Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An Ode to Taco Bell

On my way up to Henry County last weekend, I decided to start things off right.  Now how does one do that, Julie Anna? might ask.  And my overly confident response would be two words: Taco Bell.  
Now, I know I have talked about Taco Bell a lot on this here blog.  And I know that some of you are either A. grossed out that anyone could so passionately enjoy eating what many insultingly call "dog food" B. You think I am totally exaggerating said passion for eating Taco Bell, or C. You have known me from a young age and know that I am being completely serious.  

For the sake of this post, I will ASSUME (even though we all know what that does...) that you all fall in the B camp.  So please, allow me to explain...
You know how adults think it is cute to ask small children what they want to be when they grow up? And normally you get some variation of a doctor, a mom, a veterinarian, and so on and so forth with the fulfilling and money making ventures that most logical adults know their child will probably never achieve...Well, as a small child, when people asked me that (hopefully self fulfilling prophecy) question, I would reply... "I want to be a Taco Bell manager."  Yes, really shooting for the stars huh?  I'm not sure where that goal came from, or why I just enjoy the food so dang much, but I just decided to run with it.  "Yo quiero Taco Bell" dog ain't got nothin' on me!  (In hindsight, the abundance of cheese in every single menu item is what probably did it for me.)  All growing up I remember going to Taco Bell with my family and friends, and even once wrote an email to a country radio host, Wylie Rose, discussing our mutual admiration of bean burritos.  And guess what ya'll, the lady wrote me back!!!  We were truly kindred spirits.
In high school, some of my friends caught on to my pintos n' cheese, bean burrito, nachos supreme, mexi-melt addiction and decided to make me a screen printed shirt with the Taco Bell logo on the front and the word "manager" on the back.  There has probably never been a more fitting gift.  No really, the shirt fit really well.  Then in college, I was blessed with a roommate who understood my preference for the Bell and who just generally enjoyed going to get highly caloric food at 3 am with me when Taco Bell was the only place open.  One time we got the smart idea to go through the drive-thru in our pajamas, robe and all.  Well, when my roommate (name withheld to protect the innocent) did not get her caramel apple empanada, I marched my fuzzy slippered, robe clad self right into that restaurant and held them accountable!  I definitely think that was my shining moment.  I'm not sure my embarrassed roommate agreed, but she sure did enjoy that empanada, thankyouverymuch!

After I got married, I was slightly saddened when Husband and I were going through the drive-thru and I told him to order me a mexi-melt.  "A mexi what" his confused face said.  And I just looked at him.  "A mexi-melt," I said, as if such a word is just as common a word as button.  And he said "what the crap is a mexi-melt" and I died a little inside.  After I recovered, I insisted that he get one and told him that it would forever change his perception of Taco Bell, for the better.  Wellll, I forgot to explain the delicate manner in which one must unwrap the mexi-melt.  You see, they steam the tortilla before filling the inside (which is practically the only thing that makes it different from a taco, but whatever) so when they wrap it, the steamy tortilla tends to adhere to the wrapping paper.  I'm talking like, crazy glue adhere.  Like, if I ever had a gigantic cut on my body, I would just stick one of those warm tortillas on the cut, and then place a wrapper on top.  Voila!  Most effective bandage ever!  You have to very very gently peel back the edge of the tortilla, or else you will end up eating paper or you will have a shredded tortilla and have to eat the innerds with a fork.  Annnd yep, he had to use a fork.  At that point he vowed to never eat a mexi-melt again.  

Fast forward a year, and a move to Cairo, Georgia.  Naturally, my first question about the area was "is there a Taco Bell," followed by Zaxbys, Wal-Mart, and more practical things like a hospital.  I got an affirmative on everything. but. the. Taco Bell.  What a tragedy.  But I sucked it up and consoled myself with the fact that there was a Taco Bell 20 minutes away.  But guys...that Taco Bell is 20 minutes away, and this city raised girl is not used to driving more than 5 minutes for her fast-food mexican.  In the year that I have lived here, I have gotten Taco Bell once.  That one time I had to "pick up some shoes" but my true reason for going there was that I was craving Taco Bell like mad.  My mom has jokingly said that I could fulfill my dream of being a Taco Bell manager by opening one in Cairo.  I know she's kidding, but it is sounding better and better every day. 

Allll of this being said, whenever I get the chance, I take advantage of a route included Taco Bell.  So it was a no brainer that during my trip up to Henry County I would skip my usual dinner hour and wait until I got to the exit with the Taco Bell, to consume my final calories for the day.  In case you guys didn't see this picture earlier, here it is again... (The mild sauce reads "Eat your heart out ketchup"!  Well then call me ketchup baby!)
Now, because some of you sticks in the mud safety conscious individuals will probably judge my choice to eat a burrito while operating a motorized vehicle, I have decided to put together a quick lesson in simultaneous burrito eating/car driving.
1.  Locate a Taco Bell.  This should be easy.  MOST towns have them (no I'm not bitter)
2.  Close your eyes and randomly point to 4 items on the menu.  According to Husband, everything tastes the same.  
3.  Pay with a $5 bill.  No matter what you have ordered, it will still be less than $5.  Take THAT McDonalds!!
4.  Pause in the parking lot to assemble your meal in your lap.  If you have on white pants, you should probably line your lap with some napkins. 
5. Puncture the cup with a straw.
6. Now clean up all of the liquid that pooled up on the lid, since your cup was inevitably filled too full.  Lucky for you, Taco Bell's brown recycled napkins are super absorbent.  (another reason to like Taco Bell, they are environmentally friendly!)
7.  Get back on the road.
8.  Peel back the paper at the top of your item, which, in my case, was a bean burrito.
9.  Take the first bite out of the burrito, so that you can now pour your choice of sauce down into the burrito.
10.  Open the sauce package with your teeth.  Yes, you might catch a communicable/incurable disease by doing this, but probably not.  Plus, it'd be worth it.  Taco Bell is no good without their sauce (which they conveniently sell jars of at Wal-Mart now)
11.  After pouring in your sauce (you might have to do this more than once and with multiple sauce packets depending on your preferred sauce:burrito ratio)  continue eating your burrito until it's all gone.  Do your best to avoid the paper.  It won't kill you if you eat it though.  (Husband should know after that mexi-melt fiasco)
12.  Repeat steps 8-11 (and 7 if you have run off the road during the enjoyment of your first burrito) with each additional item until you have a full belly and a smile on your face. 
13.  And finally, take a picture of your smiling face, to prove your joy to those who could not see you in person/that you didn't almost hit while trying to take a picture.  
And that concludes our lesson in car burrito eating!  And now I totally want Taco Bell.  Which, I just might be in luck, since I'll be near one after church tonight! 
Oh, and always remember, "Think outside the bun."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

now I know my card and the $5 inside it this past week-end was used well.........and just what I told you to do with it. How well Nannie knows Baby Girl!...........