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Monday, June 27, 2005

16 Days

There must be something injected into the food from Taco Bell. Maybe cocaine. Maybe heroin. I don't know. But whatever it is, it keeps me coming back for more. I find myself sitting in the drive-thru like an addict hankerin' for a hit. My decision is quick and simple: beef chalupa, nacho supreme. It totals $3.65. Marvelous!

When I was in high school, I literally ate Taco Bell every day for lunch. My mom would give me a five dollar bill for lunch, and with Taco Bell's value menu (used to be items for $.59, $.79, and $.99 -- I guess inflation hits even the burrito business) I could order two hard shell tacos, and a nacho bell grande and have change. Of course, I never actually purchased a soda, just asked for a cup for water and then helped myself to all the fountain Mt. Dew I could guzzle. The change added up over the course of the week, and that, combined with the tips I received from my waitressing job, was how I bought the weekend's beer.

We only had 25 mintues for lunch in high school, so it was a race to the parking lot as soon as the bell rang. Several teenagers would pile into the designated driver's car and we'd speed off to the Taco Bell just minutes away. Naturally, we weren't the only ones racing for the border, so after waiting in line, ordering and receiving our Mexican fare, we'd have to gobble down our lunches on the way back to school.

There's only one thing harder on your lower intestines than Taco Bell, and that's consuming two hard shell tacos, a nacho bell grande and a cup of Mt. Dew in four minutes. (Fifth period almost always required a bathroom break.)

Despite my all-taco diet, I was surprisingly svelte as a high school student, but that's because I ran it off every afternoon at soccer practice where we ran for two hours every day. (Fact: the average soccer player runs 5 miles in a 90 minute game. You burn approximately one hundred calories for every mile you run. Soccer was the only thing keeping those South of the Border pounds off.) Unfortunately, the wood burning stove that was my high school metabolism came to a screeching halt in college, but I was relieved to discover that the Taco Bell in my college town sucked.

There, they hired every ex-con and high school drop out within a sixty mile radius. But they were still condescending as shit.

One day I was watching my nacho bell grande being assembled when I exclaimed my admiration for their sour cream gun. "Wow!" I said. "Where do you get one of those? Do you have to special order them, or is it just a restaurant item?" The girl with tatooed knuckles that read "Bad Az Gurrl" (one letter per knuckle, hard to believe she never got further up the corporate ladder) gave me a noncommittal shrug. I just went on, "Do you load special sour cream in there, or do you just dollop the regular stuff in and let the gun do its magic?" She shrugged again and then turned back to the TV mounted in the dining room. (Did she not understand the beauty of a gun that shot sour cream? Perhaps, I could just get a needle of fat and inject it directly into my thighs!)

It was because of the tatooed "Bad Az Gurrl" and because of their slow-as-shit service that I stopped attending that Taco Bell regularly and became enamoured of McDonald's and their golden McNuggets (later, "Super Size" would completely ruin me of that habit). Yet, when I moved to South Florida, I found Taco Bell to be immensely improved. Sure, the service is terrible, but almost all service is here, so I don't even notice, and yes, their food is loaded with all the worst things in the world for me (maybe even inlcuding anthrax and the ebola virus), but how can it be resisted? Especially after a few beers. It practically calls to you.

Maybe Taco Bell and Bud Light are in on it together. Bastards. They're completely undermining this whole project.

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