions it, Precinct 4 had better get some “20 mph for your low-riders” signs up. What? Piñatas drive low-riders, and piñatas are banned.


About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

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  1. Barb

    A piñata that is filled with baked beans is hilarious! Especially if they are piping hot.

  2. metamarcisf

    My daughter is moving to NW Houston tomorrow so it's time for her to stock up on good old New Mexican pinatas

    1. actor212

      Can't she smuggle some across the border from Laredo? Just stuff 'em in the trunk! The border patrol won't ask questions if she doesn't get all nervous and edgy and stuff.

      1. tessiee

        Border Guard: Do you have any contraband?
        Kid Metamarci: Um… no.
        Border Guard: By "contraband", I mean, do you have any guns, fireworks, or pinatas?
        Kid Metamarci: Yes… I mean NO! Oh, DAMN it!!

  3. weejee

    Rejoice all you Tejasican Wonketteers! Your beloved state has woke up and is trying to grab your rightful, and do mean rightful, glory back from Louisiana, Mississippi, Arizona, and …

  4. Estproph

    This is clear discrimination against Pinata-Americans. The slurs will come next, just wait: "No Candy-Stuffers Allowed", "Sugarbags In The Rear Of The Bus", "Lunch Counter For Suckers Only". Just terriblle.

  5. Not_So_Much

    There's got to be some way that can blame this on them having a gay, chick mayor…

    1. anniegetyerfun

      Only if said money is destined to be given to political SuperPACs by corporations.

    1. OkieDokieDog

      I wouldn't eat it. It's probably those tootsie rolls you find in cat litter boxes.

    2. tessiee

      "if you hit Newt Gingrich with a bat candy would fall out."

      Well, it was candy this morning.

    3. tessiee

      And even if you're mistaken, you'd still get to hit Newt Gingrich with a bat, so there's that to be considered.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        There's really no way to predict what would fall out — but I'm all for the scientific method. And large values of N … I love large values of N.

      1. tessiee

        Banning doughnuts would keep out Mitt Romney as well as Homer Simpson, so that's at least a good start.

        1. Boojum

          Have you noticed that you never see Rmoney and Homer Simpson in the same place at the same time? Coincidence? I think not.

          1. tessiee

            Not a coincidence at all. Homer can't stand to be around Romney; it reminds him too much of Mr. Burns.

    1. Rotundo_

      Any vehicle with bumper stickers, TrukNutz! or confederate flags. Any vehicle with audible Limbaugh or Hannity.

  6. Beowoof

    All Hispanic celebrations will be confined to a deserted warehouse parking lot. And don't forget that they should hire some illegals to clean up the mess when they're done.

  7. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    Pinatas suck. They are never, in real life, as good as they make them look in movies and stuff. It's Mexican propaganda. In real life they end up being too tough to open so some big dude ends up beating to death and/or ripping apart what is most likely the effigy of a person or animal. After that, invariably, some four year old almost gets trampled to death trying to get a goddamned tootsie roll. Stupid piñatas.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      And they do not break into pieces, which means they do not in reality create litter. Not that "reality" counts for anything in Texas.

  8. philpjfry

    Fill it with Tequila and encase it in salted lemon. Problem solved. As a bonus, the kids will be better behaved and no sugar high.

  9. SoBeach

    I say ban 'em. As a veteran of countless kiddie birthday parties I know all a pinata means is dad is getting whacked in the nuts by a blindfolded kid swinging a broom stick.

  10. Come here a minute

    A piñata ban surely is a ban on Mexicans, because Mexicans can't go five minutes without having to take a whack at a piñata. Admit it, José, you know it's true.

  11. clblabin

    Sorry about this guys, it's just so fucking hot down here right now we're all kind of pissed off and taking it out on the Mexicans. Don't forget about our lesbian mayor, though!

  12. el_donaldo

    I'm sorry, Mr. Diaz, but your traffic sign comparison is not apt. Low-riders are never driven any faster than 20 miles an hour. That's a different problem.

  13. SayItWithWookies

    Piñatas, cultural icon though they be, are menaces to society. What's more dangerous than revving a kid up with thoughts of a shower of candy, blindfolding him, and having him swing a stick at something he can't see while a crowd edges closer and closer so they can dive on the loot? Anytime a piñata is involved, you just know someone's going to get hit upside the face with a stick. Now if you took a shotgun to that thing, it would probably be okay by the authorities, 'cause you know — guns are sacred.

    1. not that Radio

      Your piñatas must be chained up outside the park, or confined to specially-marked, fenced-in "piñata runs".

      And technically, piñatas are not "on park grounds", they're suspended in the air. Else they're doing it wrong.

  14. randcoolcatdaddy

    No messy party favors in public parks.

    But I guess it's still okay to bash Messicans. As long as you clean up the mess.

  15. fitley

    In Los Angeles they allow pinatas but the cops prefer to hit black people with their sticks.

  16. Callyson

    After Diaz complained about the signage – posting on social media, talking on radio stations and inspiring an editorial in the Houston Chronicle – county officials decided to take another look at the policy.
    "We don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings," said Mark Seegars, a spokesman for Commissioner Jack Cagle.  "The signs are coming down while we review the best way to put the message out to people that we need their help in keeping litter out of the parks."

    Gee, how might that message be communicated? I don't suppose a "Do Not Litter" sign would do the trick?

    1. Crank_Tango

      Or maybe they should be PC and post the "No fucking Pinatas" sign in spanish? Would that help?

  17. SheriffRoscoe

    Candy just doesn't have the same taste unless I've whacked something to smithereens to get it.

  18. Callyson

    scenario in which some jerks might smash piñatas and leave their mess everywhere

    Is that the latest euphemism for spanking the monkey? Cute…

    1. tessiee

      Would it also be the *size* of Kim K's ass? Because that could create a lot of jerbs in the papier-mache industry.

  19. tessiee

    Just a theory:

    The rich white fucktards in Houston who pay Mexicans 50 cents a day for slave labor may be stupid, but they're not SO stupid that they don't realize what a tempting target they make to a person holding a baseball bat.

  20. RavenRant

    Years of editing real life disaster videos has taught me to avoid the two most dangerous things in America – air shows and las piñatas.

  21. Negropolis

    I don't know about banning piñatas, but I'd not be aganst banning these pinche pendejos.

  22. ttommyunger

    I'll be dead and gone when it happens, but payback isn going to be a bitch. White boys only think they know how to be mean; they've never seen a really pissed-off Messican.

Comments are closed.