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GTBT: Taco Bell

Note: Due to malfeasance on the part of certain actors within the Chappiqaw County Library System, my research into the next GTBT lecture has been stymied. Rest assured, all measures are being taken to rectify this humiliating injustice. Until such time, please enjoy this substitute lecture instead. I confess its historical content is negligible. Still, for any readers – or should I say “eaters” – who have never dined at a Taco Bell restaurant, it may provide some useful information.

Quite on a whim, my wife and I decided to eat out the other night, perhaps to get away from all the election hullabaloo on TV. We do not eat out often – have you seen the “prices” these days! – but when we do, it is usually at the Chappiqaw Creek Supper Club, where Gladys always orders the perch, and I stick with my trusty liverwurst.

Alas, due to ENTIRELY UNLAWFUL AND UNAMERICAN lockdown protocols, we discovered our usual Supper Club is temporarily closed. That’s when, much to my surprise, Gladys recommended a new restaurant that recently opened in our town, a place called “Taco Bell”. No, I'd never heard of it before either. I gather Gladys had clipped a coupon for it from someplace.

Now, normally I’m highly suspicious of any kind of “ethnic food” but five bucks off is five bucks off. So, I fired up the faithful Oldsmobile and we embarked on an adventure of culinary exploration. I had, of course, expected to be bamboozled by a veritable cavalcade of bizarre dishes and hard-to-pronounce words, but do you know what I didn’t expect…? A goddamn disaster…

Let me tell you about what they call a “taco”.

Excuse my language, but gee whiz, what the hell is this trying to be? Is it a sandwich? Is it a pastry? Looks to me like a crusty old snatch. A decrepit nasty taint that went out for a walk, fell down some stairs and landed in a pile of garbage thrown out by immigrant people. Am I supposed to eat it? Am I supposed to screw it? I don’t fucking know. Somebody tell me, please.

Still, this was the best item on the menu by far. A crackly shell filled with dog food, imitation cheese, and “lettuce” the consistency of shredded tennis balls. It was merely disgusting. It didn’t lead me into a pit of misanthropic despair - like the next item did.

Feast your eyes upon this grotesque monstrosity. This one they call a “burrito”.

Just look at this bloated bag of balderdash. Truly repulsive. Utterly vile. A dirty sack of flavorless beans, rancid cheese, and God knows what else. I almost wretched when I opened the wrapper. I did, in fact, wretch when Gladys cajoled me into taking a bite. “Are you trying to kill me?” I said to her, to which she looked the other way and made no comment.

The manager shortly became involved in what was rapidly degenerating into a culinary “mis”-adventure. Oh! And let me tell you about the kind of service you get at these Taco Bell so-called restaurants. This absolute WILDABEAST had the temerity to suggest I was disturbing the other patrons. Disturbing them? Saving their lives was more like it.

This female impersonator then offered a complimentary bag of “nachos” if we would take our meals and leave. I told her “nach-a-chance” and resumed my meal. I’ll be damned if I heed any request from a service-industry drone. I did not earn my doctorate merely to be treated like some ordinary Joe six-pack, thank you very much.

But the worst part of all was undoubtedly the return journey. Pulling short at a stop-light, I suddenly detected a singular queasiness in my stomach. The pressure built steadily and ineluctably as I negotiated traffic in a desperate attempt to return home before my reactor reached critical mass.

All I could think about was the toilet. Oh, sweet heavenly toilet! You’re the only thing in the world who understands me! How I longed for the touch of your cool porcelain and the joyful relief of a battle hard-fought and hard-won.

Goddammit! Another red light. Then another! What in the wide world of sports was going on? My reactor was rapidly melting down. I deployed all safety mechanisms then known to me. I clutched my knees together. I chewed on my knuckles. I rocked back and forth in my seat. Gladys must have thought I was having a stroke.

Very soon, however, the necessity arose of opening all the windows and airing out the vehicle. In the meantime, I was forced to shut down the primary release valve, since I couldn’t trust that the next surge wouldn’t initiate the final explosion. There was nothing left to do but clamp down and put the pedal to the metal.

“I’m gonna make it, I’m gonna make it, I’m gonna make it,” I kept repeating to myself. Such was my mantra. My only hope. “I’m gonna make it…”

Well, I didn't make it.

If you must know, my beloved '89 Cutlass is now befouled beyond all recognition. I shan’t ever drive it again, I fear. Farewell, old friend. You were the best of motor vehicles. You were everything a man could possibly want from his transport. Big engine, roomy interior, an aura of distinguished class. Now, it’s all gone. Ruined by that satanical eatery in which I shall never set foot again.

So, Taco Bell. Good Thing, Bad Thing?

Well, this is the easiest question I’ve ever had to decide. God-awful terrible thing! If this is the regular cuisine of our friends south of the border, then put some goddamn machine guns up on that wall. Matter of fact, if I were running things, I’d immediately abolish all Taco Bells and replace them with far more worthwhile establishments, such as RadioShack.

The lesson for today? Avoid Taco Bell – or should I say Taco “Smell” – at all costs.

That’s all for this week, class.

Do your “eating” (elsewhere),

James O’Flannery


May 09, 2023

Hail and farewell to your noble steed, Professor. She served you well.


May 09, 2023

Professor, are you sure that Gladys wasn't, in fact, trying to kill you? This sounded tantamount to murder; indeed, your '89 Cutlass appears to have taken the killing blow meant for you. If Taco Bell can kill cars, I can only imagine what it's done to your gut biome.

Kindest regards,

A Concerned Reader

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