<p>Brenda’s working late tonight and I had a free case of beer waiting for me down the street, a gift from a dear friend who understands me. In addition, due to various logistical reasons, Brenda has a rental car for the duration of the hell that is tech rehearsal, meaning that I drove myself to the train this morning—and I paid ten dollars to park instead of the already outrageous five, but that’s another whole sad story I don’t wish to get into right now, but I saved the receipts from the garage just in case, but I digress—so I had wheels tonight upon my arrival at Metropark train station. </p> <p>Being me, I applied simple logic to this scenario: I have a vehicle at my disposal, the evening to myself, and free beer that must be picked up. The plan was obvious; I shall drive to Witty’s Wine & Liquor and collect my prize (an entire case of Victory Brewing Company’s fine offering Hop Devil). Then, since it’s not really on the way home, I should stop at Taco Bell and load up on crunchy tacos. </p> <p>A plan.</p> <p>I should have known when it took TWENTY FIVE MINUTES to drive about 400 yards exiting the miserable traffic flow nightmare that is the Metropark Station parking lot, that this was not going to be an easy ride. Well, after the initial bumps things initially went pretty smoothly. I scooped up my free case with nary a hiccup. Back on the road, speeding down Route 35, I had visions of a quick pickup of taco & burrito goodness. Whisking along the road, a case of beer in the trunk of my Golf, heading toward a date with mass-market beans, I was a living breathing commercial for, well, lots of bad things. Perhaps in response to this it turns out if this vision could be encapsulated in an artist’s rendition it would appear in the dictionary under “delusions of grandeur”. </p> <p>Arriving at the Taco Bell, a giddy sense that I was Getting Away With Something pervaded my psyche. What shall I order? Will it give me gas? Who cares?! Ha! Taco Bell is the crack of fast food.</p> <p>As I queued up I briefly scanned the assembly of patrons, and I was immediately concerned. The gaggle of taco-expecting consisted of a pathetic collection of humans—of which I was now a member—looking forlorn and tired. I assumed they had been away from the Taco Bell as long as I had, and were very low and desperate for a hit. But then I surveyed the team of Taco Commandos that were amassed behind the counter and quickly concluded that my compatriots were the victims of that scourge of fast food service, the stupid-fucking-idiot-high-school-student/employee-who-doesn’t-give-a-shit-and-thinks-their-world-is-the-only-world-anyway.</p> <p>I focused on the moron running the cash register. A customer would say something like “I’ll have a burrito supreme with chicken, and a Coke.”, and then the idiot guarding all the cash would say “ok, that’s uh, you said, uh, a burrito? Did you uh, want meat with that?”</p> <p>Uh oh.</p> <p>Fifteen minutes later—at the “fast food” joint I might add—I placed my order (repeating just about every item at least once), and watched the Idiot Guarding the Cash call over an off-duty hotshot—who happened to be spending his free time hanging out at the Woodbridge Taco Bell—to void out yet another botched order. Meanwhile, the lad who I have been watching assemble the taco salads has come close to giving me an aneurysm on several occasions. It seems that fitting a molded plastic lid to its engineered plastic mate is a task akin to brain surgery, and requires lots of time and study. </p> <p>Around that time, I noticed a security camera and began staring into the lens with an “are you getting this?” look. My look said “send help, we’re dying here, for chrissakes.” No one came. Our only savior was the off-duty hotshot with the baggy jeans who kept reminding the idiot guarding the cash to repeat the orders back to the customer before telling them their total. </p> <p>Here comes Order 152 (I’m now known as Order 156, by the way; Orders 153, 154 and 155 have already received their orders and wandered off shaking their heads), returning to the counter. It appears his order got messed up. No one on this side of the counter is surprised at this point. He’s holding his tray of food in one hand, and thumbing his receipt in the other. His very made-up girlfriend, who dutifully waited for the tacos initially, is nowhere to be seen. After five minutes elapse, none of them filled with a single Taco Bell staff member even acknowledging that humans were standing at the counter, Order 152 gives up and sulks back to the “dining area”.</p> <p>A perky latina girl with lots of energy keeps flitting about, grabbing bags full of food from what appears to be the “good side” of the taco assembly station and dashing off to the drive-thru window. I can hear her say “here’s your order, thank you”, several times. Clearly, I have made what is known as a “bad call” by wandering in to the building and trying to place an order with the retards within. </p> <p>Order 152 returns; I guess his date sent him back to rectify the disparity between receipt and order, the poor bastard. Taco salad surgeon shows up at the counter displaying that acne-riddled, squinty-eyed look that all highschoolacneriddledshittyjobhavingmorons exhibit when in desperate need of dignity in the face of minimum wage hell. An incoherent exchange ensued, and eventually an additional burrito supreme with chicken changed hands. Bravo.</p> <p>A woman orders a taco salad. The idiot in charge of the cash says “you want a taco salad, or a taco salad supreme, or a taco motherfucking all-anal gang bang?” (Or soemthing to that effect; by now I was hallucinating). She says: “I want the one with all the stuff, but no meat”.</p> <p>All the stuff, but no meat. Hmmm. That single statement could spawn a friggin novel, but I have to go to sleep now.</p> <p>Suffice to say the meal sucked, and as I sped past the front of the edifice of inefficiency that is the hellhole of the Woodbridge, NJ Taco Bell, flipping the bird at the building and honking my horn like the crazed person I was, I think I came as close to a heart attack as I have ever come. </p> <p>I will never set foot in that Taco Bell again, that place sucks. But I reserve the right to order a handful of beef crunchy tacos at a city near you. Taco crack is a tough monkey.</p>
lighting simulationist, crossfitter, former drinker.