June 1, 2011

Instant Tacofication: the great advances of human civilization, in everything from animal husbandry to mathematics to architecture to manufacturing to information technology, have all crescendoed with the Crunchwrap Supreme, delivered at pickup window

Taco Bell and the Golden Age of Drive-Thru:

"When I take my place on the line and start to prepare burritos, tacos, and chalupas—they won't let me near a Crunchwrap Supreme—it is immediately clear that this has been engineered to make the process as simple as possible. The real challenge is the wrapping. Taco Bell once had 13 different wrappers for its products. That has been cut to six by labeling the corners of each wrapper differently. The paper, designed to slide off a stack in single sheets, has to be angled with the name of the item being made at the upper corner. The tortilla is placed in the middle of the paper and the item assembled from there until you fold the whole thing up in the wrapping expediting area next to the grill. "We had so many wrappers before, half a dozen stickers; it was all costing us seconds," says Harkins. In repeated attempts, I never get the proper item name into the proper place. And my burritos just do not hold together. "


Posted by Vanderleun at June 1, 2011 4:41 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Twenty-five years or so ago, during a lull in my life I found myself dwelling on the Sussex Weald in southern England, adjacent to the site of the Battle of Hastings, Already in semi-retirement after 30 years of metro-cosmopolitan strife preventing, detecting and prosecuting crime - and later in a second career as a TV journalist-researcher reporting the international aspects of it, I was salving the psychological ravages of a wasted life by wallowing in a period of bucolic bliss.

Around that time, long before AGW aka Climate Change became the world’s biggest- ever scam, noxious smells from Continental Europe were beginning to waft into our rural regions and dire warnings of possible mass annihilation by pollution of fouled air and acid rain began to permeate the consciousness and fears of ordinary folk.

So much so that I was driven to primitive verse in the small wee hours one night and thus submitted to ‘The Arrival’ cited above by Gerard, looking forward fifteen years to the fin de siécle – 2000 AD:

* * *

A Dark Vision of Sussex 2000

It seems God may have sentenced us collectively to Hell
As the south wind from the Continent, beyond the Sussex hills
Brings the suffocating, nauseating, harsh sulphuric smell
Of the Continental factories - more ‘dark satanic mills’.

No more the sweet pervasion of the evening scented stocks
Enhance the soft persuasion of the trysting lover’s plea;
No more the babbling brook flows freely over time-worn rocks,
Arousing youthful senses to the height of ecstasy.

Those halcyon days are sadly gone, the perfumed breeze no more;
The putrid stream congested with detritus left by man
And oil polluted waves now lap the once idyllic shore,
Then safe for happy children as they bathed and skipped and ran.

Wake up! Ye Sussex denizens of influence and power,
Heed the warning signals and Nature’s plaintive cries.
Make the right decisions in this final fleeting hour:
Protect the Earth and cleanse the seas, then purify the skies.

* * *

Circumstances eventually drew me back to the ‘The Smoke’ for unfinished business in the Met. Since then, a bosky at heart, I have drifted northwards to Norfolk and am now experiencing what is perhaps my final lull, in the under-populated, tranquil and gentle undulations of the north-west of the county of my forebears (and those of many Americans also, I guess).

Last month I returned to Sussex to visit my daughter. who had remained there and reared her family. We drove around the places that had inspired my muse to misanthropy in the mid-Eighties. The fears were unfounded. Sussex is still a beautiful county; the air was crisp and clean, the babbling brook still babbles on and the English Channel by the Seven Sisters is still a place to bathe and skip and run. William the Conqueror’s invaders would probably still recognize it.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. And the fears of simple folk are so easily exploited – as always. Having said all that, I thoroughly disapprove of our disgusting habits. Fouling one’s own nest is egregious. But Gaia could give a shit! She’ll roll on long after we have run our course and the coalescence of lard that was once Al Gore and Michael Moore has dissolved into a transmogrification of inert useless gunge – much like their earlier existence.

Posted by: Frank P at June 1, 2011 7:09 AM

I love tacos, but will NOT eat any Taco Bell product after getting food poisoning from a Taco Bell in Fresno years ago.

Posted by: Fausta at June 1, 2011 8:55 AM

The blue mountain dew is worth the risk of actually dining in ... it may be self dispensed in a refillable paper cup.

Taco Bell serves next-gen "potted" meat sprinkled with gratings from the dried-out hardened end of carelessly exposed velvetta cheese chunks. It must be the genius origami-like slap stack wrap presentation of their product that entices the high-schoolers in my home. Yes, I would bet all the seconds have been shaved off of the delivery ... Starting at the "farm" and carrying all the way through to when money is exchanged for a plastic bag and eye-contact is never

Baja Blast ... Delicious!

Posted by: DeAnn at June 1, 2011 11:17 AM

After living for many years in the Southwest I now live in central Florida. They have some "Mexican" restaurants here but their offerings don't taste anything like the stuff I've had in Mexico or the barrios. I love this area but Taco Bell is the only place in the South to get a decent taco.

Posted by: Roy Lofquist at June 1, 2011 1:41 PM

That thing in the picture may be edible, though I doubt it, but it is not, repeat not, a taco.

Tacos are made from soft corn tortillas. They have actual "meat" in them, usually grilled or barbequed pork, beef, chicken or fish, not that weird looking ground up crap in the picture. Americans invented the modern hamburger and now put ground beef into every-goddam-thing. Tacos also have "salsas" made of real vegetables, herbs and peppers, and that does not include those creamy looking oil-field effluents on that thing in the picture.

Americans are mostly the greatest people on earth. Perhaps, like the Sanduskers, their strength comes from the incredibly vile food they eat.

A man strong enough to eat a Crunch-wrap supreme can no doubt conquer the world.

Posted by: Fred Z at June 1, 2011 6:06 PM

Taco Hell

Jorge: When I make a burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrito, I rise with the sun, I take the tortilla dough and I pound it upon a very large rock. Then my wife, a sultry, sweaty farm girl joins me. We put the dough upon the ground and we make love near the dough. As it bathes in the sun and the purity of our passion, then we go to the sun-drenched tomato fields, where we pick the ripest, most flawless tomato from the vine and the rest of the crop is BURNED to the ground! And on the fire, we cook the most flavorful burrito ever created!

Posted by: Jewel at June 1, 2011 9:01 PM

I was 14 years old, before I realized that "Taco Bell" in fact, wasn't the Mexican Telephone Company.

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Posted by: Jim at June 1, 2011 9:39 PM

When I was a kid, we had Taco Bell, Taco Time and Lulu and Joe's Mexican grandma. Since eating at Lulu and Joe's Mexican grandma's house was free, we ate there all the time.

Posted by: Jewel at June 2, 2011 2:05 AM

Here in Texas, nobody who has a choice would eat a "taco" made at Taco Bell.

Other than late-night potheads, of course. There's a reason they're usually next door to the head shop.

Like all fast food (sorry, "QSR") joints, Taco Bell ia a restaurant for people who are in such a hurry that they just say "F~~ck it, I'll eat fake food." The shite they dish up there bears no relation to a real taco.

Posted by: B Lewis at June 4, 2011 12:43 AM