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September 12, 2009

My Secret Shame

It's a weekend morning here at my Connecticut mansion. The kids are awake and watching television, the wife is asleep, and the dog is trying to outwit the invisible fence. But she can’t because she is a dog and she is not smarter than electricity. As for me, I am sitting in the kitchen waiting for the New York Times to be delivered so I can haul it in, snap open the front section, and then pretend to give a shit about what’s happening in the world. I may even say things like, “Honey did you hear about the Pashtuns this morning?” Something like that to make me sound educated on one hand, and allow me to say “Pashtuns” on the other.


So it’s that kind of lazy Saturday, which follows my lazy Sunday-Friday. The hardest work I’ve done this week was get the kids ready for school, the hardest part of which is making their lunches. I solved that problem by encouraging them to buy hot lunch this week. The money is incidental when compared with slicing apples and stuffing them inside of tiny sandwich bags five days a week. I don’t know why packing their lunches feels like such a chore, but it is. Even feeding myself seems like a chore most of the time, which is why I take nine out of ten meals at Taco Bell.


The other day I told my wife I was going to the bank, which I did. But then I also went to Taco Bell without telling her. I felt extremely guilty about that, like I had betrayed some kind of trust. I had, but it was with my lower intestine, not with her. When I got back, she didn’t ask why the trip had taken so long and I didn’t volunteer the information. Had she asked, I would have told her and she would not have cared but it is hard to maintain emotional neutrality about Taco Bell; I don’t think there is a person on this earth who can say, “I just ate at Taco Bell” without wincing.


Part of the problem with Taco Bell is the clientele. Whenever I go there, the first thing I do is scan the room for anybody who isn’t obese. In doing so, I am attempting to reassure myself that there is no causal relationship between consuming food from a restaurant currently advertising a “Nacho Crunch Half Pound Burrito,” and people who waddle, not walk. I have yet to prove that such a relationship does not exist. This is also a restaurant who, for years, has been encouraging Americans to eat a “Fourth Meal,” which they cleverly call “Fourth Meal.” The people I usually see there do not need any further encouragement to eat more meals. And yet, I am one of these people.


I am Taco Bell.


Because I love it. God help me, I love it. I love the reconstituted “beef,” the watery sour cream, the tomatoes which usually contain at least a little bit of tomato core. I love the wilted lettuce and soggy taco shells. I love the hot sauce, whose only ingredient is salt. Individually you could argue that those sound like disgusting ingredients. Collectively it is pseudo-Mexican nirvana. When Taco Bell is hot, there is no finer taste on God’s good earth. When Taco Bell is even room temperature there is nothing more disgusting, except perhaps Domino’s Pizza, which suffers from the same problem, although the highs with Domino’s aren’t nearly as high as the lows are low.


So even though Taco Bell is not what I wanted to be thinking about this early on a Saturday morning, because it is making me queasy, as so often turns when I find myself caught in reverie, that is where my thoughts have wandered. Will I go there today? No. No, I will not. Because it is not good for me and I want to live a long, long time. And because I’m going to Los Angeles tomorrow without my family so I can eat there all I want and they will never know. 


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This is why I go through the drive-thru. I don't need to see what I one day will become- Fattie Mcfatpants, the Sweatpants Queen who wears shirts just a little too small so my lower stomach is hanging out for all to see.


Sneaking Taco Bell can be the best thing ever. You just need to be able to keep your mouth shut about it or it all gets ruined when people start adding their two cents about why you shouldn't have gone there when you had adequately nourishing food right in your own home the whole time.
It meets, perhaps surpasses your expectations, all naughty and wrong for you, but it is exactly what you crave till you finally give in to your desire for it. It feels totally worth whatever repercussions might come because it is perfection at that moment and desire meets satiation and...well, you know, you were there. Or maybe you have never gotten exactly the right thing off their menu. Perhaps there is a special treat you only need to try once and it would be so delicious that the memory of having had it would be good enough that you need not indulge in it ever again?
Who knows? I like the Chalupa Supreme, personally. With 2 tacos on the side.
Hope you get your fill while you are in LA.

Jesse Murakami

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Nickel Jean

Doesn't your wife smell it on you when you get home? My husband can't sneak food behind my back because I always sniff it out. Maybe she does smell it but doesn't complain because you let her sleep in on a Saturday morning like a good husband should.


Thanks for the entertaining read. Gosh. Had no idea you felt so chock full of Taco Bell Eating sin. I'd peddle the idea of forgiveness but, well, yoooou know.

Anyway, while in LA, you should totally get some highlights for your hair. Think of it as a symbolic gesture that reminds you to "lighten up little buddy - stop being such a hot mess!"


Your real secret shame is that you put sliced apples in plastic bags. Don't you know that rich elitists like yourself are supposed to use stainless steel tiffins? The best part of a tiffin is that when your kid gets picked on because of his non-plastic elitist lunch thingamajig, he can hit the bully with it and knock him out cold.


Eh,Taco Bells are a dime a dozen(although momma likey chalupas). Save that for home and enjoy good food/friends whilst in LA.
I agree with Renee. Get some highlights and spray tan, you hot mess.


Welcome to Los Angeles... the city that hates the homeless more than any other... because they all end up here for the freebies and crack, so whiners shut your pieholes. And to all other cities; quit sending us your homeless.

The Naked Redhead

I feel like you should only get to pretend to read the Times OR eat Taco Bell. Not both. I mean, if it were me (and sadly, it sometimes is) I'd feel like my whole life were a lie. A LIE.


I love it that, if I find myself at a Taco Bell, I have to say, "I'll...*sigh, I'll have a 'Gordita Crunch Supreme'?" like a giant fatty fat fat idiot. Especially since the 'gordita crunches' are usually not listed on the menu.

...and I Know that! Ugh.


I'm back.

Farting in the Elevator

Taco Bell gives me mucho gas!

Get On Google

junk food guilt- always a tricky one! good call whoever said they just go to the drive thu, i'm a drive thru sneak too!

Christina @ WhatsInYourManPurse.com

OMG the guy at the taco bell drive-thru in Redwood City totally knows me by now. I always order the same couple of things - 1/2 cheesy bean and rice burrito w/ potatoes, cheesy gordita crunch w/ chicken, fresca chicken burrito supreme (this one is healthy!), cheese quesadilla (no sauce,) and a strawberry/strawberry fruitista freeze. Maybe also a caramel apple empanada if I'm extra indulgent.

Did you notice those couple of custom items? I'd like to think it's because I'm a taco bell connoisseur. But I don't eat the beef.


Saw you last night in Bay Shore. Where'd you get that sweatshirt and sneakers? I want to get them for my boyfriend.


I feel the same way about Long John Silvers (which, coincidentally is PAIRED with taco bell here in Mass).

it is immediately regrettable.

How to Lose Weight in your face

Taco Bell should be called taco belly fat! Stay away, it's an addiction that can kill you, literally.

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