If you are under 30 and read that title, you have two very conflicting reactionary emotions. The first, always first is disgust. Taco Bell serves beef that is more ‘filler’ than actual meat, has the historical cleanliness of a port-a-john after a weekend of use at Coachella (dirty hippies). The second reaction is a feint but growing voice that says ‘man, I could really go for a grilled stuft burrito(thats not a spelling mistake- stuft). That voice painfully grows as the night progresses. Unless a miracle happens you find yourself driving in the dark of early morning to the closest TB, and not-so-silently cursing at yourself.
That scenario played out last night for me. I was innocently playing one of the few online games I play when the craving began. I mused to myself “wouldn’t it be great if I had some taco bell right about now” and nearly immediately pushed it from my thoughts and put my head back in the digital frontier I was currently dominating. Yet a short while later it was back. Like a dark whisper from Hecate herself. So I went, compelled for some of the most oxymoronic food: terrible and wonderful tied together eternally.
So there it is. I have a propensity for late night snacking, and generally that involves some very regretful mornings. What I am constantly surprised by is the amount of others that share my late night habits. I have found there are two or three types of people who share the drive-through(or if all else fails- entering the beast of the restaurant) after midnight.
The first is the most relatable, for me at least. This group consists of the nerdy gamers, loners, social ouctasts etc. We as a constituency of Taco Bell are more or less socially disinclined. We share the tubes of the internet but rarely seek out external affairs. So when we stand in that line we are quiet and focused on our compounded shame- that of our late night interneting(or for the extremely nerdy Dungeons and Dragons, god forbid) and the incomprehensible fact that we are at taco bell about to have a very, very bad morning the next day.
The next group is the drunkards. That same compulsion while I am sober seems to consume someone after they have had a half dozen beers. They are never alone, surrounded by a bevy of other drunks who are so enamored with their idiotic conversation and their imbibed laughter nothing else, save a gordita supreme, can excite them. They are loud, obnoxious, and most of all pathetic. If there was an officer at any TB after 1am they would find a half dozen drunk drivers and take them off the streets. I would love to know the statistics of how many people were killed from drunks driving to and from a TB run- I wouldn’t be surprised if the number was well over a hundred. There are 11,000 alcohol impaired deaths a year in the US, I’m sure 100 of those could have come from the unending need for someone to grab a crunchwrap supreme.
The third group I have seen that has been growing in the years since I have owned a car. They are the families. Usually there is a parent or two and at least two very young children. The kids are around 3-4 years old and are wide awake well past midnight. I wish I could explain this phenomenon but I am speechless. There are a few scenarios I can envision why parents would take their kids out at midnight+ for some cheap food, and they are all situations of plight. I envision parents working until the late hours of the night with their children waiting for food once they get off work. Fruits and vegetables are too expensive for the extremely impoverished and the parents too exhausted after a sixteen hour day to even attempt to cook a meal. So the group heads to TB for the cheapest, only convenient food available. It’s a sad scene I wish I didn’t have to imagine, but my empathetic (or hopefully chimeric) mind can be very convincing.
So ends the epics that was my Taco Bell run. All of these thoughts blur through my head as I order my slop. As my stomach copes with my regretful decisions I deal with my ever-active mind. Off to the pool so my technologically influenced pale skin can get a small iota darker before I have to head to work.
Edit: I liked the song, but never watched that video. It gives an oposite impression I was hoping for. Oh well.