But I’m getting ahead of myself. For the sake of continuity, I’ll start at the beginning.
My love affair with Taco Bell started back in high school. I know I annoyed a lot of my lunch time friends by wanting to go to Taco Bell for lunch every single day. Sometimes the urge to get my hands on a fifty-nine cent bean burrito was so strong that I would totally forget the fact that I was supposed to be in Mr. Eggert’s second period algebra class. To cover my tracks, I never turned in my math homework and often times got in arguments with the teacher and said mean things about him outside of class. To this day, my parents never discovered the true reason behind my insolent behavior.
The relationship only got stronger when I went off to college. And, no, I’m not talking about my high school algebra teacher. Taco Bell franchises were located on both sides of the CSU campus. The pinnacle of my love for Taco Bell occurred when my girlfriend at the time moved into an apartment that was directly across the street from the Bell. I would ride my bicycle over to her place, get enough tacos and burritos for the both of us, and walk up the stairs to her apartment. It was an entire evening of fun for six dollars. If I only realized at the time how perfect my life was back then, I wouldn’t have let it change so drastically. *Sigh*.
Well, back to the story. I finished up with college and my girlfriend and I went on to get a job in my slice of the real world. I was molded into a computer geek which gave me the financial resources to eat fast food at will. In retrospect, I suspect I started to take it for granted. Taco Bell was always there for me and I no longer had to sacrifice anything to enjoy it. But gone too was the anticipation of another reunion. The fire burned less brightly.
Everything changed in 1999 when the company I worked for at the time decided to send me to work in Amsterdam for six months. I moved everything I owned into storage and got on an airplane with nothing more than a backpack and two suitcases. When I got there I quickly discovered some shocking facts about world travel. The weather in other parts of the world is not comparable to Colorado, the customs officials don’t care what you bring into Holland, and, most importantly, Taco Bell is not keeping up with other fast food establishments in their plans for world occupation. During the worst of my withdrawal period, I wrote the following song expressing my feelings:
“Taco Bell, Village of the Damned”
Here is the story that I’ve got to tell
About my favorite place to go and eat– its called Taco Bell
One day I got on a plane and flew across the sea
Unaware of the fate awaiting me
You see they have BK and they have Mickey Dee’s,
But Taco Bell has still yet to be.
So now I’m a long way from home and I just don’t see
That plastic tacky bell calling out to me
Taco Bell, you’re my water in the sand
Taco Bell, the franchise promised land
Taco Bell, you’re my favorite one night stand
Taco Bell, the village of the damned
And so I just can’t sleep at night
Knowing that I’m a world away from that
drive through open twenty-four hour culinary delight
Despite the obvious pain of being away from something so near and dear to my heart, I survived my trip to Holland and came back to Colorado with a deeper and more mature understanding of my relationship with Taco Bell. We started off young and giddy-wanting to be together every day and talking to each other until all hours of the night about anything and everything that came to mind. Things cooled down a bit after that, and the shock of moving half way around the world from her put everything in perspective. These days I take comfort in knowing that when I’m having a bad day I can invite her over, make a big bowl of popcorn, and watch a movie on the couch with my arm around her. We have known each other for so long that we don’t need words to communicate. Taco Bell will always be there for me.